Scottish History MA (Hons) 2020 entry
The MA (Hons) in Scottish History is an ideal introduction to understanding Scotland’s unique historical development and place in the wider world. By studying Scottish History, you will get a grounding in the history of the country, adding breadth and depth to your experience living, studying and working in Scotland.
In your studies, you will cover a wide chronological range of periods from the Dark Ages to Modern Scotland. You will be exposed to issues of nation building, loss of sovereignty, the tensions between core and periphery, and the reclamation of nationhood.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 7 September 2020
- End date: 30 June 2024
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAAB, including A in History
- Minimum entry grades: AABB, including B in History
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB, including B in History
- Standard entry grades: AAA, including A in History
- Minimum entry grades: ABB, including B in History
- Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in History
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL5 in History
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
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.
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.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.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
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 web page.
St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies 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.
The School of History at St Andrews has an international reputation for the diversity of teaching programmes offered. The School has expertise in medieval and modern history, from Scotland to Byzantium, and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia.
The School of History was ranked first in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and fourth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2020 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.
The School was ranked best in Scotland in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the quality and impact of its research.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2019 as 95% of St Andrews final year students were satisfied with the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Scottish History alongside modules in at least one other subject.
Typically, you will take one Scottish History module per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).
Students will take the following compulsory first-year module:
- 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.
Students will also choose one module from the following:
- The Fall of Rome and the Origins of Europe (400-1000): examines how political, cultural and social life changed in the Byzantine, British and ‘barbarian’ worlds in response to major upheavals.
- 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 thematic coverage of major political and social developments in the Western world during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Students will take the following compulsory second-year module:
- 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.
Students will also choose one module from the following:
- 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 medieval times.
- Medieval Europe (1000-1400): examines key themes that helped to shape continental Western Europe from the aftermath of the Carolingian Empire and beginning of the Crusades to the Black Death and the Hundred Years War.
If you decide to take Scottish History in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules ranging from the Picts and Vikings to modern Scottish politics and society.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:
- Kingship and Tyranny: Scotland in the Age of Reform 1513-1603
- Medieval St Andrews
- Scotland and the Wider World
- Thatcherism, the 'new right', and the remaking of British politics, c.1940-1997
- The Power of Persuasion:Propaganda in Renaissance and Reformation Scotland
- The Scottish Enlightenment.
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 other appropriate medium.
In fourth year, students also undertake a dissertation of around 10,000 to 12,000 words on a topic of their choice or an Honours Project. These modules based on independent research enable you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken 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.
“I was not intending to study Scottish History, but after one class I was captivated. Nothing can compare to the experience of studying in such a beautiful and ancient seaside town so steeped in the religious, political and educational history of this nation. Being taught by leading experts with such a passion for their subject – I don’t think I could be happier studying anything else.”
James (Pennsylvania, USA)