Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

MA Scottish Studies

UCAS code: Q501

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Scottish Studies

Scotland is a vibrant, modern European nation, with a rich, varied and fascinating heritage. How can we best study such a nation, and how can we make sense of its past, its present and help to shape its future?

This is an interdisciplinary programme which allows you to draw on arts, humanities and social science approaches to the study of the nation from a variety of perspectives.

While based within the School of Literature, Languages and Cultures, and therefore emphasising these particular topics of study, you are encouraged to engage with a range of subject areas across the University which share a common interest in the study of Scotland.

You may wish to draw on courses from Celtic, history, politics, sociology and archaeology, and combine these with courses which focus on ethnology, heritage, the creative arts and cultural expression.

You will study Scottish cultural history and tradition and discover how literature, music and visual arts helped to shape Scottish identity. The complex relationship between culture and politics is considered, and parallels with other countries are made throughout the programme to place Scotland in its wider international context.

Our internationally renowned archives are available for study and research. You can also access important collections in the National Library of Scotland, National Museum of Scotland and National Archives of Scotland.

These traditional sources, brought together with modern multimedia and digital data, offer you an unparalleled collection of materials with which to work, and upon which you can build a portfolio of interests and research topics, culminating in your own choice of dissertation in your honours years.

Year 1

You will be introduced to Scottish cultural history, tradition, heritage, politics and cultural expression. You will choose a range of courses that relate to historical or contemporary Scotland. You can also choose courses from other academic areas.

Year 2

You will continue to study Scottish culture. Courses cover topics such as Scottish film, photography and television, intellectual history and philosophy. You can continue to choose courses from other academic areas.

Year 3

You will start to develop your research skills and study your chosen subjects in more detail. Subjects offered at honours level include history, literature, ethnology, Celtic, sociology, politics, art history and architectural history.

Year 4

You will continue to study the subjects that interest you and will complete your honours dissertation. You will also take part in a series of seminars on a range of themes you have covered in the Scottish Studies programme.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2018/19)

Our facilities

Most teaching will take place at facilities located within the University’s Central Area.

You will have access to the University’s research, study and library facilities, including specialist collections within Celtic and Scottish Studies in George Square. These include the School of Scottish Studies Archives, a unique and extensive collection of audio and visual material relating to the culture and tradition of Scotland.

Study abroad

Opportunities to study abroad are available in this subject area.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and small-group tutorials.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through exams, coursework and new forms of assessment including audio and video presentations.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2018/19)

Upon graduation you will have the ability to engage with 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.

As such, our graduates are highly valued as they bring to the workplace a wide range of key skills in research, analysis, communication and presentation as well as a strong understanding of culture and society. These are highly positive skills to possess in a rapidly changing world and your qualification will serve you very well wherever the future takes you.

Your enhanced ability to think for yourself, to distil complex issues down to their central points, and to understand the reasons for societal change, will arm you for a career in many different sectors and professions. These include areas such as teaching, museums and heritage, arts and cultural management, tourism, broadcasting, the media and policy development.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Access threshold

The access threshold for a contextual offer is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Find out more about access thresholds and contextual offers

Detailed requirements for all applicants

To be considered for an offer of a place all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C. (Revised 22/10/2018 to reflect that we no longer require Mathematics or an approved science.)
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English at Grade C or 4. (Revised 22/10/2018 to reflect that we no longer require Mathematics or an approved science.)
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL: English at 5. (Revised 22/10/2018 to reflect that we no longer require Mathematics or an approved science.)

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Scottish Studies

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding