Why Study History Here?

History is the study of the past, of people through time, of their institutions and how they have changed. It is concerned with how different social, political, and economic systems emerge, develop, and change over time, as well as the ideas, theories, and cultural values which have promoted or discouraged change. The study of history broadens the mind, stimulates the critical faculties, and encourages the development of a range of transferable skills, including the ability to articulate arguments, and to work effectively individually or as part of a team.

Researching for essays, seminar papers and dissertations, as well as preparing for examinations, develops analytical, investigational and organisational skills, all of which are invaluable in the modern workplace. Our historians committed to excellence in learning and teaching and we have a superb record of organising and attending international Conferences.

We are proud of our record in providing high quality historical education and constantly strive to improve our students’ experience and enhance their employability. At a postgraduate level this includes the teaching of Latin and Palaeography or any other research skills that a student may need to acquire. We were delighted to learn that the National Student Survey of 2015 recorded the level of overall student satisfaction with our History programme at 92%, and the level of satisfaction with the teaching of the course at 93%, the joint highest among the disciplines at Stirling.

Information for applicants

Learning and teaching

Key factors which result in a high quality student experience at Stirling are:

Our degrees

  • All of our degrees develop transferable skills to prepare students for their future careers. We are committed to working with our students to maximise their employability.

Our staff:

  • are highly experienced University teachers, with a wide range of specialisms
  • write leading history textbooks and academic journal papers that are used in student learning and teaching
  • are committed to high-quality and internationally recognised research to develop their specialist areas and to add value to the student experience
  • Regularly engage with the broader public in a range of activities, ranging from talks in local primary and secondary schools and curating exhibitions, to advising government agencies and writing for the national press.

Teaching and support

  • Teaching methods are wide-ranging. We use lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops, and class sizes are restricted to maximise the teaching and learning experience.
  • Students are encouraged to develop their skills in a friendly and supportive learning environment. Each member of staff runs drop in sessions for students every week, and History has a system of advisers of study and mentoring.
  • We are committed to providing feedback on students' work to improve their performance and encourage reflective learning. 


  • Teaching takes place in state-of-the-art lecture theatres and teaching spaces, which are equipped with the most up-to-date technology.
  • Course materials are available through our intranet, so that students have remote access at all times.
  • In addition to our modern, well-equipped library, learning is supported by an extensive e-history library with remote online access to many thousands of academic journals.
  • Students have access to pcs throughout the Stirling campus for online access and online resources can be accessed off-campus through the University Portal.
  • History works closely with both the Stirling Students History Society and the Staff-Student Consultative Committee, to improve the quality of the student experience.
Current students

Information for current students

 Course information  
 Module information  
 Careers information  

Advising for Undergraduates

History Adviser of Studies : Dr Alastair Mann 

Advisers have an important role to play in enhancing a students’ academic and personal development and are essential in ensuring students make the most of their time at university.  Advisers provide a personalised point of contact for students to discuss academic concerns or queries within the academic community.  The general purpose of the role is to provide more in-depth advice on the academic options available to students and on the academic policies and regulations within the University.

Who should I speak to about my module choices?

Individual students should receive a list of compulsory modules from the University registration system. We also publish a guidance note on History module choices for each semester here, together with descriptions of each module. You should check the University Calendar on the portal for details on how your degree is structured and the choices which you can make. Any remaining questions can be raised with the Adviser of Studies.

What if I need guidance on other matters?

We will use this page to publish information about  module choices and your Adviser of Studies can refer you to other services within the University for help on lots of issues from improving study skills to careers advice or help with financial or personal problems. Remember that you can also access Student Support Services direct if you need help or advice on any of the following matters:

For help with Study Skills, contact Student Learning Services (SLS) who run online workshops via your CANVAS. They also run workshops and seminars throughout the year: keep an eye on the portal for details of those.

Student Prizes

Internal Awards

Excellent achievements in learning should be rewarded. This is why we award a number of prizes to final-year students who have excelled in their studies in a number of areas. In addition, the University has a prize that rewards excellent achievements in independent research projects. We also regularly submit our students’ work to national essays competition, such as the one held by the Royal Historical Society and History Today.

