Undergraduate study - 2020 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, embark on your dissertation, 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 (2019/20)

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.

What are my options for going 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 (2019/20)

As a Scottish Studies graduate, 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. An in-depth knowledge of Scottish culture is increasingly relevant to employers both at home and overseas, given Scotland’s links with countries across the world.

Scottish Studies graduates are highly valued in the workplace for the skills they have gained in research, analysis, communication and presentation, as well as a strong understanding of culture and society. The ability to undertake fieldwork, emphasised in some of our courses, is seen by many employers as a desirable skill.

A number of the themes covered in our programme, for example traditional music and song, align with Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. These and other traditional arts, such as storytelling, have many applications, e.g. working with older people, in community education, healthcare and outreach activities.

Graduates have developed successful careers in areas such as broadcasting and the media, museums and heritage, publishing, arts and cultural management, tourism, and policy development, and there are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with the honours years in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABBB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AABB - ABBB')
  • A Levels: ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAB - ABB'.)
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '34 (655 at HL). Revised 11/12/2019 from '36 (665 at HL) - 34 (655 at HL)'.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: English at grade C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5.

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 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.


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)

English language tests

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

  • 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

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications 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 or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

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 Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Scottish Studies

Additional costs

There may be additional costs if you choose to study abroad in Year 3.


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