Undergraduate study | Scottish Studies
Explore our modern European nation, with its rich and fascinating heritage, from a variety of perspectives in a highly flexible, interdisciplinary degree.
Why study Scottish Studies in Edinburgh?
The capital city of Scotland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and seat of the Scottish Parliament, is the ideal place to study the nation, asking what we can learn from its past and its present, and how we can help shape its future.
Based within an award-winning department in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, you’ll engage with a wide range of disciplines across the University of Edinburgh that share a common interest in the study of Scotland, for example by drawing on courses from Celtic, history, politics, sociology and archaeology, and combining these with a focus on ethnology, heritage, the creative arts and cultural expression.
You’ll apply arts, humanities and social sciences approaches in your learning, discovering how literature, music and visual arts have helped to shape Scottish identity, and considering the complex relationship between culture and politics, as you draw parallels with other countries and capitalise on the University's excellent links with Scotland’s key political, cultural and historical institutions.
You'll benefit from small class sizes, teachers who are immersed in Scottish culture beyond the classroom, and excellent resources, including the internationally-acclaimed School of Scottish Studies Archives.
I find the programme offers a freedom to study within a wide variety of subject areas. The diverse nature of teaching and assessment is also something I have found beneficial. Additionally, the School of Scottish Studies Archives is a rich resource of material for the study of Scotland.
Scottish Studies is a single honours, four-year MA degree drawing on a variety of subject areas and disciplines across the University of Edinburgh. The programme is very flexible, giving you a broad knowledge base and transferable skills.
Years 1 & 2
- In your first two years, you'll study a mix of core courses in Scottish Studies, your choice of courses on history, literature, language, or civilisation, and further option courses chosen from a wide range of subjects. These can be related or unrelated to Scotland - it's up to you.
Years 3 & 4
- You’ll typically spend your third year in Edinburgh - though it’s possible to study elsewhere through the University’s Study Abroad programme.
- You will learn how to undertake your own research to the level of completing a dissertation in your final year. This is your chance to focus on a topic, period or discipline that’s of particular interest to you. We have an extensive range of honours courses to choose from.
- You'll be part of a close-knit teaching and learning community in one of the University of Edinburgh's largest and most diverse Schools. You’ll typically be based at the heart of the University, in the city’s historic centre, close to the National Library of Scotland, National Museum of Scotland, Scottish Storytelling Centre, and Scottish Parliament.
- The Main University Library is just across the square from us, as is the School of Scottish Studies Archives where resources include some 33,000 audio recordings, thousands of photographs from the 1930s onwards, films, videos, and manuscripts. We are also a short walk from St Cecilia's Hall, the University's Concert Room and Music Museum.
Learning, assessment and support
- Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and, in some cases, computer-assisted learning.
- As part of your learning, you'll visit museums and take part in events.
- You’ll be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework, with assessed oral presentations a feature of honours-level study.
- There are lots of support systems to help you, from your Personal Tutor to our web-based hub, Support for Success in LLC.
Applications for 2021 entry to our Scottish Studies programme are now closed. If you are holding an offer to start studying with us in September 2021, check out our Offer Holder Hub for Celtic and Scottish Studies.
Keen to get a head start for 2022?
There’s lots of information about our undergraduate Scottish Studies programme on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder. For example, you can find out about entrance requirements, English language requirements, fees, and funding opportunities.
If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Applications for 2022 entry open in September 2021.
As a Scottish Studies graduate, you'll understand the workings of a modern nation, and will demonstrate a close understanding of the complex set of strands which have come together over time to create it, including the links between politics, culture and society.
Our graduates are highly valued in the workplace for the skills they can demonstrate in research, analysis and communication. The ability to undertake fieldwork, emphasised in some of our courses, is seen by many employers as a desirable skill.
A number of the themes covered in our programme, for example traditional music and song, align with Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence. These and other traditional arts, such as storytelling, have many applications, for example in working with older people, in community education and outreach, and in healthcare.
Graduates have developed successful careers in areas such as broadcasting and the media, museums and heritage, arts and cultural management, publishing, tourism, and policy development.
Scottish Studies is a very fascinating degree with many areas of interest. As it is a multi-disciplinary programme, you can also explore other subject areas in the University. I would recommend doing this, as it gives you a broader outlook on the subject matter. I would advise students to utilise the School of Scottish Studies Archives on George Square, which features the archive and a library. It is a lovely resource and one I have made great use of.
Get to know us better
Thinking of joining us this year or next? Explore what it's like to study and live in Edinburgh.
- Take a Virtual Visit - Celtic and Scottish Studies
- Look inside 50 George Square
- Join us for an Open Day or Online Information Session