The Master of Arts (MA) Degree (Unique to Scotland)

Our undergraduate Master of Arts (MA) degrees are unique to ancient Scottish universities. Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, most take four years to study (Modern Languages have a different structure, including a year abroad, and take five years).

Flexible Single & Joint Honours Programmes

All our MA degrees let you explore multiple subject areas before you specialise. In year 1 you take three subjects. In year 2 you take two of them onwards and choose a new third subject. At the end of year 2, you'll decide which subject or subjects you want to continue at honours level.

What subjects can I study?

You will study 120 credits each year. Across your first two years you must study 120 credits taught within the College of Arts & Humanities. This means that half your total credits must be from the subjects we teach.

College of Arts & Humanities subjects  




Celtic Civilisation



Classical Civilisation



Comparative Literature


Scottish Literature

Creative Arts & Industries



Digital Media & Information Studies

History of Art

Theatre Studies

English Language & Linguistics


Theology & Religious Studies

English Literature



Film & Television Studies



The remaining half of your credits is made up of optional subjects. These may come from courses taught at the College of Arts & Humanities or other colleges.

There is also opportunity to study Chinese (Mandarin), Czech and Polish but as the University does not offer these at honours level, we do not recommend them for year 1 students.

Some subjects are more popular than others or have fewer spaces available, and not all subjects can be timetabled together. We can only guarantee you entry into the subject (or for a joint degree, subjects) you applied for as the named programme on your UCAS application. For example, if you want to study Creative Arts & Industries or Film & Television Studies, you should choose these programmes in your UCAS application.

What is the degree structure like?

In year 1, you will pick three subjects to study. All of these will have an equal weighting. This means you will study an equal amount of credits in each subject.

In year 2, you will also study three subjects. These can all be the same as in year 1, but most students will pick one new subject.

If you are studying for a Modern Language degree, you will have a mandatory year abroad in year 3. You can spend this studying at a university where the language is spoken, as a language teaching assistant or in a work placement.

Honours level study takes up years 3 and 4 of most degree programmes, or years 4 and 5 for Modern Language degrees. You will pick one or two subjects that you will continue studying at this level.

Single or Joint Honours?

Single or joint honours?

You can apply for a single or joint honours degree on UCAS. We recommend applying for joint honours. This means you have effectively booked a place in the two subjects you are admitted to and are most interested in taking.

Applying for joint honours does not mean that you will have to complete a joint honours degree. You can change to single honours during your studies if you want to focus on one subject instead. The Arts Advising team can help you with this decision.

MA Single Honours in Geography, Mathematics or Psychology

The College of Arts & Humanities offers single honours degrees in Geography, Mathematics and Psychology, although the subjects belong to Science or Life Sciences. If you want to combine these subjects with Arts & Humanities subjects in first and second year, we recommend applying for the MA degree.

If your other preferred subjects are in Social Sciences, you should apply for the MA (Soc Sci) degree. If your other preferred subjects are in Science, you should apply for the BSc degree.

If you are unsure, please email arts-advising@glasgow.ac.uk and we can help you decide if the MA is the right degree for you.

Example of a typical single honours degree

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Level 1 English Literature

Level 2 English Literature

Junior Honours English Literature

Senior Honours English Literature

Level 1 Classical Civilisation

Level 2 Classical Civilisation

Level 1 Sociology

Level 1 English Language

Example of a typical joint honours degree

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Level 1 History

Level 2 History

Junior Honours History

Senior Honours History

Level 1 Philosophy

Level 2 Philosophy

Junior Honours Philosophy

Senior Honours Philosophy

Level 1 Politics

Level 1 Archaeology



Example of a typical joint honours degree which includes a modern language

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3 (abroad)

Year 4

Year 5

Level 1 Spanish

Level 2 Spanish


(year abroad)

Junior Honours Spanish

Senior Honours Spanish

Level 1 Politics

Level 2 Politics

Junior Honours Politics

Senior Honours Politics

Level 1 Scottish Literature

Level 1 Celtic Civilisation