Scotland: Restoration, Revolution and Union, 1660-1707

On this page


Module code


  • Level 4
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%


This module aims to explore the political, social, cultural, and economic development of Scotland in its final phase as an independent kingdom, from the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the passage of the Treaty of Union in 1707. Through consideration of cross-cutting themes (for example 'politics and government', 'Parliament', 'the religious question', and 'the Highland problem') within an overall chronological framework, students will acquire an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of Scottish politics and society, alongside a nuanced appreciation of Scotland's place within the broader British conglomerate monarchy.

Weekly seminars, which will be a mixture of events- and theme-driven, would include:

  • The Restoration Settlement
  • Politics and Government
  • The Scottish Parliament in Context
  • Presbyterians, Episcopalians and the Religious Question
  • The 'Glorious' Revolution
  • King William's 'Ill' Years
  • The British Question I: Conglomerate Monarchy
  • The British Question II: Making the Union
  • The Highland Problem


Dr Allan Kennedy


The module is underpinned by an educational philosophy that aims to equip students with the intellectual and practical skills necessary to function in a wide range of employment environments. Principal among these skills are the ability to think independently, to approach source material critically and empathetically, to evaluate large quantities of information efficiently, and to construct and deliver persuasive arguments, both orally and in writing. As such, the module will make use of a wide range of pedagogical approaches, including mini-lectures, seminar-style discussion, small-group discussion, and individual and co-operative tasks (focused especially on primary sources). 


This module is assessed as follows:

  • 4,000 word essay (50%)
  • Oral Presentation (15%)
  • Source-analysis Portfolio (35%)


Access the online reading list system

Module Aims

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Students will develop sophisticated knowledge and understanding about the broad development of Scotland between 1660 and 1707. Through analysis of major events/processes and cross-cutting themes, students will attain a deep understanding of continuity and change in Scottish politics, culture, society and economy. They will also engage in-depth with the question of Scotland’s relationship with the rest of British conglomerate monarchy, and of the various attempted solutions to this problem, up to an including the union of 1707. In the process, students will deepen their knowledge about the dynamics of early modern states and societies more generally.

Subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes

Students participating in this module will be expected to read widely from a range of secondary and comparative materials. This will develop their skills in filtering large quantities of material for relevant information, weighing the quality of arguments, and locating and extracting fresh knowledge. The module will also include substantial use of primary materials, requiring students as a consequence to hone their skills in the critical analysis of original sources. Through careful consideration of the themes and processes under review, students will develop a nuanced understanding of the nature of early modern society, the processes of state-formation, and the relationship between state and society, particularly but not exclusively within a Scottish/British context. 

Transferable, employability and enterprise skills and attributes

Through face-to-face interactions with the tutor and with classmates in a seminar environment, students will develop oral communication skills that will be of significant value in most professional environments.  Varied teaching strategies, incorporating large- and small-group discussion, group and individual tasks, and individual presentations, will allow them to develop these skills in a range of contexts. Seminar sessions will, additionally, encourage students to develop good listening and attentiveness skills. The module, and in particular its assessment diet, will similarly help students hone their written communication skills.

More broadly, the module – particularly through its reliance on collaborative work – will help students develop courteous, professional, and ethical behaviour patterns. Skills related to time management, personal organization, and self-motivation will also be sharpened during the module.