Short Courses

Learning from the Past

Fascinating Short Courses in History and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

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The past causes the present, and so the future.

Whether it’s the mythologies of ancient Egypt, medieval encounters between the Scots and English or your own family history, the past offers learning opportunities for us all.

And this summer the University of Edinburgh presents a range of fascinating Short Courses that will help you explore the past and understand its impact on the here and now.

Discover more below….


A Day of Scottish Heraldry

Heraldry – the system by which coats of arms and other armorial bearings are devised, described and regulated.

Heraldry is often dismissed as mere symbology. However, on this course, you’ll examine the body of laws and historical, legal and ceremonial context that in fact makes it a strictly regulated part of modern Scotland.

This one day course culminates in a heraldic tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.


The Battle of Otterburn: England and Scotland at War

This Battle of Otterburn took place in 1388 and is considered one of the most fascinating medieval encounters between the Scots and the English. The battle was won by the Scots, yet it was the defeated English commander, Sir Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, who achieved legendary status.

On this one day course, you’ll explore the causes of Anglo-Scottish conflict in the 14th Century and analyse the methods and motivations of those engaged in late medieval warfare. You’ll be guided through a reconstruction of the battle before discussing the military and political outcomes.


Introduction to Scottish Genealogy

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about your own family history then this one day course is for you!

You’ll learn the skills and find the resources necessary to research, compile, prove and display your own family trees, or those of others. You’ll learn about the basics of roots research, using genealogical source material available both online and from a variety of archived and published sources.


Viridaria perpulchra: Gardens in and around Rome during the High Renaissance and early Baroque

The Renaissance popes commissioned magnificent terraces and gardens in the Vatican. Other wealthy individuals and cardinals, escaping the heat of the city, built elaborate gardens in their hillside villas.

On this course, you’ll discover some of the key examples from the period and evaluate the social, artistic and literary importance of these most beautiful pleasure gardens.


World Mythologies

Mythology is a key feature of human culture around the globe and one through which key experiences are enshrined.

From one-eyed giants to pyramids, this course will guide you through one of humanity’s most fascinating global and ancient aspects. You’ll explore Graeco-Roman, Egyptian, and Near Eastern mythologies and approach them from a comparative perspective, in particular, Celtic, Germanic, Norse, and North-American myths.


This is just a taste of the courses on offer this Summer. Click below to explore the full programme.

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