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Global Empires


Much contemporary debate relates to global patterns and global change, and also to the history of the European empires which were a key part of 'globalization' from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. This course addresses issues of growing concern, and builds on the current expertise within our department to offer a distinctive programme which is not found in any other Scottish university.

Closing date: For entry Sept 2014, apply before 18th July 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK

Why study Global Empires at Dundee?

This degree programme is designed to provide you with an understanding of the development of the major European empires from the early modern period to the present. The course provides an opportunity for you to examine issues such as the impact of empires on the rest of the world, their rivalries, and the economic consequences of their imperial activity.

The course is taught by leading specialists in American, Spanish, Dutch and British history and utilises archival and digital resources held at the university and in nearby collections.

As the leading History department in Scotland for research output at international standard (RAE2008 results), we offer students an unparalleled opportunity to experience teaching at the sharp end of current research scholarship.

The MLitt in Global Empires is a pathway on the MLitt in Humanities with Specialisation programme.

"Study at Dundee was a rewarding experience in a welcoming academic community"
Blair Smith, postgraduate student.

Who should study this course?

This course is suitable for all students who wish to gain a grounding in, and a deeper appreciation of, the major topics and historiography of the major European global empires and the historical origins of modern globalisation.

It is also suitable if you are interested in gaining additional skills and knowledge to further your employment prospects.

If you wish to proceed to further study for a PhD, this course will also provide you with the necessary research skills.

Research Skills

You will gain skills in various historical approaches as well as practical skills in areas such oral history or historical databases. The dissertation will provide an opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate advanced research skills, particularly important if you are interested in doctoral study.

Aims of the Programme

The central aim of this course is to examine the many different interpretations of aspects of imperial and global history and you will be encouraged to think critically about the various ways in which historians have viewed these developments over the past five centuries.

In addition the course aims to equip you with the core competencies, knowledge and skills required to understand and interpret sources and historiography in the context of your own research and to gain experience in using those skills in independent research.

Finally the course aims to further develop your written communication and presentation skills.

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught primarily by the History team, based in the School of Humanities.

The course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis.

How is the course taught?

The modules are taught through mixtures of introductory lectures, seminars, involving students in weekly journals, and groupwork.

Programme content

The course consists of:

The core modules will provide you with an understanding of the major theoretical approaches to history; an understanding of the ranges of sources used by historians, their uses and limitations; some skills in historical research techniques such as oral history and databases.

The optional modules will provide you with an understanding of the major issues in current historical research on a specific area of the history of global empires, and allow you to compare the conclusions, approaches and research methods of different historians.


Due to the non-vocational nature of a History degree many students enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

However, for those wishing to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museum or archivist work, the job market is competitive, and the MLitt will provide students with a chance to further their knowledge and understanding of Scottish history and to demonstrate advanced research skills necessary for work in archives or heritage.

The course will therefore contribute to enhancing prospects in careers such as: teaching, libraries, archives, museums, heritage and tourism industries, as well as providing content relevant to the continuing professional development of employees in many public-facing roles.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

Entry Requirements

Students will normally be expected to have a 2:1 honours degree in History or a related discipline. Applicants with alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience may also be considered.

English Language Requirement

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 7.0 overall, with no component less than 7.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15 £3,800 £11,500

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of Humanities scholarships can be found on the School of Humanities scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

How to Apply

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Course Contact

Dr Matthew Ward
School of Humanities
School of Humanities
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384181 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384181 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)