Scottish History BA (Hons)

UCAS code V212

What is special about this course?

If you are interested in Scottish and Highlands and Islands history, then the BA (Hons) Scottish History degree is exactly what you’re looking for.

Throughout the course, you will investigate the cultural, political, social and economic links between Scotland and the northern European and northern Atlantic regions.

In the first and second years, you will follow a traditional broad approach to the study of history from the medieval to the modern period. In years three and four you will have the opportunity to examine in-depth specific places, periods and themes which reflect the research specialisms of the expert staff at the university's Centre for History. Each year, you will build on your analytical and research abilities through a series of skills modules.

Over two-thirds of the research conducted by the Centre for History was rated at 4 and 3*, indicating ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, in the latest assessment of UK university research quality.

The impact of our research on the broader economy and society was ranked joint 8th, higher than Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh. We are also the highest ranked new History department in the UK.

Special features

  • This course provides opportunities to focus on the history of the Highlands and Islands
  • Exciting new modules based on staffs' cutting-edge research are offered at upper level
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development
  • The Centre for History holds regular research seminars to which students are welcome
  • There are opportunities to volunteer at local museums and archives as well as occasional formal opportunities. For example, students recently won a two-week archival internship at Mount Stuart alongside undergraduates from other Scottish universities
  • Occasional (voluntary) field trips in the university's region enhance the experience of your degree


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social  Science (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit, will be considered for direct entry to year two

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Other relevant humanities access courses will also be considered on an individual basis.

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • What is history?
  • Scottish history: 1066-1603
  • Scottish history: 1603 - 20th century

You will also choose three further option modules, one from history and two from other humanities subjects.

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • Historians and history PLUS
  • Land and people: the Scottish Highlands 1700-2000 OR
  • Scotland, the North Sea and the Baltic

You will also choose three further option modules, one from history and two from other humanities subjects.

Year 3 - BA

You will study the following core module:

  • Public history

You will choose four further modules which may include:

  • Crown-Magnate relations in later medieval Northern Scotland
  • Scots in Poland, Poles in Scotland
  • Emigration from the Highlands and Islands since 1750
  • Scots in North America
  • The sovereignty of the sea?
  • The Jacobites: patriots, rebels or opportunists?

You may select two history modules in place of two Scottish history options. 

You may choose one further option module from other humanities subjects

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a Scottish history dissertation.

In addition, you will select four modules which may include:

  • Merchants, mariners and maritime marauders: Scottish trade in the early modern period
  • The Highland land wars: origins, aftermath and interpretations
  • The empire strikes back: how the British Empire shaped Scotland
  • Royal power, propaganda and performance: selling the Stewart Monarchy
  • Culture and Christianity in the Highlands
  • The seventeenth century in the Highlands
  • Noble, Rebel, King: Robert Bruce and medieval Scotland

You may also select two history modules in place of two Scottish history modules.

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. As this course was designed using our blended learning approach it will be delivered through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course. Further information will be provided by your home campus. International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must access scheduled classes on-campus.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video conference seminars and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE) with support from your tutors
  • There is a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module which students should attend at their home campus

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week:
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

The number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes a weekly two-hour video conference seminar for each module, online tutor-supported study and self-directed study.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Highland Theological College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI - Dornoch and Thurso campuses
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government has confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals starting their study in Scotland from academic year 2021-22, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. For 2021-22, students will get an automatic scholarship of £3,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Year Level 2021-22 Full-time With scholarship
Year 1 HNC £12,360 £9,360 
Year 2 HND £12,360 £9,360 
Year 3 Degree £12,360 £9,360
Year 4 Honours Free Free

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £12,000 £12,360
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £6,000 £6,180
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £2,000 £2,060

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

Additional costs

You will be required to cover your own expenses when participating in fieldtrips.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Scottish History course, there are a variety of careers you might like to consider such as:

  • Teaching
  • Archivist
  • Researcher
  • Government positions
  • Museums and libraries sector
  • Media and journalism

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Scottish History to the following postgraduate course:

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

Scottish History was the right course for me as it offered a surprising level of variety. I’ve learned about the fantastic stories of Scots in the Highlands, as well as early America and the West Indies. The independent style of teaching at the university encourages responsibility for your own learning. Using video-conference, contacting your lecturers through email and arranging your own meetings is a much more practical and modern approach which will be hugely beneficial out in the ‘real world’.

Sam Baillie, fourth year student, BA (Hons) Scottish History.

I went directly into the second year after being out of university for three years. I was concerned that I would feel out of my depth going into a new field but my trepidations were immediately set aside once I met my lecturers and fellow students. The staff are much more accessible than I have experienced previously: they encourage you to engage with the course material and help if you are struggling.

While applying, I was given huge support from the admissions team. This not only solidified my decision to study here but also made the whole prospect exciting.

Victoria Whiteford is studying full time on the BA (Hons) Scottish History and Theology at our Highland Theological College UHI campus.

The university is a modern institution that puts Highland history at the forefront of its efforts, rather than relegating it to a provincial interest. I have had opportunity to work on excavation of Dùn Naomhaig (Dunyvaig) castle in Islay. This was a dream come true. My time spent volunteering in Orkney not only gave me the archaeological skillset to get involved in this project, but provided a practical background from which I could broaden my understanding of the new site. Having just begun planning my dissertation centred on the Lordship of the Isles, this knowledge has already proven incredibly useful in informing my view of them.

Duncan Foxley is in his third year of the BA (Hons) Archaeology and Scottish History at our Orkney College UHI campus.

Apply for Scottish History BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.