Environmental History (MLitt) 2020 entry

The MLitt in Environmental History explores human interaction with the non-human natural world within the context of studying the history of science, medicine and environment.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Environmental History page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £19,400

Application deadline

Wednesday 12 August 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (optional)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MLitt in Environmental History is an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme run jointly by the Institute for Environmental History and the Department of Modern History.

Environmental History examines human interaction with the natural world through time, and students will have the opportunity to engage with this intellectually urgent field.

Highlights

  • The programme benefits from the expertise of members of the Institute for Environmental History and the Department of Modern History.
  • Students explore multiple dimensions of this intellectually significant field of study, while firmly rooting this knowledge in a progressively better understanding of core issues within historiography and methodology.
  • Some modules are interdisciplinary and interdepartmental, involving the School of Geography and Geosciences.

Teaching format

Over two semesters, students complete two compulsory modules and one or two optional modules.  

Teaching methods include seminars and fortnightly tutorials. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed principally by coursework.

Students will spend the final three months of the course focusing on researching and writing the final assessment piece for the MLitt, a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

Students choose one of:

  • History in the Making: Theories, Approaches and Practices (1 and 2): examines the development of history-writing and historical research since the Enlightenment, and the emergence of fields, trends and new approaches in current historiography.
  • Global Times – Plural Spaces (1 and 2): offers a strong foundation in the major approaches to comparative and transnational history as well as the emerging field of spatial history.

You will also choose one of:

  • Disease and Environment (c.1500–2000): examines the manner in which sickness and death have shaped human history, both biologically and culturally, over the past 500 years, focusing primarily on an Anglo-American context.
  • Environmental Disasters: Crisis, Catastrophe and Risk in the Modern World (1755 to Present): explores the nature of 'natural' disasters and the social and cultural factors that shaped and framed them.
  • Environmental History: Nature and the Western World (1800–2000): studies environmental history over the past two centuries in an international context.

Depending on credit weighting, students choose one or two optional modules. These can also be from one of the compulsory choices not taken.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.

  • Directed Reading in Modern History: encourages the development of skills of historical analysis through concentrated study of a topic chosen by the student prior to the dissertation.
  • History of Modern Science: introduces core themes in the history of science from the Scientific Revolution onwards.
  • Perceptions of Central and Eastern Europe: examines perceptions of Central and Eastern Europe which have undergone significant transformation since the emergence of modern nationalism in the mid-19th century.
  • Skills in Transnational History: leads to the acquisition and development of skills in the digital humanities and skills required for using specific historical sources.
  • Themes in American History: a selection of the most important issues in the history of North America, from its foundations as European colonies onwards.

Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

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

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Sunday 18 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 22 October at 9.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 29 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 5 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 15 November at 3.15pm (UK time)

Register

Conferences and events

The School of History hosts the Late Modern History Research Seminar Programme, which presents numerous talks and lectures each month. 

Visit the Institute for Environmental History page to learn more about the work and research being done by environmental historians at St Andrews. 

Funding

The School of History is pleased to be able to offer a number of competitive scholarships which contribute to the fees and maintenance for postgraduate study. 

  • Language Bursaries: enables students to undertake intensive language courses abroad during the summer before their programme begins.
  • School of History MLitt Awards: offers the cash equivalent of one year's home fees and cannot be held in conjunction with other awards offering full fees and maintenance.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Environmental History.

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. 

PhD in History

Careers

Past graduates of this programme have undertaken careers in research and in environmental management in the university sector. Others have attained positions within environmental non-governmental organisations or as sustainable development officers for particular business corporations.

More generally, history postgraduates go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, publishing, think tanks, government, law and teaching. 

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Contact

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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2907
Email: pghist@st-andrews.ac.uk

History website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).