Join our online Scottish history course and engage with world-leading experts in the remarkable story of Scotland.

Access fascinating source materials as you evaluate Scotland’s global impact over the past millennium.

From the Highland Clearances to the country’s emergence as a tourist haven, you’ll cover a broad range of themes that span the medieval period to the modern day.

As well as deepening your knowledge of Scottish history, you’ll build your academic expertise. The course will equip you with the skills to evaluate sources and undertake independent research of your own.

Who is this online Scottish history course for?

This flexible and fully online course is for anyone, anywhere in the world, with a professional or personal interest in Scotland’s history and heritage.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards this MLitt qualification.

What you’ll study

You’ll study a broad sweep of Scottish history, from the early medieval period through to modern Scotland.

You’ll explore a wide range of themes to give you an all-encompassing understanding of the development of Scotland, including:

  • government
  • war and conflict
  • religion
  • Anglo-Scottish relations
  • mobility
  • travel and tourism
  • urban and rural life
  • Highlands and Islands
  • Enlightenment
  • Jacobitism
  • housing and health.

You’ll take a global view, connecting this rich heritage with today’s Scottish diaspora.

You’ll cover the following modules on your course:

  • Why Scottish history matters.
  • Medieval turbulence and bloodshed: the wars of Scottish independence.
  • Government and society during the Renaissance: meet the Stewart dynasty.
  • Rocked by the Reformation: compare articles on witchcraft trials in Scotland.
  • Into the 17th century: what was the ‘Covenanting revolution’?
  • Parliamentary union with England.
  • The Scottish Enlightenment.
  • Examining the Enlightenment: studying The Statistical Account of Scotland, with fascinating snapshots of life in the 1790s and 1830s/40s.
  • Scottish Romanticism.
  • Entering the modern era: industrialisation, urbanisation and mobility.
  • 19th-century dislocation: the disruption of the established church, changes in farming, and the Highland Clearances.
  • The Scottish imagination: changes in how Scots perceived themselves from medieval through to modern times.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Discuss a range of themes and events in a millennium of Scottish history.
  • Show critical and comparative appreciation of key debates and controversies.
  • Display skills in intellectual debate and constructive criticism.
  • Evaluate primary and secondary sources.

Why study Scottish history online with the University of Aberdeen?

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance learning Scottish history course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

The course is taught at Masters level. You’ll learn from world-leading experts from our department of History, with access to unique Scottish archives and resources.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including online:

  • lectures
  • videos and audio clips
  • quizzes
  • reading materials
  • resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

The main interaction on the course takes place through the online discussion boards. You’ll interact with each week’s subject through these discussions. Typically, there will be 8–10 discussion questions set each week.

Archive access

You’ll enjoy access to a rich stream of written, visual and oral source materials from within the University and across Scottish archives.

You’ll be able to explore our Sir Duncan Rice Library collection online, including ancient Scottish records, manuscripts, prints, photographs and literary collections of leading Scottish writers and poets. Treasures include a large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and one of the best collections of Sir Walter Scott’s work.

Your course coordinator

Professor Marjory Harper is a Professor of History. She’s travelled the world researching Scottish emigration.

Her work in this field has led to appearances on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Scotland and a Saltire Scottish History Book of the Year award. Listen to Marjory on BBC Radio 4.

Marjory holds an Excellence in Teaching award for her innovative and supportive online teaching.

Where this will take you

Build your learning

You’ll earn 30 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. It’s one of several Scottish Heritage short courses that we offer online:

Towards a Masters degree

You can use the 30 Masters-level credits you’ll earn with this course towards our:

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Explore the rich history of Scotland over a thousand years. Delve into the past with an online course led by award-winning academics and researchers.

Start date
18 September 2023
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