This module explores the range of education provision and providers from medieval times onwards, from primary to tertiary levels, in particular tracing the slow journey through the 18th and 19th centuries towards the establishment of a universal, free and compulsory system of elementary education.  It examines contemporary attitudes towards educating the children of the labouring classes and the legislative framework underpinning the development of education provision.   

The main elements covered in the module are

  • Historical background from the medieval period detailing the development of different types of schools including those in Scotland, and the range of different providers
  • Primary and secondary sources for the study of the history of education, schools, teachers and pupils,  including printed histories, parliamentary reports, records of the managing organisations, records of schools and other educational establishments as well as accounts of schooldays in literature and personal reminiscences
  • Workhouse and industrial schools, and reformatories
  • Special education provision, including education for working children, trade and craft schools and schools for blind and deaf children
  • Higher education
  • Teacher training
  • Adult education and self-improvement

Module code


Number of credits

10 SCQF credits (5 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)


Rosemary Steer

When available?

September semester