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History

By studying history at St Andrews, you will experience a range of expertise in many areas of the past, including mediaeval and modern history from Scotland to Byzantium, the Americas, the Middle East and South Asia. Thematic interests within the School include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism.

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. Renowned research combined with teaching excellence offers a stimulating environment for the study of history.

Courses

Undergraduate

History MA (Hons)
History BA (International Hons)
Ancient History MA (Hons)
Mediaeval History MA (Hons)
Mediaeval Studies MA (Hons)
Middle East Studies MA (joint Hons)
Modern History MA (Hons)
Scottish History MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

The Ancient History, Mediaeval History, Middle East Studies, Modern History, and Scottish History MA (Hons) programmes can be taken with another subject as part of a joint degree or a "with" degree.

Postgraduate

Taught

Central Eastern European Studies MLitt
Early Modern History MLitt
Environmental History MLitt
Intellectual History  MLitt
Iranian Studies (not running for 2017 entry) MLitt
Legal and Constitutional Studies  MLitt/PGDip  
Mediaeval History  MLitt
Mediaeval Studies MLitt
Middle Eastern History MLitt
Modern History  MLitt
Reformation Studies MLitt
Scottish Historical Studies MLitt
The Book. History and Techniques of Analysis MLitt
Transnational, Global and Spatial History MLitt

PhDs

Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

 Undergraduates

Booking for our autumn visiting days will open in early September 2017.

  • Wednesday 27 September 2017
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017
  • Wednesday 18 October 2017
  • Wednesday 25 October 2017
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017

 

Postgraduates

  • November 2017 - date to be confirmed.

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Latest in History at St Andrews

The Institute of Mediaeval Studies has a programme of seminars for Martinmas semester. The next seminar, 'Middle Persian Court Records' is on 17 October.

News

The next Modern History seminar will be on 'Popular Music, Inter-Generational Relations and Family Life in Britain, 1955-1975' on 14 November.

News

On 10 November 2016, the Scottish history seminar on 'The Scottish Disruption and the politics of colonial Auckland' took place.

News

History research areas

The School of History has around 50 academic members whose combined specialist interests cover a vast geographical area and chronological range. 

Research interests range from 6th-century Scotland to Iran in the early 21st century (and many other places in between). There are particular strengths in mediaeval, Middle Eastern, transnational, British, Continental European and US history, as well as groupings focused on Reformation, environmental and intellectual history. As befits Scotland’s oldest university, the School is also a leading centre of Scottish historical research.

Mediaeval history

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research in the area of mediaeval history:

  • Professor Frances Andrews: late mediaeval Europe, in particular Italy; ecclesiastical and religious history.
  • Dr Michael Brown: political society of Scotland c.1250–c.1500 and the relationships between the various communities of the British Isles during the same period.
  • Dr Ana del Campo: mediaeval Christian religion and its practice; history of women in the Middle Ages; historiography.
  • Dr Rory Cox: late mediaeval intellectual history; military history and just war doctrine; mediaeval assassination.
  • Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker: mediaeval France (1150–1450); political and legal history; revolts and rebellions; archives.
  • Dr Timothy Greenwood: mediaeval Byzantium and the Near East (6th to 11th centuries) with particular interest in the Caucasus and Sasanian Persia.
  • Professor John Hudson: mediaeval legal history; mediaeval historical writing; political and social history of 9th to 13th centuries England and France; 19th-century writings on legal and constitutional history of England.
  • Professor Caroline Humfress: Roman law and legal history (Classical, Postclassical, Mediaeval); modern legal theory; law and anthropology; religious, cultural and political history c.285–c.600 AD; history of ideas.
  • Dr Dimitris Kastritsis: the political, cultural, and intellectual history of the early and classical Ottoman Empire, Byzantium, and the larger Islamic world, particularly in the late Middle Ages.
  • Professor Simon MacLean: early mediaeval Europe (8th to 11th centuries), in particular the political, social and cultural history of the Carolingian Empire and its successor kingdoms; the Vikings; kingship and queenship.
  • Dr Christine McGladdery: the relationship between crown and nobility in the 15th century.
  • Dr James Palmer: Early Mediaeval Europe (sixth to ninth centuries), in particular the cultural and political history of the Merovingian and Carolingian kingdoms; Anglo-Saxon England; ‘Barbarians’ and Vikings; Saints’ cults and hagiography; Apocalypticism.
  • Dr Andrew Peacock: Middle Eastern and Islamic history and culture, c. 750–1650; Arabic and Persian historiography and manuscripts; history of the Indian Ocean region.
  • Dr Angus Stewart: the eastern Mediterranean world in the age of the Crusades, with a particular interest in diplomatic, cultural and military encounters – especially relating to the Mamluks, the Mongols and the Armenians.
  • Dr Alex Woolf: the late antique west (c.350–650); sub-Roman Britain; Anglo-Saxon England (particularly before 900); Dark Age economics; Celtic history to 1175; Scandinavian history from the Iron Age to c.1250.

