History MA (Hons) 2018 entry

The MA (Hons) in History will teach you to discover and analyse the full range of human activity over time. Through historical awareness, which enriches contemporary experience by linking the present with the past, you will be able to recognise the cultural and social values that have shaped cultures across the globe. From your studies, you will acquire intellectual skills in evaluating different kinds of evidence, and interpreting and communicating its significance to others.

History is a flexible course which allows you to study all historical eras without chronological or geographical constraint. At St Andrews, you will be able to combine elements from ancient, mediaeval, modern, Scottish and Middle Eastern history.

Apply now

UCAS code

V100

Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 History page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB, including History
GCE A-Levels AAA, including History
IB points 36, including HL6 in History

 

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Students must have studied History at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

Students must meet with their advisor at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

While every effort is made to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in History is a four-year course run by the School of History. In the first two years, you will have the opportunity to study from a broad chronological span, taking modules in at least two different historical periods.

The skills you gain in analysing original and secondary source materials will prepare you to continue exploring a wide range historical subjects at a more advanced level in your third and fourth years. You will also be encouraged to dive deeper into a specialist topic of your choice during your fourth year.

Alongside History, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional one or two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

Breadth of knowledge and perspective are highly encouraged, and all students are expected to take some modules in other subject areas in their first two years, for example English, art history or anthropology.

Graduates in History from St Andrews can expect to have developed a wide knowledge in history, and be able to make connections across different time periods and between different cultures.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying History at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in History alongside modules in at least one other subject.

Typically, you will take three modules per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take at least three from the following selection of first-year modules:

  • Greek History to Alexander the Great: provides a broad survey of ancient Greek history and looks at the political development of Athens and Sparta, the impact of the Athenian Empire, and Greek culture in its heyday.
  • Roman History from Foundation to Empire: considers the rise of Rome to world power from humble beginnings, examining the political, cultural and economic consequences of her imperialism.
  • The Fall of Rome and the Origins of Europe (400-1000): examines how political, cultural and social life changed in the worlds of Byzantium, Islam and the ‘barbarian’ West in response to major upheavals.
  • Scotland and the English Empire 1070-1500: compares and relates the societies of the English crown and the kingdom of Scotland in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England.
  • The Early Modern Western World (c. 1450-1770): looks at continental European history in the early modern period, and the expansion of Europe.
  • Themes in Late Modern History (c. 1776-2001): provides a thematic coverage of major political and social developments in the Western world during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Students will take at least three from the following selection of second-year modules:

  • The Roman Empire: studies the Roman empire with particular reference to social, religious and economic changes as well as to political and military history.
  • Mediterranean Communities: deals with the human settlement and material culture of the entire Mediterranean World throughout classical antiquity.
  • Mediaeval Europe (1000-1400): examines key themes that helped to shape Western Europe from the 11th to 14th centuries, a period known as the ‘High Middle Ages’.
  • Introduction to Middle Eastern History: provides an introduction to Middle Eastern History from the dramatic reconfiguration of the Middle East in late Antiquity to its contested and contentious recent past.
  • Scotland, Britain and Empire (c. 1500-2000): provides an introduction to how and why the British nation state evolved from the separate kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and how and why it has survived over the last three centuries.
  • History as a Discipline: Development and Key Concepts: provides an introduction to key theoretical and methodological approaches which have characterised the emergence of History as a discipline since the Middle Ages.

If you decide to take History in your third and fourth years, you choose modules from a wide variety of advanced options.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • The Mediaeval Castle
  • Heretics and Social Outcasts in Western Europe
  • Age of Conquest: Edward I - Scotland and Wales (1239-1307)
  • The Formation of Islamic Iran: From the Arab Conquests to the Seljuq Empire (600-1200)
  • The Decline and Fall of the French Old Regime (1715-1789)
  • Power without Responsibility? The British Press and Politics (1850-1939).

Some modules at Honours level are intended to build your portfolio and provide you with career experience. For example, the Recording the Past module allows you to submit a multimedia historical project in the form of a radio programme, video documentary, website or another appropriate medium.

In fourth year, students may also undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

Teaching at sub-honours level is delivered primarily through lectures (usually 100 to 300 students) and small group tutorials (6 to 8  students). Lectures are given by all members of the School, enabling students to hear active researchers in each field talk about their specialism. Tutorials are an opportunity for students to discuss and develop their thinking in a small and friendly atmosphere, guided by a professional expert. 

Teaching at Honours level moves away from large group lecturing. Students meet in groups of about 10 to 15 students for longer classes in which they are expected to participate fully. 

In addition to lectures and tutorials, students are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of History. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all History staff on the School of History website.

In addition to your studies in the School of History, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University. 

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

Almost all of the modules in History are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and examination. Coursework includes:

  • research essays
  • class presentations
  • source analysis.

Classroom examinations often incorporate essays and source exercises. In addition, most modules include a written examination held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School of History aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year. 

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Your future

Careers

History students at St Andrews have traditionally moved into a very wide range of careers on graduating. Some continue their academic careers via a postgraduate training degree to doctoral study either in St Andrews or at another university. Other students have often progressed to postgraduate qualifications in teaching, law or accountancy.

Recent history graduates have found careers in:

  • art galleries and auction houses
  • journalism and the media
  • financial institutions and the revenue service
  • civil service and intelligence services
  • sales and marketing.

A degree in History will provide you with transferable skills that will equip you for a future career in many sectors. These skills include:

  • time management
  • project planning
  • group work
  • oral and written expression
  • focused research and presentation.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of History may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • Archaeological Society is for those interested in anything from ancient weaponry to Indiana Jones. The society organises bi-weekly meetings (featuring guest speakers), social events, movie nights, and day trips to archaeological sites.
  • History Society hosts talks with guest speakers on a variety of topics as well as social events including pub nights, garden parties and trips abroad. 

The School of History occupies three sites all within a few minutes’ walk of each other at the heart of the historic town of St Andrews. Students will attend tutorials, seminars and individual meetings with tutors in these buildings, while larger lectures are located in nearby buildings. The School of History sites are:

  • St Katharine’s Lodge, a 19th-century former school near the seafront
  • New Arts Building, a modern building with lecture classrooms and study spaces
  • St John’s House, located on South Street.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

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