Start with a short course

Our online short courses provide an alternative entry route to this online Masters degree if:

  • you want to get your postgraduate studies started without committing to a full Masters
  • you’ve missed the deadline to apply for the full degree, or
  • you do not meet the formal degree entry requirements.

A way to study for this online Masters without a degree

Our entry-route short courses are self-evaluating.

This means you do not need to provide formal qualifications to study them. If you believe you’re academically capable, you’re welcome to join a course.

To help you decide if a short course is right for you, check the entry guidance on each course page. It explains the level of teaching involved.

How it works

  • Complete 30 credits’ worth of short courses that are part of this online Masters.
  • Then apply to transfer to the online Masters in August.

By earning 30 credits successfully, you’ll have proved you’re capable of learning at this level. You’ll then be eligible to apply to transfer to the online Masters, even if you do not hold the formal degree entry qualifications.

Degree transfers take place once a year, in August only.

One

Buy

Purchase and complete at least 30 credits’ worth of short courses that are part of this online Masters degree.

Two

Apply

We’ll contact you during your studies to help you apply to transfer to the online Masters in August.

Three

Transfer

Provided the degree coordinator is happy with your performance, and you meet our English language requirements, we can transfer you in August.

Get started on the short course route

To start on the entry path to this online MLitt, complete 30 credits’ worth of the following recommended courses.

Each course is worth 30 credits towards our online MLitt Scottish Heritage.

These courses are delivered at postgraduate Masters level. At this level of teaching, you’d normally have:

  • a 2:1 (upper-second) honours degree or equivalent (normally a 3.0 GPA in North America), or
  • alternative qualifications combined with relevant professional experience.

Courses starting on 23 September 2024

Magnifying glass on handwritten diary from the University of Aberdeen's archive

Approaches to Research: Archives and Sources (30 credits)

Gain the skills you need to conduct research in archives and library collections anywhere in the world.

Buy Approaches to Research: Archives and Sources

Scotland: A Millennium of History (30 credits)

Access fascinating source materials as you evaluate Scotland’s global impact over the past millennium, from the medieval period to the modern day.

Buy Scotland: A Millennium of History

Courses starting on 27 January 2025

The Scottish Diaspora (30 credits)

Explore the stories of the men, women and children who left Scotland’s shores for a new life overseas.

Buy The Scottish Diaspora

Scottish Visual History (30 credits)

Examine Scottish art across a period of 150 years. Explore how it evolved, what makes it Scottish, and what this visual history tells us about Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Buy Scottish Visual History

Scottish Church History: From Columba to Graham (30 credits)

Examine the history of the Christian faith in Scotland, from the mission of Columba, through the crusade of Billy Graham, to the present day.

Buy Scottish Church History: From Columba to Graham

Purchasing your courses

To join a course, apply via the course page and follow the application and checkout process.

Courses are available to purchase until one week after their start date, but we encourage you to purchase your courses as early as possible to ensure a smooth start to your studies.

Study at your own pace

  • Each 30-credit course is around 15 – 20 study hours per week, plus extra at assessment time.

If you’re planning to study part-time, especially if you’re studying around full-time work, we recommend taking a maximum of 30 credits per term.

You can access our online learning platform 24/7, and you can largely set your hours to suit you. You can take study breaks between courses too, as long as you complete your Masters within six years.

Online Masters route not for you?

You do not have to transfer to the Masters degree. Our online short courses give you the flexibility to:

  • study any short course standalone, earning credits with each one
  • build your credits up to a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma instead
  • continue course by course, at your own pace, with the option to transfer to the online Masters when you’re ready.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to the most common questions we receive about our short course routes.

If your question is not answered here, we’re here to help. Get in touch.

We recommend these courses for this entry route for two reasons.

  • These are the courses that students taking the online Masters degree will be starting with too. This means you’ll be studying alongside a cohort of online degree students. When you then transfer into the online degree, you’ll continue on with these same students, whom you’ve already met and worked with. So, it gives you a smoother transition into the degree programme.
  • It’s the recommended route set out by the programme coordinator.

While we recommend this route, you are free to choose other courses, as long as they are part of this online Masters.

You’ll be eligible to apply to transfer to the online Masters when you:

  • pass 30 credits’ worth of short courses from this Masters degree successfully
  • receive your official passing grades for these courses, and
  • meet this degree’s English language requirements if English is not your first language.

If you fulfil these requirements, you can apply to transfer. The programme coordinator makes the final decision on degree transfers.

You can transfer once a year, in August. We carry out transfers in August because:

  • August is the start of the new academic year, and
  • it gives you time to choose your courses ahead of teaching starting in September.

The transfer process takes place once a year, in August only.

The School will contact you during your studies to find out what your intentions are for the next term. It’s at this point you can apply to transfer in August. The School will support you through the transfer process.

If you’re taking the short course route, you do not need to apply for the Masters degree separately via our Applicant Portal. Instead, the School will fast-track you into the online Masters, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you fail your first attempt at a short course, you’ll be offered one chance to resit the course assessment.

If you fail this resit, you cannot take the course again.

We would then be able to advise you as to your options – you may still be able to qualify with a postgraduate qualification in a different specialism.

No. Once you’ve completed your entry-route short courses, you will not need to study them again when you transfer to the Masters degree.

The credits you have completed will count towards the Masters degree.

Once you’ve transferred to the Masters, you will not need to pay for the courses that you have already studied. Your Masters fee will be adjusted to deduct the cost of the courses you have already paid for.

A pay-as-you-go degree

We never charge the full fee for a Masters degree upfront. Instead, we charge for our degrees one term at a time, so you can spread the cost.

How pay-as-you-go works

Each term, you decide how many courses you’d like to take. Then you pay for these courses just before term starts. This gives you control over your degree fees and your workload, term by term.

Each 30-credit course is around 15 – 20 hours of study time per week, plus extra at assessment times.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

You’ll find more detailed and course-specific study hours on each online course page.

Studying around work?

If you’re planning to study part-time, especially if you’re studying around full-time work, we recommend taking a maximum of 30 credits per term.

If you’ve already submitted an application for this degree, please: