Postgraduate Students

Taught courses

You will take several courses across two semesters of teaching, including two compulsory courses and a range of optional courses.

Core courses

You will take two compulsory courses, which will provide a general introduction to graduate study in history and give you the opportunity to develop your research skills. 

The compulsory courses for this programme are:

Course name Credits
Historical Research: Skills and Sources 20

Historical Methodology


Optional courses

You will choose a further 80 credits from a wide selection of optional courses, subject to availability. 

Option courses previously offered include those listed below.  Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies will be different from those shown in this representative list.

Course name Credits
Black Activism in Britain since 1800 20
The Politics of History in the Arabic-Speaking World (c.1750-Present) 20

Islamic Africa (online course)


​​​​​​​The Cold War in Latin America


​​​​​​​The Sixties in the United States


​​​​​​​Race, Religion, and Ridicule: The American South from Reconstruction to World War II


​​​​​​​The Dark Side – Tourism and Difficult Heritages


​​​​​​​An Uncertain World: The West since the 1970s


​​​​​​​Freedom and Coercion in the Making of the Atlantic World


Thinking with Things: History and Material Culture Studies

Literature and History in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland 20
Medieval Men and Masculinities  20
Propaganda in Renaissance Scotland   20
Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent   20
The Global Renaissance 20
Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1834   20

The Scientific Revolution in Global Perspective

The European Enlightenment, 1670-1820 20
The Material Culture of Gender in Eighteenth Century Britain 20

Edinburgh's Slavery Connections: Research Seminar

History as Romance, Profession, Critique: Theory and Scholarship in the West, 1835 to 1985 20
Gender, Crime and Deviancy: Britain c. 1860-1960 20
Revolutions in Modern Europe   20

Gender and Empire: Contested Meanings and Divergent Practices


American Borderlands: Histories of the Western Hemisphere


An Unhappy Valley: Mau Mau, culture and colonialism in Kenya's highlands ca.1895-ca.1964

Conservatism in the United States, c.1930-c.1990   20
War and Identities in Twentieth Century Britain and Ireland 20
Thinking the 20th Century - Hannah Arendt and the breakdown of European Civilization  20
Cinema and Society in South Asia, 1947-Present   20
The United States and the Cold War   20

China's foreign and security policy: a twentieth-century perspective

The Civil Rights Movement 20
Citizens and Subjects: concepts of citizenship in modern African intellectual history   20

Contemporary Scotland

Genocide in Contemporary History 20

Narrating Native Histories


A Cultural History of Photography

The Crusades: Thirteenth Century Crossroads 20
The Sources of Medieval History   20
Introduction to Contemporary History   20
Medieval Men and Masculinities   20
Myth and the History of Scholarship in Early Modern Europe   20
Themes in American Historiography   20
Anthens of the North: The Scottish Enlightenment 20
The British Empire in Political Thought 20
Debating Marriage between Antiquity and the Middle Ages 20
Studying Women in Late Medieval England: Sources and Approaches   20
Directed Reading & Research (Semester 1)   20
Directed Reading & Research (Semester 2)   20
Currents of Radicalism, 1776-1848   20

The Demise of the Slave-Holding American South, 1846-1877


You may also be able to select from relevant courses from the Online MSc History programme.

Teaching and assessment

The courses are mostly taught in small-group seminars. Most courses are assessed by means of an extended piece of written work. Some courses also assess non-written skills. 

Further information

You can see more details about the 2023/24 programme structure on the Degree Programme Table for the MSc in History. We expect the 2024/25 programme structure to be available from May 2024.