Iain Watson (MSc (with Distinction) in Diaspora and Migration History - The University of Edinburgh: BA (Honours) in History – First-class Honours, Open University – Scotland.)

PhD Student - History

  • School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Contact details



c/o School of History Classics and Archaeology
William Robertson Wing
Old Medical School
Teviot Place

Post code

Galashiels Road

Post code
EH43 6AA


Iain was born in Singapore and raised in the Scottish expatriate environments of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.  He pursued a career as a banker and worked in Hong Kong for 16 years from 1981 to 1997 in addition to other sojourns in England, France, the Yemen Arab Republic, New Zealand and Australia.  He has since left the financial services industry and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh where he is conducting a comparative oral history study of Scottish migration to Hong Kong and New Zealand since 1950.  He holds degrees from the Open University (BA Hons in History) and the University of Edinburgh (MSc in Diaspora and Migration History).


PDF icon 58076.pdf


MSc (with Distinction)  in Diaspora and Migration History - The University of Edinburgh

 BA (Honours) in History – First-class Honours, Open University – Scotland.

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor - Economic History 2.1 and 2.2

Research summary

Migration and Diaspora History. Late Colonial and Post-colonial History. History of Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.

Current research interests

Thesis Title: Transnational Lives and Adaptable Identities: A Comparative Oral History of Scottish Migrants in New Zealand and Hong Kong since 1950.

Past research interests

MSc Dissertation Title: A Comparative Study of Assisted Migration to the British Colonies of Queensland and New Zealand from 1859 to 1900.

Current project grants

Holder of the Scottish Government PhD Studentship in Scottish Diaspora Studies

Watson, Iain.  Review of Unpacking the Kists: The Scots in New Zealand, by Brad Patterson, Tom Brooking and Jim MacAloon (with Rebecca Lenihan and Tanja Bueltmann). Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 34, no. 2 (2014): 256-258.


Watson, Iain. "Understanding Scottishness among Sojourners, Settlers and Descendants in Hong Kong and New Zealand." In Global Migrations: The Scottish Diaspora Since 1600.  Edited by Angela McCarthy and John MacKenzie, 177-196. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 31 May 2016.


Watson, Iain. “The right kind of migrants: Scottish expatriates in Hong Kong since 1950 and the promotion of human capital.” In Scots in Asia. Edited by Angela McCarthy and T M Devine. Longman (provisional publication date November 2016).