Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Economic and Social History MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Economic and Social History

We host one of the largest economic and social history research groupings in the UK. Staff research interests are wide-ranging, including the study of:

  • economic development
  • energy policy
  • financial history
  • globalisation
  • urban history
  • consumption
  • material culture
  • museums and collecting
  • leisure
  • religious belief
  • popular culture
  • medicine and disease
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • the family

The diversity of our research means we can support students’ economic and social history study in a vast range of time periods and geographical regions and from the early modern period to the present day.

Particular areas of expertise available for research are:

  • culture and society in early modern Britain
  • the material culture of gender in 18th-century Britain
  • urban society and civil society in historical context
  • clothing cultures in comparative historical contexts
  • cinema and society in modern Britain
  • gender, crime and deviancy: Britain 1860–1960
  • energy policy in Britain since 1920
  • the economic history of China in the 20th century
  • history of medicine and health in Britain since 1750

The University’s economic and social historians host three research groups:

  • material and visual cultures of the past
  • enlightenment and popular culture
  • economic and social history

This programme is designed to meet Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) requirements as a research training masters qualification. It includes recognised courses in research design and methodology, including quantitative and qualitative methods.

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • computer-lab sessions

In addition to the skills training elements, you will take an optional course and a directed reading course that will feed into your dissertation research.

You will be examined through coursework and will then work towards an independently researched dissertation of 15,000 words.

You will take the following three core courses:

  • Economic and Social Theory for Historical Analysis
  • Supervised Reading Course (E&SH)
  • Core quantitative Data Analysis 1 and 2

In addition, you will choose a pair of skills courses (ESRC funded students must take the first pair).

Either:

  • Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection
  • Advanced Research Design and Methods

Or:

  • Historical Research: Skills and Sources
  • Historical Methodology

You will then take one further option course of your choice. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown.

  • Macroeconomics 1 OR Microeconomics 1
  • Economic and Social History Courses
  • Online History Courses

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
MScREconomic and Social History1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
MScREconomic and Social History2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

Our building offers you a range of facilities, resources and study spaces, in a stunning location.

Our postgraduate students have access to:

  • a dedicated study space with printing, copying and scanning facilities, overlooking the Meadows, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces
  • two research rooms, shared with undergraduates, housing some of our impressive book collections and a small selection of computing facilities
  • a large common room overlooking the Meadows, shared by graduate students and staff
  • our PhD study room (subject to available desk space, you may apply after your first year)
  • a number of small-scale teaching rooms, well-equipped with facilities such as data projection and smart boards
  • exhibition areas, filled with artefacts and artwork from our collections

All of our facilities are in addition to the multiple libraries and computer labs provided across the University’s estate. Many of our rooms overlook the Meadows.

Our location, right in the heart of Edinburgh, means you will be based close to the city’s cultural attractions and facilities, including a wealth of libraries, archives, museums and galleries, which provide uniquely rich support for the disciplines we teach.

This programme is specifically designed for students who anticipate progressing to a doctoral programme, but it can also function as excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

We require the following (with further details below):

  • Provisional supervision agreement between you and a primary supervisor, in writing
  • Research proposal
  • Qualifications at undergraduate level
  • References
  • Entry interview
  • Evidence of English language competency

Provisional supervision agreement

You must name a member of staff who has provisionally agreed, in writing, to supervise you in order for your application to be taken forward. Please ensure that the relevant correspondence is uploaded to your admissions application. This statement of support is provisional, pending assessment of your application and your performance at an interview. If you haven’t approached a member of our academic staff yet, please use the following staff list to help you find a supervisor in the subject area of your interest.

Research proposal

You must submit a research proposal (in a Word or PDF document) demonstrating your knowledge of your field of research. This will be closely scrutinised as part of the decision making process. Guidance on writing a research proposal can be found online:

Qualifications

A UK 2:1 honours degree, a minimum US 3.25 GPA or international equivalent, in a subject related to your programme.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant professional experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

You will need to submit your undergraduate degree certificates and transcripts in order to be considered for MSc by Research admission. For instructions on how to upload any additional documents after you have submitted your application, please follow the support guidance:

References

You must submit two references with your application.

Entry interview

If you have met all of the entry requirements, you will need to attend an online interview with potential supervisors. The interview should last 20-30 minutes. Please note that an offer to study is subject to a successful interview.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScREconomic and Social History1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScREconomic and Social 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 government loan schemes. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

Please note that the funding applications have their own separate timelines and you will need to be conscious of this when applying for funding.

When you submit your MScR study application in the application portal a deadline is generated automatically. This deadline will differ from any funding deadlines. Scholarship application deadlines should be followed if applying for funding.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 1 August 2024

If you are applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

You must submit a research proposal demonstrating your knowledge of your field of research as outlined under the entry requirements.

Two supervisors (sometimes more) will be appointed to work with you on the project. You must contact a prospective primary supervisor before applying: they will be required to provide a brief statement of provisional support, which should be included with your documents.

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

Further information

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