Prospective undergraduates

Why choose History?

We are one of Europe’s leading centres for the study of the human past and one of the UK’s largest and most international departments of History.

Edinburgh students walking through the Botanic Gardens

A degree in History within our school will allow you to learn under faculty members at the cutting edge of their disciplines. We have over 50 academic members of staff, and are one of the most highly-rated History departments - both in the UK and across the globe. According to the latest rankings, we are 17th in the world for this subject (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018).

Our department covers every period between the early middle ages and the late twentieth century, and spans across Europe, Britain and Ireland, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. With so much flexibility, you'll be able to tailor your degree to your specific interests.


Our department received the Ian Campbell Award for Teaching in the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences for 2016/17. In the National Student Survey for 2017, 90% of History students described the course as intellectually stimulating, and praised our staff for their teaching skills.


Edinburgh's Main Library is an excellent resource for History undergraduates; at the Centre for Research Collections on the sixth floor of the library students can study rare books, manuscripts and historic archives. Away from the university campus, research hubs include the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, and the National Records of Scotland.

Historic Edinburgh

Last but by no means least, an undergraduate degree at Edinburgh allows you to study in a city steeped in history. Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been home to famous figures such as Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sophia Jex-Blake, Julius Nyerere, and Muriel Spark.

A word from our students...

Meet Rob and Alice to find out what they enjoy about studying History, and their thoughts for the future.



HCA Paul Tomlinson

I'm studying History...

Paul is a History and Politics student. Why did he choose Edinburgh and what's been his experience of studying here so far? Read more...


View a full list of our History degrees