Early modern history

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research in early modern history:

  • Dr David Allan: Scottish, British and European history from the 16th to the 20th centuries; cultural and intellectual history; historiography; the history of ideas and political thought.
  • Dr Emma Hart: early America; British Atlantic World; urban history in Britain and America 1660–1850; economic and social history in early modern Britain and America; material culture and the history of consumer society.
  • Dr Bridget Heal: European (especially German) religious and social history c.1450–1700, in particular the visual culture of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and women’s history.
  • Professor Robert Houston: comparison of regional social relations from 1600 to 1850; contibutory weddings in Britain from 1500 to 1850; office of coroner in Scotland.
  • Professor Colin Kidd: early modern and modern intellectual history (broadly defined, including literature, anthropology, law and church history); constitutional theory; modern Scottish history; racial, national and ethnic identities.
  • Professor Roger Mason: political thought and culture in late mediaeval and early modern Scotland and Britain; Renaissance and Reformation Studies.
  • Dr Matthew McLean: scholarly culture of hte late Renaissance and early Reformation era.
  • Dr Emily Michelson: early modern Europe, with particular emphasis on renaissance and 16th-century Italy, the history of the book, and Italian religious culture in the Reformation period.
  • Professor Steve Murdoch: Scottish and British relations with Scandinavia and northern Europe 1560–1750; Scottish maritime history; European contacts with Asia c.1500–1750.
  • Dr Andrew Peacock: Middle Eastern and Islamic history and culture, from 750 to 1650; Arabic and Persian historiography and manuscripts; history of the Indian Ocean region.
  • Professor Andrew Pettegree: Reformation history; the history of communication – especially the history of the book.
  • Dr Jacqueline Rose: early modern British political, religious, and intellectual history – in particular kingship, counsel, religious identity, and toleration, c.1500–1700.
  • Dr Guy Rowlands: 17th and 18th-century European history – particular interest in military, naval and financial history, French history, and European international relations.
  • Dr Bernhard Struck: European history from the mid-18th century onward; German lands in relation to France and Poland.
  • Professor Richard Whatmore: early modern and modern intellectual history (including politics, international relations, political economy and religion); theories of empire; democracy and war; enlightenment and revolution; small states and failed states; relations between Britain and Europe.

Modern history

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research into modern history:

