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MLitt Scottish History (Distance Learning)

Course Description

Delivered in an interactive online environment, this course is designed to provide students who cannot attend a fulltime postgraduate degree course in Scottish History with an opportunity to develop research skills and an understanding of the major topics and historiography of Scottish history.

Why study Scottish History at Dundee?

This course builds upon the current expertise within the History programme at Dundee to provide an integrated programme of study including research skills, a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts of Scottish History and historiography, and the chance through independent research to make a contribution to the development of Scottish history.

The central aim of this course is to examine the many different interpretations of Scottish history and you will be encouraged to think critically about the various ways in which historians have viewed the development of Scotland over the past five centuries and to consider some of the ways in which Scottish history has been portrayed in a popular context.

You will learn:
About the development of Scotland from the fourteenth century to the present
About the role of Scotland within the British Empire and the diaspora of Scots overseas
How to use the main sources available to historians of Scotland.
About different theories and research techniques and how they may be used in your studies
What's so good about Scottish History at Dundee?

As the leading History department in Scotland for research output at international standard (RAE2008 results), we offer students an unparalleled opportunity to experience teaching at the sharp end of current research scholarship.

Find out more about History staff and the fields they specialise in.

Who should study this course?

This course is aimed at:
Anyone with a good undergraduate degree wishing to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Scottish history
Graduates in History or related disciplines wishing to gain additional knowledge and skills to further their employment prospects
History graduates considering PhD research

Individual modules can be taken as non-accredited modules for interest or personal development

How you will be taught

This course is taught by the History team, based in the School of Humanities. This course has 3 start dates, January, May and September, and the course can be completed in 2-5 years. This course is taught entirely by Distance Learning. Course materials will be supplied to students either via the virtual learning environment (My Dundee) or in hard-copy.

The course gives you the ability to study at home at your own pace. For a typical module you will be required to read a major book on an aspect of Scottish history every two weeks. In between, you will be exposed to source material and journal articles relevant to the topic. As you read and progress through the module you will complete a weekly module journal which will allow your tutors to give you regular feedback on your progress.

You will also interact with other students on the module and with tutors through online discussion boards and through discussion rooms. You will also have access to your tutors through e-mail and they will hold regular online office hours to answer any questions that you may have.

What you will study

There are 3 core modules for the PG Dip & MLitt courses:

Introduction to Historical Research Skills
Introduction to Historical Theory
Interpretations of Scottish History
These will normally be studied in this order over the first two years of the course.

Students must also take three optional modules from a range of options including:

Humanities modules -

Scottish National Identities Since 1807
The Scottish Highlands and Islands - Clearances to Land Settlement
War, Empire and Society: Scotland c. 1870-1922
Archives modules -

Public History
Skills and sources for Local and Family History in Scotland
Students can then choose to graduate with a PGDip or complete an 18,000 word dissertation to gain a Masters qualification.

You can also study modules on a standalone modules, or graduate with a PGCert (60 credits).

Visit the individual modules webpages above for more information.

How you will be assessed

The central components of assessment for most modules are the essay and the module journal. For most modules students are required to write a 3,500 or 5,000 word essay and to complete a weekly module journal reflecting on their reading for that week. Tutors will be able to provide regular support and feedback from the module journal as the module progresses.

To complete the MLitt students are also required to write an 18,000 word dissertation.

Students will be able to interact with the tutor and other students via live ‘drop in sessions’ using the virtual learning environment. There will also be active discussion boards where students can interact.


Students who take this course will gain a solid foundation from which they can proceed to doctoral research.

However, due to the non-vocational nature of a History degree many students also enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

For those wishing to use their studies more directly, for example in heritage, museum or archivist work, the job market is competitive, and the MLitt will provide students with a chance to further their knowledge and understanding of History and to demonstrate advanced research skills necessary for work in archives or heritage.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

Visit the MLitt Scottish History (Distance Learning) page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Students will normally be expected to have a good undergraduate degree (2:1 or similar standard) in History or a related discipline. English Language Requirement: IELTS of 7.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

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Recipient: University of Dundee

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