Health, Politics and Society in the Scottish Highlands, 1840-1945 module (HY52026)

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Module code


The module will cover the following topics:

  • The Highland Clearances: origins, famine and emigration
  • The Highland Land War and land reform
  • Government intervention in the Highlands: land, politics and health
  • The role of the Poor Law
  • The Highland and Islands Medical service


This module is assessed as follows:

  • Essay - 4,000 words (55%)
  • Assessed tasks - 2 short essays of c. 1,000 words (30%)
  • Module journal - c. 500 words every 2 weeks (15%)

Intended learning outcomes

This module will focus on fostering a critical engagement of the historiography of the Scottish Highlands & Islands, questioning why a peripheral rural region of Scotland experienced increasing governmental intervention throughout the nineteenth century in the political, social and health spheres. Using contemporary and modern sources students will obtain a critical understanding of the issues that shaped the modern Highlands by developing:

  • An appreciation of scholarly debates on the key issues of Highland history
  • An understanding of the relationship of the Highlands with the rest of Scotland and the UK
  • An ability to critically evaluate crucial historiography connected to the Highlands


  • To engage with the key historical debates and issues surrounding the modern history of the Scottish Highlands & Islands, from clearance to modernity
  • To provide students with a critical understanding of the issues which have shaped changing perceptions of the Scottish Highlands & Islands
  • To provide students with an understanding of the forces that shaped the modernisation of the Highlands


Dr Patricia Whatley


All teaching will be carried out via the VLE.  This flexible distance learning module requires c.15 hours per week of study for approximately 15 weeks.