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History/Scottish Historical Studies

MA (Hons)

At Dundee, you can study either History or Scottish Historical Studies, where you specialise in modules with a Scottish focus. Whichever course you choose, you'll benefit from interaction with experts who are at the forefront of their field.

Our emphasis is on 'doing history' and you will use a wide variety of primary sources (original documents) from archives and libraries right from the start.

Why study History at Dundee?

At Dundee we believe in research-led teaching. That is to say, historians create modules around their areas of interest or the historical problems on which they are working. We regularly update our curriculum to reflect cutting-edge research.

All our lecturers are internationally-recognised experts in their fields, and we are currently rated as the top history department in Scotland for the proportion of world-class and internationally excellent research (in the RAE2008 national rankings).

You will be joining a dynamic and friendly environment, and we offer a broad training which will benefit you in your later career.

History at Dundee is both rigorous and enjoyable. Students recently described our modules as 'inspirational', 'intellectually challenging', 'enjoyable and above all informative'. Our teaching staff are all highly committed to ensuring that you achieve your full potential as a historian.

Who studies History?

If you have a curiosity about the past, an enquiring and analytical mind, a desire to form your own independent judgements and enjoy a lively and academically rigorous debate, History is for you.

The History programme at Dundee "is one that cares about its students and does its utmost to help and make students feel welcome".
Recent graduate comment

History student and graduate profiles »

What's so good about History at Dundee?

Evidence-based study

From the very start of your studies, you will be analysing various kinds of historical evidence, including written and oral material, maps, and visual images. You will benefit from our close links with the University's Archives, Records Management and Museum Services, and you will be able to examine many original historical sources first-hand. You will also learn about historical debates and how to form your own judgements about complex problems.

"All the modules I have taken have proved to be intellectually stimulating. My degree studies have improved my confidence particularly in public speaking and communication. I have become more open minded and critical in my outlook on perceived historical facts and can now form my own opinions."
Final year student comment from the National Student Survey 2010

Field Trips

Field trips are offered on several modules, and there have been recent excursions to Madrid, Prague, and North America, as well as more local places like Dundee's historic dockyards. Visits are organised alongside our active Student History Society.

Degree Combinations

  • MA History
  • MA Scottish Historical Studies

Degree combinations with a language (choose from French, German, or Spanish):

  • MA History with one language
  • MA Scottish Historical Studies with one language
  • MA History and European Languages (two languages)
  • MA History and English with one language
  • MA History and European Studies with one language
  • MA History and International Relations with one language
  • MA History and Philosophy with one language
  • MA History and Politics with one language

Teaching & Assessment

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

As you progress through the different stages of your studies, we will help you to master a variety of key skills, including palaeography, database analysis, and team work. We will also assist you in developing your skills in source analysis as you look closely at a wider range of sources used by historians, including correspondence, photographs, feature films, architecture, art and music. In your final year, you will have an opportunity to apply these skills by writing a dissertation on a topic of your own choosing.

How you will be taught

You will encounter a range of different teaching methods, from lectures and tutorials, to seminars and workshops. All modules are extensively supported by MyDundee, our virtual learning environment, which provides up-to-date module information, discussion forums, access to online resources, and many other things.

"So many interesting subjects and too little time to do them all"
Comment from a recent History graduate

What you will study

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in three years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 below. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

Visit the MA overview page for general information on our MA degree programme.

Level 1

A total of 6 modules, two of which include:

  • Age of Revolution c.1750 to 1850: HY11004
    Semester 2, 20 credits
    What do we mean by the term 'revolution' and are there differing definitions of what is meant by revolution when applied to events taking place across Europe and North America during the period 1750 to 1850? This module aims to address such questions by examining the political and social impact of revolution in America and France, the causes and consequences of Industrial Revolution in Britain, the revolution in ideas during the Enlightenment, over the period 1750 and 1850, and debates and interpretations about this 'age of revolution'. This module will also promote an awareness of a range of different approaches and sources which are available for the study of the past through a broad comparative survey of different peoples and different states.

    Find out more about HY11004

  • The Rise of Atlantic Empires, 1500-1750: HY11005
    Semester 1, 20 credits
    This module will provide a comparative understanding of the development of European Empires in Africa and the Americas between 1500-1750. It will also examine the origins of modern "globalisation" and improve students' abilities to read original sources (in English translation) and use them towards constructive argument. You will have an understanding of the major forces that shaped the expansion of Europe from the 15th to the 18th centuries and an appreciation of the comparative development of British, French, Spanish and Dutch empires.

    Read more about HY11005

Plus 4 other MA modules.