  • Professor Ali Ansari: history and historiography of modern Iran; ideology, myth and nationalism; social and intellectual history; Iran and the West.
  • Dr Riccardo Bavaj: 20th-century German history, with particular interest in intellectual, conceptual and spatial history, and with particular emphases on radicalism, liberalism, modernity and ‘the West’.
  • Dr John Clark: 19th and 20th-century British and Canadian history, including history of environment, science, and medicine (with particular interests in history of natural history, pollution, and environmentalism).
  • Dr Sarah Easterby-Smith: 18th-century science, society and culture.
  • Dr Kate Ferris: modern European history, with a focus on Italy and Spain from the late-19th to the mid-20th century, the history of everyday life and the ‘lived experience’ of dictatorship.
  • Professor Conan Fischer: history of Europe during the earlier 20th century; inter-war era; Nazism and German Communism; Weiman Germany and Franco-German relations during the inter-war period.
  • Dr Aileen Fyfe: British cultural history in the late 18th and 19th centuries, with particular emphases on science and technology, religion, the book trade and children’s literature.
  • Professor Gerard De Groot: 20th-century British and American history, including the atom bomb, World War I, the 1960s, the effects of war, and female soldiers.
  • Dr Tomasz Kamusella: the politics of language; cultures, politics and societies in modern central and eastern Europe; Europe’s Roma (‘Gypsies’); ethnic cleansing and genocide.
  • Dr Chandrika Kaul: British imperialism and print culture in the 19th and 20th centuries; modern South Asia, especially Indian history and politics; British media and popular culture including contemporary media; globalisation and transnational communications.
  • Professor Colin Kidd: early modern and modern intellectual history (broadly defined, including literature, anthropology, law and church history); constitutional theory; modern Scottish history; racial, national and ethnic identities
  • Dr Konrad Lawson: modern east Asian history (Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Korean peninsula); decolonisation in East and Southeast Asia; transitional justice, human rights, and international humanitarian law; aftermaths of modern war.
  • Dr Gillian Mitchell: post-1945 popular music in the United States, Britain and Canada.
  • Professor Frank Lorenz Müller: European history from 1815 to the Second World War; political and cultural history of Germany and Britain; nationalism, liberalism, imperialism, militarism, foreign policy, biography and the role of monarchy throughout the 19th century.
  • Dr Frances Nethercott: Russian 19th and 20th-century intellectual history with a particular focus on the dynamics of ‘cultural transfer’ across France, Germany and Russia; Russian historiography from the late 18th century to the present.
  • Dr James Nott: 20th-century British social and cultural history; popular culture and leisure (music and dance halls); history of mass media (cinema, radio, gramophone); the British Film Industry; the BBC; class and culture; interwar Britain; Second World War home front.
  • Dr Malcolm Petrie: political history of Scotland and Britain in the 20th century; political thought and the development of popular politics; Scottish nationalism and unionism; the Labour Party and the radical tradition; Communism and Fascism in inter-war Britain.
  • Dr Bernhard Struck: European history in comparative and translational perspective since later 18th century; history of travel, networks, cartography and science; representation of space and borderlands.
  • Dr Stephen Tyre: European (especially French) colonialism in the late 19th and 20th centuries; decolonisation; post-colonial Europe; 20th-century French history.
  • Professor Richard Whatmore: early modern and modern intellectual history (including politics, international relations, political economy and religion); theories of empire, democracy and war; enlightenment, revolution and the idea of Europe.
  • Dr Akhila Yechury: south Asian studies; comparative and global history in the 19th and 20th centuries; imperialism; the French in India.

Middle Eastern studies

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research into Middle Eastern studies:

  • Professor Ali Ansari: history and historiography of modern Iran; ideology, myth and nationalism; social and intellectual history; Iran and the West.
  • Dr Timothy Greenwood: mediaeval Byzantium and the Near East (6th to 11th centuries) with particular interest in the Caucasus and Sasanian Persia.
  • Dr Dimitris Kastritsis: the political, cultural, and intellectual history of the early and classical Ottoman Empire, Byzantium, and the larger Islamic world, particularly in the late Middle Ages.
  • Dr Andrew Peacock: Middle Eastern and Islamic history and culture from 750 to 1650; Arabic and Persian historiography and manuscripts; history of the Indian Ocean region.
  • Dr Angus Stewart: the eastern Mediterranean world in the age of the Crusades, with a particular interest in diplomatic, cultural and military encounters – especially relating to the Mamluks, the Mongols and the Armenians.
  • Dr Stephen Tyre: European (especially French) colonialism in the late 19th and 20th centuries; decolonisation; post-colonial Europe; 20th-century French history.

Scottish history

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research into Scottish History:

  • Dr David Allan: Scottish, British and European history from the 16th to the 20th centuries; cultural and intellectual history; historiography; the history of ideas and political thought.
  • Dr Michael Brown: political society of Scotland c.1250–c.1500 and the relationships between the various communities of the British Isles during the same period.
  • Professor Colin Kidd: early modern and modern intellectual history (broadly defined, including literature, anthropology, law and church history); constitutional theory; modern Scottish history; racial, national and ethnic identities.
  • Dr Christine McGladdery: the relationship between crown and nobility in the 15th century.
  • Professor Roger Mason: political thought and culture in late mediaeval and early modern Scotland and Britain; Renaissance and Reformation Studies.
  • Professor Steve Murdoch: Scottish and British relations with Scandinavia and northern Europe 1560–1750; Scottish maritime history; European contacts with Asia 1500–1750.
  • Dr Malcolm Petrie: political history of Scotland and Britain in the 20th century; political thought and the development of popular politics; Scottish nationalism and unionism; the Labour Party and the radical tradition; Communism and Fascism in inter-war Britain.
  • Dr Alex Woolf: the late antique west (c.350–650); sub-Roman Britain; Anglo-Saxon England (particularly before 900); Dark Age economics; Celtic history to 1175; Scandinavian history from the Iron Age to 1250.

