History at Dundee key facts

  • Modern History (from 1500), specialising in Global, American, Atlantic, European, British & Scottish History
  • Choose to study History alongside many other subjects including English, Politics, Philosophy & Psychology
  • Opportunities to spend a year or a semester studying overseas - Europe, North America or Australia
  • Hands-on History with access to our excellent Archives Department
  • Student-run History Society which organises trips to places of historical interest and social events
  • Competitive scholarships available

Student Life at Dundee key facts

  • One-stop compact city campus - virtually traffic-free, with attractive landscaped spaces
  • The City of Dundee - small and friendly
  • Dundee University Students' Association (DUSA) is regularly top of student polls, and houses Dundee's largest nightclub
  • Excellent Campus Sporting facilities for competitors or just keeping fit
  • En-suite accommodation on & near campus guaranteed to new students (who apply by the deadline)

History degree courses at Dundee

Our undergraduate degrees are four-year Master of Arts degrees, MA History or MA Scottish Historical Studies, on their own or combined with many other named subjects (check the prospectus for the full list).

The highly flexible Scottish MA degree allows you to choose the subjects you would like to study for the first two years, before you decide on a specialisation.

Suitably qualified students with A levels may be able to enter at Level 2 (i.e. 2nd year), and graduate after three years.

Find out more our History degree courses below:

Hands-on History

Hands-on History

At Dundee we have a ‘hands on’ approach to doing history, and part of the joy of being a historian is decoding documents from the past. From the very start of your studies, you will be encouraged to use primary sources in constructing historical arguments, whether that be in a tutorial or seminar discussion or in written work submitted for History courses. These sources include various kinds of historical evidence, including written and oral evidence, 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. Annual prizes are awarded to the best History students for the demonstration of archival research in their essays.

Field trips are also 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.

All of the teaching at Dundee is closely related to the research of staff. What lecturers are working on, the documents they are discovering and using in their writing, all find their way into the classroom. In this way our teaching is comes from the cutting-edge historical enquiry and is also informed by the debate this sometimes provokes.


What you will study

What you will study

We offer a wide spectrum of expertise and different approaches to teaching and writing history. Scottish history is taught in wider British and Irish contexts, for example. European, American, Atlantic, and global history are taught from the seventeenth century down to almost contemporary events. In Dundee, we are particularly interested in the history of empire (i.e. the rise, decline and fall of empires, how they work, how they are conceptualized etc.).

We are interested in looking at history differently, and from new perspectives, whether that is a global approach to history or the study of gender and women’s history or local and military history. 

In first and second year, you will do survey modules covering large tracts of time.  As you develop as a trained historian in third and fourth year, you will do in-depth Special Subjects focusing on areas of staff expertise.

Your degree at Dundee culminates with an Independent Study Project: your own project, your own questions, your own research and your own original findings.

Our aim is to train you to think like a historian. You will be able to formulate and to ask questions about the past and importantly to have the skills to answer them on your own terms.


Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad

We offer you plenty of opportunities to benefit from international study, too. Studying abroad improves your academic experience and gives important social experience and contacts which can benefit you throughout your life and your working career.  Your studying abroad usually allows you to gain credits overseas and they will contribute to your University of Dundee degree.

History students taking part in these opportunities usually go away during their second year, though there are various different arrangements possible. The list of partner institutions varies from year to year, but currently includes France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain, plus five Universities in the US, six in Canada, five in Australia and two in Hong Kong.

Read more on our Studying Abroad website

Outside the Classroom

Outside the Classroom

Studying history is not just about books and documents. We can know something about the past by visiting museums and studying a range of material artefacts, be these paintings of the Dutch Golden Age or the uniforms worn by Black Watch soldiers.  Feature films and documentaries are also important sources for historical ideas and a focus for our study at Dundee too.

Away from the library and classroom there is the vibrant, student-run History Society, which organises trips to places of historical interest, and social events like pub quizzes and parties.

Your Future

Looking to your Future

We aim to teach you to think critically about the world from different historical perspectives. We want you to be an independent thinker, and to bring the analytical and communication skills of the trained historian to the workplace you choose after you leave us.

These analytical skills make a History degree one of the most valued qualifications, and are highly sought after by employers.

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

"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."Karen Nichols

Our recent graduates have gone into the media, teaching, politics, business, finance, the diplomatic service, and many other dynamic high-earning careers. Don't just take our word for it, read our Graduate Profiles to meet some of our former students and find out what they are doing now.

Remember, it is not just your degree discipline that determines your options.

Visit the University Careers Service website for more information

To find out more ...

  1. Entry requirements for Scottish, UK, European & International applicants can be found in the online University Prospectus
  2. More details about what you will study in the online University Prospectus
  3. Fees information is also in the online University Prospectus
  4. Find out about Scholarships available for History students
  5. Visit us, come to History on a Visit Day, see the campus for yourself, and meet the team here
  6. Apply for History at Dundee, via UCAS