The Environmental History Prize:

This is an annual prize of £100 to be awarded for the best first class dissertation in Environmental History.

The Gordon Donaldson Prize:

This is an annual prize of £50 for the best final-year student in History and it is is awarded on the basis of degree classification results. The prize is funded from a legacy made by the late Professor Gordon Donaldson, Historiographer Royal for Scotland.

The Robert and Margaret McKean Prize:

This is an annual prize of £50 for the best performance by a final year student in European History, provided the overall grade is at least 2A.

The Stirling Guildry Prize:

This is a prize awarded for the best dissertation submitted by a student taking either the single honours degree in History or Scottish History, or a combined honours with History or Scottish History. The prize will be £100, and was established by the Merchant Guildry of Stirling, whose origins go back to the medieval burgh. The award will be made only if the best dissertation in any given year achieves a minimum grade of 2A. The successful candidate will also be requested to give a talk to the Guildry on the subject of his or her dissertation.

The John Robert Hamilton Memorial Scholarship:

This substantial prize was donated to the University by Ruth E. Wright in memory of her partner John Hamilton who was a Masters student in History at Stirling.  The fund provides annually a £1,000 scholarship for a Masters’ student researching an aspect of Scottish History.



External Awards

There are also a number of external awards which recognise the achievements of both undergraduate and postgraduate students and these are all awarded on a competitive basis:

The British Commission for Maritime History Prize:

The British Commission awards a small number of £75 prizes each year for undergraduate dissertations in the broad field of maritime history. The Commission's aims are to encourage students to pursue maritime questions in their final year research, and to reward the best of that work. Subjects eligible for consideration reflect the Commission's view of maritime history as a wide-ranging discipline. It includes topics such as shipping, seafaring, ports, seapower, maritime labour, coastal communities, trade, exploration, shipbuilding, navigation and fishing, and embraces a wide range of political, economic, social, technological and cultural approaches. Nominations must be made by Heads of Department or equivalent, and the closing date for entries is 1 August in each year. Final year dissertations awarded first class marks are eligible for consideration. Project work will also be considered where extensive use is made of primary evidence, and where the portfolio includes an extended piece of writing.

The History Scotland / Royal Historical Society Prize:

This is a global competition and the prize of £250 is awarded to the best undergraduate dissertation in Scottish History. The winning candidate is also guaranteed to have their dissertation published in History Scotland.

The Women's History Scotland Prize:

Women’s History Scotland awards a bi-annual prize of £100 for a new essay in the field of Scottish women’s and / or gender history. The prize was established in 2000 to celebrate the work of Leah Leneman, one of the foremost historians of women in Scotland. A trail-blazer for women’s history in Scotland, she produced innovative studies on the women’s suffrage movement, on women in medicine, and on sexuality and divorce in the early modern and modern periods. Women’s History Scotland wishes to acknowledge the important work of Leah Leneman and to encourage new women’s & gender historians to publish their work and to continue researching and writing in the field of Scottish women’s and gender history. Forms of work that may be submitted include: undergraduate dissertation, postgraduate work (e.g. Masters dissertation or chapter of PhD), a piece of original research by an independent scholar.

Scottish History Society Postgraduate Prize

The Scottish History Society is delighted to announce a call for applications for its annual prize of £350 to be awarded for the best transcription with historical introduction by a postgraduate student. The purpose of the prize is to recognise the excellent, and often unpublished, primary source discovery and transcription undertaken by postgraduate students. The competition is open to anyone registered for any postgraduate degree at any university or anyone within five years of graduation with a postgraduate qualification. Previous prize winners are not entitled to compete for the prize, but previously unsuccessful applicants are warmly encouraged to apply. Entry is not restricted to members of the Scottish History Society. Applicants should submit a sample of their transcription and complete the prize application form

The David Berry Prize (Royal Historical Society)

A prize of £250 will be awarded to the writer of the best essay on a subject, to be selected by the candidate, dealing with Scottish History, provided such a subject has been previously submitted to and approved by the Royal Historical Society. The essay submitted must be a genuine work of research based on original (manuscript or printed) materials. The essay should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words in length (excluding footnotes and appendices).