History research groups

The School of History currently has 12 research groups:

St Andrews Institute for Mediaeval Studies

SAIMS brings together over thirty full-time academic staff of international standing and a number of research associates interested in interdisciplinary Mediaeval topics.

The Institute for Environmental History

In addition to research projects on, for example, waste and coastal archaeology, the Institute provides teaching on environmental history across a broad chronological span at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The St Andrews Reformation Studies Institute

In addition to hosting visiting scholars, holding a regular seminar and providing members of the editorial board of the St Andrews Studies in Reformation History, the Institute is home to a large number of postgraduate students on MLitt and PhD programmes.

St Andrews Centre for French History and Culture

The Centre was founded to focus and enhance existing strengths at St Andrews in the field of French history; it provides an intellectual and social focus for staff and graduate students working in any field and on any period related to the history of France.

The St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History

The Institute is a hub for scholars pursuing research projects, for the teaching of intellectual history, for individuals and groups seeking access to the activities of intellectual historians internationally, and for the history of intellectual history itself through our archive.

The Institute for Iranian Studies

This Institute encourages and facilitates research and teaching in all aspects of Iranian civilisation and culture. The philosophy of the Institute is inclusivity and engagement.

The St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research

This Institute focuses research into Scotland’s past at the University of St Andrews and draws together the excellence and expertise of nearly a dozen historians of Scotland and St Andrews.

Centre for Russian, Soviet and Central and Eastern European Studies

This centre aims to promote the study of Russia, the former Soviet Union, and Central and Eastern Europe by bringing together staff and students from different academic disciplines with interests in this field.

Institute of Transnational & Spatial History

The School of History is home to a large group of historians who share interests in the field of comparative and transnational history ranging from the late-18th to the late-20th century and covering geographical areas including Western, Central and East-Central Europe, as well as North Africa, Iran and North America.

Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature

The Centre is a forum that welcomes all staff and postgraduates whose exploration in other fields of historical and literary research involves them in encounters with legal concepts and texts.

The Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research

This Institute is the home of outstanding cross-disciplinary research in the fields of law, legal history and constitutionalism at the University of St Andrews.

Centre for Anatolian and East Mediterranean Studies

The Centre aims to promote research on the history and culture of the lands of Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity to the First World War. It promotes interdisciplinary research by bringing together historians, art historians and language and literature specialists.

History research portal

Careers for graduates in History

History courses at St Andrews aim to prepare you for careers in academia, business, government and international organisations.

The analytical and communication skills acquired and mastered through the study of history are highly prized by a wide range of employers. Popular employment areas amongst graduates include:

  • service industries
  • law
  • the British Army
  • the financial sector (Barclays Bank, Deloitte & Touche)
  • arts and the media (Sky TV, Pavilion Films)
  • the government
  • teaching – primary and secondary as well as teaching English abroad (Japan and Africa)
  • children’s charities 
  • academia.

 See recent graduate employment case studies.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.

Undergraduate

The Lionel Butler Scholarship is available for applicants to the Mediaeval History course, and awards £3,000 per year for the duration of the student's undergraduate programme.

Undergraduate scholarships

Postgraduate students

The School of History offer one-year awards to students pursuing MLitt programmes in History. These awards offer the cash equivalent of one year's home fees.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

Students applying to study Scottish History at research level are eligible for the Ewan and Christine Brown scholarship.

The School of History invites applications for funding to undertake postgraduate research. These funding opportunities include:

Funding for PhD students

Awards

REF 2014

The School of History was ranked top in Scotland for research quality in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014

University league tables

History at St Andrews was ranked third in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2017, fourth in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2017 and The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2017.

Contact

School of History 
University of St Andrews 
St Katharine’s Lodge
The Scores
St Andrews 
KY16 9BA

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2890
Email: modhist@st-andrews.ac.uk

History website History research portal