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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.

This course is for anyone, anywhere in the world, with a professional or personal interest in Scotland’s history and heritage. Flexible and fully online, it’s designed to give you a taste of our unique online Masters in Scottish Heritage.

What will I study?

You’ll study a broad sweep of Scotland’s history, from the early medieval period to the present day.

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
  • 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. 
  • 18th-century Scotland: Jacobitism and the Enlightenment.
  • Examining the Enlightenment: studying The Statistical Account of Scotland, with fascinating snapshots of life in the 1790s and 1830s/40s.
  • Entering the modern era: industrialisation, urbanisation and mobility.
  • 19th-century dislocation: the disruption of the established church, changes in farming, and the Highland Clearances.
  • Empire and war: their impact on Scotland.
  • The Scottish imagination: changes in how Scots perceived themselves from medieval through to modern times.
  • Marketing Scotland: as a travel and tourist destination from the 18th to 20th century.
  • Scottish devolution: the independence debate.

By the end of this course, you will…

  • Understand a range of themes and events in a millennium of Scottish history.
  • Display a critical and comparative appreciation of key debates and controversies.
  • Have gained skills in intellectual debate and constructive criticism.
  • Be able to evaluate primary and secondary sources.

How will I study?

Scotland: A Millennium of History is a 15-week short course, delivered entirely online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our Masters in Scottish Heritage, this 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 course is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It’s designed specifically for online learners and features a range of resources, including:

  • online lectures
  • videos
  • audio clips
  • quizzes
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • online 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.

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 best collections of Sir Walter Scott.

Why study online with the University of Aberdeen?

Where will this take me?

Scotland: A Millennium of History is one of our growing number of online Language and Culture short courses. These can be used to build up credits towards higher qualifications.

Find out more about credits.

Build your learning

You'll earn 30 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. It’s part of a suite of four Scottish Heritage short courses that we offer:

Each of these carries 30 credits that you can build up towards a PgCert, PgDip and our innovative:

Masters in Scottish Heritage

Delve deeper into Scotland’s history with our online Masters in Scottish Heritage. Study anywhere in the world, with flexible hours to fit around your work or personal commitments.


Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Course coordinator

Am I ready?

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.

The main interaction on the course takes place through online discussion boards. You’ll interact with each week’s subject through these discussions. Typically there are 8 – 10 discussion questions set each week. We ask that you review an extract from an example discussion board to help you self-assess your academic suitability for this course.

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
14 September 2020