Postgraduate taught 

Art History: Dress & Textile Histories MLitt

Fabrics of a Nation: Scottish Dress and Textile Histories HISTART5138

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will explore the history of Scotland's textile heritage. By looking at the rise and fall of specific manufacturers and the roles they have played within and beyond Scotland, the course will introduce students to the social, economic and cultural impacts of the textiles themselves and the clothes that they made.


9 x 1 hour lecture 

9 x 1 hour seminar 

1 x 2 hour study trip over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

Excluded Courses





10 minute presentation (20%) 

Report 1000 words (20%) 

Essay 3000 words (60%) 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:  

■ develop students' knowledge and understanding of Scotland's textile history and heritage  

■ trace the mechanisms and ideas that fuelled developments in Scottish textile and dress industries in the broader context of Britain's industrial and colonial enterprises, c. 1727-1914 

■ examine the role of Scottish dress and textiles in reflecting and forming Scottish national identities through its representation in print and visual culture, museum collections, national and international exhibitions 

■ expand students' analytical thinking and writing and to develop their oral presentation skills 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ engage in a critical way with the relevant secondary literature and apply interdisciplinary skills and ideas to the history of Scottish dress and textiles 

■ identify, engage with and evaluate archival sources, surviving artefacts and visual evidence relating to the manufacture and use of Scottish textiles and dress both within and outside Scotland  

■ critically evaluate the way in which Scottish dress and textiles were used and promoted as a cultural, political and economic activity 

■ present knowledge in oral and written form according to established scholarly conventions. 

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.