This course achieved 91% student satisfaction in the most recent National Student Survey
Study of the Scottish past and identity is growing in popularity. The University and city of Stirling lie in the heart of a landscape steeped in the history of the Scottish nation. The Scottish History degree provides a challenging course, which seeks to explore the myths as well as the realities of Scotland’s history.
History at Stirling has experts researching and teaching in many aspects of the political, social, environmental and economic history of Scotland, from the Vikings to the present day. You will tackle questions central to understanding both Scotland’s past and present, which provide a window on Scotland’s interaction with the wider world.
Teaching of History at Stirling has been commended and our research rated excellent. With this degree, you can access a range of careers, such as teaching; journalism; business management; local and national government; law; the heritage industry; and conservation.
IB Diploma with a total of 32 points.
HNC or HND with Bs in graded units.
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.
A-levels or Advanced Highers ABB to include History.
Scottish HND in Social Sciences to include four History units with Bs in graded units.
General entrance requirements apply.
International students can study our Undergraduate Certificate if they do not possess the necessary entrance requirements to be admitted directly to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree course.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
English Standard Grade (2), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE English (C) or equivalent.
Applicants with English Standard Grade (3) will also be considered although alternative entry conditions may be made.
Modes of study
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
February entry also available.
History welcomes Year 2 entrants either from HND or through A-levels and Advanced Highers (see criteria above). Such students are often especially motivated and committed to their studies, even though the induction semester provides a better opportunity to meet fellow students and to grow accustomed to the new surroundings.
Find out more
Scottish History may be taken as a Single Honours degree, as well as in a number of Combined degrees in a Scottish History stream of the History degree.
Students take Scottish History plus two other subjects in Year 1.
Semesters 1 - 3
You will take the following core modules:
- Kingship and Nationhood: Scotland c1100 - 1513
- Renaissance to Revolution: Scotland 1513 - 1689
- Reputations in History
Semesters 4 - 6
You will normally take at least six modules in Scottish History, chosen from the following:
- Scotland in the Age of Wallace and Bruce
- War, Famine, Disease and Death, c1250 - c1650
- Gaels, Vikings and Normans: People and Environment in the North Atlantic World, c850 - c1250
- The Stewart Kings of Scotland, 1424 - 1513
- Castles: Power and Authority, Landscapes and Contexts
- 'For God, King and Parliament': the birth of modern Europe c1500 - c1700
- Union to Reform: Scotland, 1689 - c1800
- 19th-century Scotland, c1800 - 1914
- Social History of the Victorian City: Computer Approaches
In addition, Single Honours students must take the Semester 6 module Approaches and Methods.
Semesters 7 - 8
Honours students take a ‘special subject’ involving the use of printed documentary collections and other source material. Single Honours students also write a supervised dissertation of between 14,000 and 16,000 words on a chosen research topic. The range of special subjects includes:
- Bruce and Stewart Scotland, 1329 - 1406
- The ‘Golden Age’ of the Scottish Parliament: 1660 - 1707
- Environment, Landscape and Improvement in the North Atlantic World, c1500 - c1900
- Government and Society in Scotland, 1800 - 1914: Problems and Responses
The following is the provisional History course for 1213-14, which is subject to change due for a variety of administrative and research reasons:
- People, Politics and Empire: Britain 1780–1914
- Kingship and Nationhood. Scotland. c.1100–1513
- Empire to Europe: Britain 1914–1990
- Renaissance to Revolution: Scotland 1513–1689
- Europe in the Long 19th Century 1787-1918
- American History, 1787–1890
- Social History of the Victorian City: Computer Approaches
- War, Famine, Disease and Death, c.1250–c.1650
- Scotland in the Age of Wallace and Bruce
- 20th Century Europe, 1918–2001
- The United States since 1890
- Gender in Britain, 1750–1930
- The Stewart Kings of Scotland, 1424–1513
- Nineteenth Century Scotland, c.1800–1914
- Religion, Politics and Society in 19th Century Britain
- Safer spaces: the Use, Abuse and Protection of the Environment in 20th Century Britain
- Occupied Europe: Conquest, Resistance and Liberation
- Environment, Politics and People in Colonial Africa
- The British Atlantic World 1580-1770
- Radicalism to Labourism: Popular Politics 1800-1914
- Approaches and Methods in History
Semester 7 and 8 (special subjects)
- The Quest for Modernity: Eastern Europe in the 20th Century
- Apartheid in South Africa, 1948–94
- Revolutionary Europe, 1776–1804
- Race, Class and Gender in Early America
- Government and Society in Scotland 1800–1918
- The ‘Golden Age’ of the Scottish Parliament: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1660–1707
- 'Dark and Drublie Days': Bruce and Stewart Scotland c.1329 - c.1406
Teaching and assessment
Each semester’s work is assessed separately. Assessment is based on a combination of essays, examinations and oral performance. The Honours classification is based on grades obtained in Semesters 5 – 8.