Level 2

A total of 6 modules, including:

  • The Great War and History: Debates and Perspectives: HY21003
    Semester 1, 20 credits
    This module uses the First World War as a case study of different approaches to the study of History. Its main aims are (1) to provide a critical perspective on how different historical schools have approached the conflict from 1918 to the present, (2) to explore how and why national cultures understand the war differently from one another, (3) to examine global and transnational perspectives on the war, and (4) to reflect critically on key debates about the conflict in light of the above aims. Specific themes include: the development of Great War historiography since 1918; global and colonial contexts of the war; the economic, political, and cultural impacts; the frontline experience; the civilian experience; gender and medical histories of the conflict; bereavement and mourning; public histories, including official commemoration and popular media portrayals; local histories of the Great War; legacies.

    Find out more about HY21003

  • Europe in Transition, 1870-1922: HY22004
    Semester 2, 20 credits
    How did Europe become 'modern'? Globalisation started already in the 19th century with the transition from slow moving agricultural societies to modern, fast-moving, inter-connected, industrial societies with mass-politics and mass-culture, extending from Europe across the globe. This module provides you with a survey of the major aspects of political, economic, social and cultural developments in Europe from 1870 to 1922. This was an age of rapid transition from pre-democratic, agricultural village society to urban mass-society, globalising economic structures, rising prosperity and political democratisation.

    Find out more about HY22004

Plus 4 other MA modules.

Level 3

Single Honours History / Scottish Historical Studies students must take Making History: Issues in the Study of the Past - HY31029 plus three other History modules from:

Level 4

Students typically study a Special Subject Module, plus two other History modules (one may be the Independent Study Project), from the following:

Special Subjects

Scottish Historical Studies

You will normally follow the standard history route at Levels 1 and 2, and then at Levels 3 and 4 you will choose from a range of specifically Scottish modules, as well as others with a significant Scottish content. You will thus gain an essential grounding in history skills and knowledge, followed by specialisation in Scottish history.

How you will be assessed

We measure your progress and achievement in several ways, including essays, oral presentations, module journals and projects. Our modules range from 100% continuous assessment to 50% continuous assessment and 50% examination performance.

Careers

A history degree is an extremely valuable qualification. It provides a solid foundation in analytical skills which are highly sought after by employers.

The history programme at Dundee is designed to produce confident, intellectually-engaged graduates who can think creatively and independently, ask incisive questions, articulate their ideas, and solve complex problems.

Our recent graduates have gone into the media, teaching, politics, business, finance, the diplomatic service, and many other dynamic high-earning careers.

Karen Nichols, from Fife, graduated with a degree in Scottish Historical Studies. She now runs Scotia Heritage, a company offering historical tours.

Karen says "I think the main skill from studying history is how it shapes your thought processes. There are two sides to every story so analysing and questioning recorded data is essential as is the presentation of objective information. I was able to practice this skill in my seasonal tour guide employment. I present academically acquired information to a general public for their enjoyment."

In 2004 Claire Swan published her prize winning undergraduate dissertation as a short book entitled Scottish Cowboys and the Dundee Investors. Claire is now studying for her PhD in the Department.

Sir William Patey from Edinburgh graduated in 1975 with an MA in Modern History. He has been British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia since April 2007 having served as Ambassador to Iraq (2005-6) and to Sudan (2002-5).

See more History student and graduate profiles »

Postgraduate Study

Some graduates have continued their studies with us at postgraduate level, studying one of a range of MLitt Humanities programmes on offer.

Entry Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2014

Level 1 entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBBB AABB
GCE A-Level BCC BBB
ILC Higher AABB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects None, but see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects None, but see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
SQA A relevant HNC with grade B in the Graded Unit (Level 1 entry)
A relevant HND with grade BB in the Graded Units (Level 2 entry)
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher (Level 1 entry)
Distinction with AB at Advanced Higher (Level 2 entry)
SWAP Access Programmes Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Communication 4 plus Literature 1 (Level 1 entry)
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM (Level 1 entry)
A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD (Level 2 entry)
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B (Level 1 entry)
Grade A with ASL-A Level at B (Level 2 entry)
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB (Level 1 entry)
Pass with A Levels at AA (Level 2 entry)
European Baccalaureate

70% overall with 7 in English (Level 1 entry)
75% overall with 7.5 in English (Level 2 entry)

Entry to English Literature courses requires Higher at B, A-Level at C or equivalent in English/English Literature.
Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Joint Honours Degrees

For details of typical entry requirements for joint honours degrees, please visit the relevant webpage for the other subject.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBBB AABB
GCE A-Level BCC BBB
ILC Higher AABB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects None, but see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects None, but see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
SQA A relevant HNC with grade B in the Graded Unit (Level 1 entry)
A relevant HND with grade BB in the Graded Units (Level 2 entry)
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher (Level 1 entry)
Distinction with AB at Advanced Higher (Level 2 entry)
SWAP Access Programmes Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Communication 4 plus Literature 1 (Level 1 entry)
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM (Level 1 entry)
A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD (Level 2 entry)
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B (Level 1 entry)
Grade A with ASL-A Level at B (Level 2 entry)
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB (Level 1 entry)
Pass with A Levels at AA (Level 2 entry)
European Baccalaureate

