Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Scottish Studies

Why choose Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh?

  • This programme explores contemporary Scotland and its culture, tradition and representation.

  • The highly flexible approach allows you to study a wide range of disciplines such as literature, history, art, music, politics, sociology and language.

  • Being based in the Scottish capital city you will have direct access to the key political, cultural and historical institutions and resources required for the detailed study of contemporary Scotland.

Study abroad

The programme has given me a very broad base of key skills to build on, such as working to deadlines, research techniques, information assimilation, presentation skills and report writing.

Scott Orkney MA (Hons) Scottish Studies graduate
Scott Orkney MA (Hons) Scottish Studies graduate

Scottish Studies is the study of Scottish culture past and present, with a particular focus on creative arts and cultural expression.

At Edinburgh you will study Scottish cultural history and tradition and discover how literature, music and visual arts helped to shape Scottish identity. Parallels with other countries are made throughout the programme to place Scotland in context.

The department hosts internationally renowned archives, which 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.

In addition to compulsory courses in Scottish studies, you will study relevant courses from other areas, including Scottish ethnology, Celtic, politics, art history and literature. You will also carry out a research project in your chosen area of interest.

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.

Are there additional costs?


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

There are opportunities to study abroad through the Erasmus or international exchange programmes.

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.

The Scottish Studies programme prepares you for a career in arts development, tourism, the media, broadcasting or publishing.

The skills and knowledge you will gain from the programme can also be used to work within government departments, heritage organisations, research or education.

You may also choose to go on to postgraduate study.