Recommended reading suggestions by module are listed and can be viewed in the History Handbook which is available via the History and Politics website at www.historyandpolitics.stir.ac.uk/
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
In Semester 1 students do three subjects, generally in arts and related subjects through nine contact hours, each with two one-hour lectures and a one one-hour tutorial. A full Honours degree in Scottish History would develop on the following lines (see degree course above):
||Kingship and Nationhood. Scotland 1100-1513
||Renaissance to Revolution: Scotland 1513-1689
||Reputations in History
||Film and Media
||Union to Reform: Scotland 1689-1800
||The Stewart Kings of Scotland, 1424-1513
||Nineteenth century Scotland, c, 1800-1914
||Modern European History, 1918-2001
||Castles, Power and Authority. Landscapes and Contexts
||Approaches and Methods in History
||Scottish special subject
||Scottish special subject
Although combined degrees are not offered with Scottish History a History degree, with a Scottish History stream, can be combined with other subjects. The following combined degrees subjects are offered along with History:
|English Studies/Professional Education
|Film and Media
|Religious Studies/Professional Education
History at Stirling offers two unique aspects not found in other universities. Firstly, in Semester 3 a core module Reputations in History is offered and which must be taken by all History and Scottish History students. This provides a fascinating insight into historical characters and their reputations, from William Wallace to Nelson Mandela, taking in male and female figures from world history over a thousand years.
Secondly, at advanced level and in the final year we offer special subjects that last the whole academic year (Semesters 7 and 8). These allow students to benefit from the enthusiasm and interest, and indeed the most recent research, of staff committed to their field of study. This level of in-depth study runs in parallel with the dissertation which must be taken by all History and Scottish History Honours degree students. At Stirling the final year is quite an experience.
You may apply to study in the United States under the University’s exchange scheme with a wide range of American universities and colleges.
Teaching provision in Scottish History and History at Stirling has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and achieved the highest possible rating of 'commendable' in all aspects. In addition, at the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) whereby research quality is audited by external auditors, History was commended for the international quality of its research.
History retains strong connections with a range of historical and heritage industries and former students who have achieved employment in such areas. Contacts are also strong with SATH, the Scottish Association of Teachers of History. In addition, History offers a popular and much valued Masters of Research course which is often taken by students seeking to develop histrocial skills at postgraduate level or who wish a stepping-stone to a research degree (PhD).
History has a range of academic expertise nurtured by a strong research ethos sustained by the staff. In particular, late medieval, early modern, environmental impact, computer applications, gender, race relations, revolution studies and political and social change are taught within the wide geographical spread of Europe, America, Africa, Britain and Scotland.
The University of Stirling is a beautiful place to work and the History staff have always been very supportive. During the first few years of my undergraduate degree I appreciated the flexibility to choose and change modules and courses of study. Students are made to feel valued and I particularly benefited from the regular meetings and full feedback provided by my tutors in my final undergraduate year and during my postgraduate year. Although I did a degree in History I completed a range of Scottish topics from the Scottish stream, including both my final-year dissertation and special subject. I have now gone on to study a Master’s degree in Scottish History. Overall, I have been very happy at Stirling.
Stephen Bowman BA (Hons) History, graduated 2010.
In 1989, somewhat apprehensively, I came as a mature student to the University of Stirling – I found the staff and the social and learning environment first class. History was not my major subject but the quality of staff in History and the variety of History modules was so stimulating that I soon made it my specialism. Indeed, I enjoyed the experience so much that I stayed to complete a PhD in Scottish History. Six years later, after a period as a Research Fellow at St Andrew University, I returned to Stirling as a member of the History staff. Nothing is stranger than the career paths we take, but I certainly have to thank University of Stirling for the direction of my own.
Alastair Mann BA (Hons) Scottish History, graduated 1993; PhD, completed 1998.
Dr Alastair Mann, the Course Director, is an early modern Scottish historian with interests in political history, the Scottish Parliament and the press form 1500 to the present. He is himself a graduate of Stirling and returned to teach here in 2005. As well as Course Director he has had a range of administrative positions in the department including Registration Officer.
Dr Phia Steyn, the Admissions Officer, is an environmental and African historian, with interests in political, business and environmental history of the developing world, including South America as well as Africa. She is a graduate of University of the Free State of Bloemfontein, South Africa, and has been teaching at Stirling since 2003.
Studying Scottish History at the University of Stirling proved an immensely rewarding experience. The course covered a thousand years of Scotland’s past, from the Dark Ages right up to the twentieth century, and therefore encouraged an understanding of the trends and developments that have shaped the country’s experience over the long-term.
At the same time, expert guidance by a group of dedicated and approachable tutors ensured that there was ample opportunity for in-depth study of whichever topics or periods most piqued my interest. But the benefits of a Scottish History degree were not limited to the acquisition of knowledge. Consistently, and particularly through a number of specially-designed assignments and modules, the course provided essential training in subject-specific skills, not to mention enhancing a range of core transferable skills. In short, I found the course challenging and exciting, and I left feeling confident about, and prepared for, the world ahead.'
Allan Kennedy BA (Hons) Scottish History, graduated 2007; MRes , graduated 2008.
A History degree has always been valued by employers because of the intellectual challenges it offers and the particular skills it fosters. These include the ability to argue a persuasive case, a capacity for independent work and effective time management, an ability to organise and solve problems and a capacity to communicate clearly in writing and in speech.
Graduates in Scottish History will find opportunities for a wide variety of posts within and outside of Scotland. Some will be in history-related areas, such as teaching and work in museums and libraries; others in administration, commerce, the civil service, banking and insurance.