About the School of History
The School of History is one of the largest Arts and Humanities Schools within the University of St Andrews, with over 80 members of staff actively involved in teaching and research. This allows the School to offer a broad and varied portfolio of teaching covering all periods from the fourth century to the present day. Its geographical coverage ranges from Scotland to South Asia, the Middle East to the Far East, and North Africa to North America.
Thematic interests in the School include:
- the history of religion and law
- social, economic and environmental history
- intellectual history
- nationalism and transnationalism.
Cutting-edge research combined with teaching excellence offers a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.
Historians at St Andrews study all periods, from late antiquity through medieval and early modern to late modernity. Together, the School's academics investigate the histories of religion, politics, law, commerce, science and the environment.
The School's researchers are interested in the formal institutions that shape human life in these spheres, and in the practices and experiences of people working and living within their influence. Researchers explore transnational and cross-cultural encounters, and the ways that knowledge, people, goods and beliefs move through time and place.
The School has a long-established international reputation for research excellence. 80% of the School's research output in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) was judged to be in the highest two categories of ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’. The School was seventh in the UK for research impact.
The School of History prides itself on small group teaching and tutorials allowing for in-depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. The School of History was ranked first in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2021 and third in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2022 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.
The School of History's Strategic Plan 2020-2025 outlines its dedication to outstanding teaching and research over a broad chronological and geographical range. The School aims to foster a friendly and inclusive atmosphere that enables students and staff to do their best work. It is also committed to sharing its research widely, and to making history relevant and useful to contemporary audiences.
The School occupies three sites in the historic centre of St Andrews. St Katharine's Lodge, on the Scores, is a former private school overlooking St Andrews Bay, and houses teaching space, administration and staff offices, mostly for Modern History. The delivery of Medieval History is centred on 71 South Street, close to the town’s medieval cathedral priory and other historic buildings, and the adjacent St John’s House houses Reformation and Early Modern History, for both teaching and research. Historians of the Middle East have a suite of rooms in United Colleges in St Salvator's Quad. Scottish history is delivered out of both St Katharine’s Lodge and South Street.