Environmental History (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in Environmental History explores human interaction with the non-human natural world within the context of a conceptually advanced study of history of science, medicine and environment.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in history or a related discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
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.
UK and EU: £7,500
Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate
- letter of intent (optional).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Environmental History MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.Apply for this course
The MLitt in Environmental History is an interdisciplinary taught 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.
- 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.
Over two semesters, students complete three 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.
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 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 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 Global Times – Plural Spaces 2: offers a strong foundation in the major approaches to comparative and transnational history as well as the emerging field of spatial history.
and 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 upon an Anglo-American context.
- Environmental History: Nature and the Western World (1800–2000): studies environmental history over the past two centuries in an international 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.
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 some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
- Directed Reading in Modern History: offers a directed reading project designed to encourage the development of skills of historical analysis through concentrated study of a topic chosen by the student.
- Key Issues in German Historiography: engages with some of the most hotly disputed issues in German history.
- Themes in American History: a selection of the most important issues in the history of North America, from its foundations as European colonies onwards.
- Perceptions of Central and Eastern Europe: an advanced historical study of the transformations in the perception of Central and Eastern Europe since the emergence of modern nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century.
- History of Modern Science: introduces core themes in the history of science from the Scientific Revolution onwards.
- Environmental Management in Scotland: provides geographical instruction on this timely subject (only available in alternate years).
- Skills in Transnational History: leads to the acquisition and development of skills in the digital humanities and skills required for using specific historical sources.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
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.
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.
Next visiting day
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.
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.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Environmental History.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.
Arts and Humanities Research Council studentships
The AHRC offers studentships at Research Council UK rates for PhD research in a range of subjects including history.
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 to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
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).
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).