Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The Making Of The Union Of 1707 HIST4156

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Why did the Scottish Parliament ratify a treaty of union with England in 1707? Historians have long debated this question. This course will ask students to assess the conflicting historiography of the making of the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707 and use primary source analysis to formulate their own views. These sources will include memoirs, letters, pamphlets and parliamentary petitions. We will consider the long term context of Anglo-Scottish relations but will focus on the shorter term domestic and international context from the Revolution of 1688-9.


3 hours per week.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours in history.

Excluded Courses




2 essays (one in each semester) 10% each

2 seminar papers (one in each semester) 6% each

Seminar contribution (one assessment in each semester) 4% each

Examination: 2 x 120 minute examinations, worth 60% overall

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The following aims are shared by all History special subjects:

1. to prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.

2. to show students how a professional historian works.

3. to familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

4. to ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised.

5. to encourage students to develop the 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 qualities are valuable.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of the special subject, students should be able to:
1) identify the long and short term events and issues leading to the approval of a treaty of union in the Scottish Parliament of 1706-7 based on the analysis of primary and secondary source material.
2) evaluate the conflicting historiographical explanations for the union of 1707 including an assessment of the authors' underlying ideological commitments.
3) formulate an independent view of the reltiave importance of key facators in the making of the union based on appropriate evidence.
4) present their findings clearly and effetively in written and oral form

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.