70% overall with 7 in English (Level 1 entry)
75% overall with 7.5 in English (Level 2 entry)

Entry to English Literature courses requires Higher at B, A-Level at C or equivalent in English/English Literature.
Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Joint Honours Degrees

For details of typical entry requirements for joint honours degrees, please visit the relevant webpage for the other subject.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. 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 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

Fees and Funding

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee category Fees for students starting September 2014
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Students from the rest of the UK £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree.
You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
EU students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Overseas students (non-EU) £10,700 per year of study.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Fee category Scholarships & Bursaries applicable
Scottish students
Students from the rest of the UK
EU students
Overseas students (non-EU)

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

All applications must be made through UCAS

UCAS Codes

Institution Code: D65

Degree UCAS Codes KIS data
MA History V140 View KIS data for this course
MA Scottish Historical Studies V212 View KIS data for this course
MA History and Business Economics with Marketing LNV0 View KIS data for this course
MA History and Economics LV11 View KIS data for this course
MA History and English QV31 View KIS data for this course
MA History and European Studies RV81 View KIS data for this course
MA History and Geography LV71 View KIS data for this course
MA History and International Relations LV2C View KIS data for this course
MA History and Philosophy VV15 View KIS data for this course
MA History and Politics LV21 View KIS data for this course
MA History and Psychology CV81 View KIS data for this course
MA History with French V1R1 View KIS data for this course
MA History with German V1R2 View KIS data for this course
MA History with Spanish V1R4 View KIS data for this course
MA Scottish Historical Studies with French V2R1 View KIS data for this course
MA Scottish Historical Studies with German V2R2 View KIS data for this course
MA Scottish Historical Studies with Spanish V2R4 View KIS data for this course

UCAS Application Process


International Applicants

We have information specifically for international applicants on our International website:

What skills, qualities and experience do I need?

The Dundee MA degrees follow the distinctive pattern of many Scottish universities by offering a broad-based education that requires you to study a number of different subjects in Levels 1 and 2 (Level 2 only for Advanced Entry Honours degrees). You do not have to finalise your choice of degree course until you are better able to appreciate both the nature of the subjects you are studying and the relationships between them. However, you must make an initial choice of course on the application form and we would expect you to provide some evidence of your enthusiasm for your chosen course and details of any relevant experience.

We use a range of learning methods at Dundee: you will be expected to respond to the information and advice provided by academic staff, especially in lectures; to prepare for and participate in tutorial discussion or to work in practical classes; to work individually or in groups on set assignments such as essays and projects; and to 'read round' the subject. Consequently, we are looking for evidence that you are capable of working systematically, of responding to the guidance of your teachers, and that you have both the ability and enthusiasm to successfully complete a degree programme.

It is helpful if, in addition to demonstrating in your personal statement a commitment to the study of history, you can also indicate an interest in the wider arts. If you have undertaken a research project, tell us about it. If you are interested in a specific area of history explain why, and say something about your reading on the subject.

If your interest is especially towards Scottish History, again let us know of anything you have read or done which relates to this. You may also mention your involvement in other cultural activities and interests in current affairs and politics. If you have participated in broadly relevant events or activities (eg theatre, journalism, debates, social or charity work) we will be interested to know about it.

Mature students may relate how any life experiences will enhance their approaches to the study of history.

Tips for your application

What is important to us, in your application, is the evidence provided by the grades you have attained, or are predicted to attain, in your examinations, along with whatever you and your referee can point to indicating both your special interest in any of our subject areas, and your general liveliness of mind.

Your personal statement is an opportunity to say why you should be offered a place to study in Dundee. We are looking for applicants with an ability to express opinions clearly with reasoned support and evidence, who are open to critical guidance, and who have a commitment to high standards of achievement in all they do. These qualities can be demonstrated through academic attainment, paid or voluntary work, and extra-curricular activities of all kinds.

Referees should concisely indicate your analytical abilities, communication skills, capacity for academic work, and commitment to your studies. We will be interested to hear about examples of initiative, leadership, and any evidence of organisational skills. Indicators of a positive outlook and engagement with social and cultural activities will be welcome, as will an assessment of your potential to develop in the university environment.

We will consider applications to one or more MA courses at Dundee: each application will be considered on its merits. We are looking for applicants who either have achieved, or will achieve, the published requirements in terms of Highers, Advanced Highers, A-Levels or acceptable alternative qualifications.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in 3 years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Home / EU applicants

Undergraduate Admissions
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388074/ 388585/ 384370 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 01382 388074/ 388585/ 384370 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us

International applicants

International Office
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388 111 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 111 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us