Discovering Scotland's Past DUMF1065P

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Discovering Scotland's Past is an introduction to the history of Scotland from earliest times to the nineteenth century. Taking a multi- and interdisciplinary approach, the cultural, social and political history of Scotland will be explored through a series of chronological and thematic units intended to highlight some of the key events, important stages and interesting moments in the development of the Scottish nation.


3 hours per week (17 lectures/5 workshops/5 seminars), full day fieldtrip, and a minimum of one formative project planning meeting with each student.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Coursework will consist of the following:


30% Historical Figure Assignment: Students will choose an historical figure from Scottish History from a pre-prepared list, or from their own research in consultation with the course convenor. Students are asked to research their chosen person and write a short essay (approx. 800 words) about their time period, the wider cultural context in which they lived, and what was important, significant or interesting about them. Students will also produce a visual component that can consist of one of the following options:

1. Provide a portrait of the person (if one exists), or a picture of their home, or an object associated with them, or something for which that person is strongly associated (e.g. a plant or animal named after them). Your chosen visual should be accompanied by a 200-300 words paragraph explaining the image and its relevance to your historical figure.

2. Make a "paper doll" teaching tool, made to look like your historical figure. When making your doll consider likeness (if that is known) but you may also want to think about clothing, footwear, tools of the trade, or any additional information about that person's life and career that could be integrated into your design to better communicate who your historical person was and the life that they led. The paper doll should be accompanied by a brief statement (min. 100 words) on how the doll could be used in a classroom situation, age group it is aimed at, or any additional educational merits or Es and Os it might satisfy.


10% Set Exercise: Worksheets: The five worksheets will be available to students to read or download on Moodle. Students will be asked to bring the worksheet to the relevant class as there is a group work component involved. Worksheets will not be individually graded but completion and submission of all five worksheets will be awarded an automatic A-grade; four worksheets will be awarded a B-grade; three worksheets will be awarded a C-grade; two worksheets will be awarded a D-grade; one worksheet will be awarded an E-grade. If no worksheets are submitted a Zero will be given.


60% Portfolio: Research Project: To be submitted in Week 12 either as hard copy or as an e-porfolio on Mahara. Students will be given a list of suggested topics to choose from or can choose their own topic in consultation with the course convenor. Students will prepare a substantial project consisting of a 1,000-1,500 word essay demonstrating their knowledge of a selected topic; a 600-800 word primary source analysis; an infographic (information graphic/data visualization); and their choice of either a lesson plan based on the topic of their essay, or a 500-600 word review of a book, article, play, artwork, museum or location relating to the topic of their essay.


In order to avoid overlap across assignments the Historical Figure assignment and the Research Project must be on different topics or themes.

Course Aims

The principle aims of this course are:


1. to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the main themes and events in Scottish history and culture, from the Mesolithic and Neolithic peoples to the nineteenth century.

2. to instill an awareness of the existence and nature of different scholarly views and approaches to the selected pre-historical, historical and cultural topics.

3. to foster a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to historical studies and engage in critical and analytical discourse in written and oral work, in-class group work, and outdoor learning to places of local and national significance.

4. to introduce students to the necessary skills in interpreting primary and secondary historical sources.

5. to develop independent and self-directed learning.

6. to encourage and develop confidence, imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these skills are valuable.

7. to engage with, and deepen knowledge of, Scottish history and culture at a local, national and international level.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. identify and explain the significance of some of the main issues, events, themes and developments within Scottish history and culture to the nineteenth century.

2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various historical viewpoints, opinions and arguments.

3. undertake a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to the study of historical topics using critical and analytical skills in both written and oral work, as well as engaging with places of local and national significance through outdoor learning.

4. evaluate, process and assess a complex range of primary and secondary sources and communicate historical interpretations and materials in a variety of ways.

5. research, write, verbally communicate and argue logically and persuasively about the topics covered.

6. plan, implement and evaluate knowledge gained and skills acquired within a range of work related environments.

7. reflect on Scotland's place in the world from local, national, international and comparative perspectives.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 80% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.

Students must attend at least 80% of the compulsory classes.