Postgraduate study

Scottish History MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Scottish History

This programme offers an unrivalled range of courses that explore Scotland’s past across a broad chronological period – from the early medieval period to contemporary developments – and Scotland’s place in a comparative and global context. The examination of Scotland’s past has been at the centre of history teaching at the University of Edinburgh since the prestigious Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography was established in 1901.

You’ll have access to some of the most impressive archival collections in the UK, both within the University and nearby. Taught by one of the largest groups of specialist Scottish historians found at any UK university, Edinburgh’s Scottish History programme is world leading.

You will take a variety of seminar-style courses in small groups. Most courses are assessed by means of an extended piece of written work, while some courses may also assess non-written skills. You will complete three compulsory courses and select a further three options from a wide range of subjects on offer. You will then complete an independent research dissertation and will be assigned a supervisor from the outset.

The compulsory courses are:

  • Historical Methodology
  • Historical Research: Skills and Sources
  • Themes in Scottish Historiography

Option courses previously offered include those listed below (Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list).

  • The Material Culture of Gender in Eighteenth Century Britain
  • Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1834
  • War and Identities in Twentieth Century Britain and Ireland
  • Propaganda in Renaissance Scotland
  • Literature and History in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland
  • The British Empire in Political Thought
  • Gender, Crime and Deviancy: Britain c. 1860-1960
  • Currents of Radicalism, 1776-1848

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScScottish History1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScScottish History2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:

  • a specialised knowledge and understanding of Scottish history
  • a detailed knowledge and understanding of the central historiographical issues of this area
  • an understanding of the interaction between historical sources and explanation
  • an appreciation of the historical and historiographical context of the student's individual area of research

Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD. The combination of specialised skills training courses and seminars, and the opportunity for independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose.

Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or other international equivalent, in History or another humanities or social science subject with a significant historical component (not necessarily Scottish).

Relevant experience, or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScScottish History1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScScottish History2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 31 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Please read the application guidance for more information:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG