Discovering Scotland: Nationhood and Nationalism POLITIC3021P

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course examines Scotland's enormous role in the creation of the modern world. It shows how the ideas, discoveries and achievements of this small country of just a few million people have been an inspiration and driving force in world history.


Daily over three weeks with normally 1 hour lecture followed by 1-hour seminar in the mornings and course-related fieldwork or cultural trips organised via the GU International Summer School in the afternoons. There will also be 3 all-day external visits. (12 hours lectures, 12 hours seminars, 3 full days' external visits). 

Requirements of Entry

You should be a current student enrolled at a higher education institution

There is no age restriction other than that you must be 18 years or over.

If your first language is not English we require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent)

You should have a GPA of at least 3.0 (or equivalent). Special circumstances may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Excluded Courses




Course Aims

This course examines the history, politics, culture and socio-economic development of Scotland and in doing so will explore the historic and contemporary understandings of Scottish nationalism. During this course the city of Glasgow will be used as a case study of the more recent cultural revival of Scotland and fieldtrips to range of locations in Scotland will be undertaken.


To examine the historical development of the Scottish Nation and in particular its relationship with the other nations of the British Isles.

To introduce students to the role of Scotland and particularly the city of Glasgow in the industrial revolution and the British Empire.

To evaluate the nature of the Scottish Enlightenment and the wider Scottish contribution to science and discovery since the eighteenth century.

To introduce students to the development of Scottish politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including devolution, nationalism and the Scottish Parliament.

To critically examine the events of the 2014 Independence Referendum.

To engage with wider questions of nationalism and national identity both political and cultural as exemplified by the Scottish experience.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Explain and assess the origins and development of Scottish nationalism and national identity

■ Critically evaluate Scotland's contribution to major political, social, economic and scientific achievements in the world from the 18th to 21st Centuries;

■ Evaluate the development of the Scottish economy from the 18th Century until the present day;

■ Analyse Scotland's political relationship with the rest of the UK under 'Devolution';

■ Critically assess the main debates in the 'Yes' and 'No' campaigns in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum

■ Appraise and critically engage with the role of the city of Glasgow in Scotland's political, socio-economic and cultural development

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.