The ESHSS Research Essay Prize

The Committee of the Economic and Social History Society of Scotland awards an annual postgraduate Prize of £250 for a Research Essay on a Scottish theme in the general area of economic, social and cultural history. The winning essay(s) will be automatically considered for publication in Journal of Scottish Historical Studies.

The Inverness Field Club Bursary

The Inverness Field Club Bursary is awarded annually to people living in Scotland. The Bursary is worth £1,000 normally payable in two instalments. It is awarded for original research into any subject pertaining to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland that the Council considers to lie within the traditional interest of the Club, as follows: Earth Sciences, Natural Sciences, Geography and Environment, Social and Economic History, Dark Age and Medieval History, Scottish History, Archaeology, Architecture, Country Life, and People and Places.

Further details and how to apply can be found here.



PG Historical Research



Postgraduate Historical Research Group

We are a postgraduate research group which provides a welcoming and encouraging platform for members to present papers, participate in themed discussions and give and receive feedback on their work in a constructive manner. We hope to cultivate a better awareness of different approaches to the study of history and other arts subjects within the University. The group provides a platform for postgraduates at the University of Stirling to learn of each other’s research and to meet new people, becoming part of a friendly research community.

Meetings are held every month at the University of Stirling and we encourage people to get involved, present papers, or simply come along and discuss their work.  All suggestions are welcome and refreshments are provided.

If you are interested in becoming involved or would like more information, contact Shaun Wallace (shaun.wallace@stir.ac.uk) or Helen Young (h.l.young@stir.ac.uk) or pop along to our office for an informal chat (Pathfoot Building, Room D28a).

Find us on Twitter @PHRGStirlingUni  or feel free to join our Facebook page

We look forward to welcoming you!

Study abroad opportunities

Study abroad opportunities are a great way of building up inter-cultural skills during your time at University. They provide opportunities to meet people from all over the world and to learn about life in other countries in a way that would be impossible if you were just passing through as a tourist. They are valued highly by employers.

In line with the international orientation of our research and teaching, we offer a large range and growing opportunities to study abroad, both as part of our Erasmus links and as part of the University’s partnerships. They are based at top institutions in Europe and the world and include ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute, the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire) in the US and Simon Fraser University in Canada. We are currently also planning partnerships with Charles University in Prague, the University of Lyon in France, and the University of Wroclaw in Poland. All courses have been fully accredited by us and are available in English.

Please contact the divisional advisor of studies (History), Dr Jacqueline Jenkinson (j.l.m.jenkinson@stir.ac.uk) to discuss your options and the application process.



There is a thriving research student community in History. If you would like to find out more about studying for a PhD with us please click on Research.

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities has a strong reputation for excellence in research, and staff are committed to producing high-quality publications, which impact on legal scholarship and outside academia. Staff research is used for the benefit of students in teaching. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 5% of our research was judged to be world leading, 35% of international excellence, 30% of international quality, with the remaining 30% of at least national quality. In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework History held its overall ranking in Scotland while rising in the UK league table, with 98% of our research being assessed as of international or world leading significance. All of our research impact was classified as being of international or world leading significance (top 31 in the UK), as was 90% of our research environment (top 21 in the UK). The REF 2014 panel also stated that our work in PGR supervision in combination with the nurturing and career development of PGR students was outstanding.

For further information about all of our research projects in History please click here. The History & Politics commercial unit, History Tomorrow, has also undertaken a large number of research projects and most of the reports generated are freely available.

Contact Us

Thanks for visiting our web pages, and we hope you found what you were looking for. If you would like more information on History, or to speak to someone in person, please don't hesitate to contact us at:

History and Politics Office

University of Stirling

Stirling, FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467580
Email: historyandpolitics@stir.ac.uk
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon