Postgraduate taught 

Scottish Book History & Textual Editing PgCert: Online distance learning

Old Scottish manuscript

This programme is not running for 2024 intake

This Postgraduate Certificate focuses on the history of the book in Scotland and the theories surrounding Scottish book history and textual editing. Participants will complete a series of case studies designed to develop skills in comprehending the materiality of the book, the history of book production in Scotland and in textual editing practice, spanning Scottish literature from the work of medieval poets to twenty-first-century Scottish authors.

  • PgCert: 12 or 24 months part‑time

Why this programme

  • This innovative new Postgraduate Certificate is taken online, allowing maximum flexibility with your studies
  • The programme combines theoretical and practice-based learning, giving participants a unique set of skills
  • It has been developed by a group of specialists in Scottish textual editing and book history.
  • Its contributors are directly involved in major textual editing projects, including new editions of the works of Robert Burns and Allan Ramsay, among others.
  • The PG Certificate offers additional and distinctive training specialisms for Arts & Humanities graduates, heritage professionals and archivists.
  • Its host subject area, Scottish Literature, is a pioneering and award-winning centre for online and blended learning.
  • The programme offers an introduction to postgraduate study for those considering undertaking an MLitt, MPhil or PhD.

Programme structure

Over one year, you will take:

  • three core coursesthis programme is delivered part-time online via distance learning.
  • this programme was designed to give you maximum flexibility and control over your studies.
  • in order to get the most out of the programme we suggest that you set aside 2 hours per week to focus on your course work (one hour in online seminar, and one hour of asynchronous engagement with online materials).

Semester 1: September to December

Semester 2: January to March

Learning and teaching

This Postgraduate Certificate offers an introduction to Scottish book history and textual editing via theoretical analysis and practical skills development.

The study of book materiality is enabled in this online programme through the use of live imaging with Glasgow University Library’s EYE-14 technology.

Book history will be studied through the long context of material and technological development and change, from manuscript culture through print to the digital age.

Historical and contemporary approaches to textual editing will likewise be considered across a long and changing theoretical and practical terrain, with case studies ranging from medieval manuscripts to contemporary fiction, spanning the work of the medieval makars (poets) Robert Henryson and William Dunbar, Allan Ramsay, Robert Burns and Muriel Spark, among many others.

The programme aims to:

  • Enable advanced critical understanding of the development of the book in Scotland
  • Provide training in bibliographical research, book history and textual editing via practical examples and case studies
  • Engender critical readings of textuality from the medieval period until the present day
  • Develop advanced critical skills in the framework of textual editing theory

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Examine critically the major theoretical principles in textual editing.
  • Evaluate critically the most important developments in Scottish book history.
  • Discuss analytically the theoretical issues surrounding material practice in textual editing and Scottish book history.

Skills and other attributes

Subject-specific/practical skills

By the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Formulate an appropriate methodology for producing their own examples of textual editing.
  • Apply bibliographical and editing tools to solve problems in textual editing and book history.
  • Evaluate critically the role of historical, cultural and material contexts in the analysis of Scottish books, editions and texts.
  • Develop and articulate detailed and well-supported arguments relating to the production of books and editions for scholarly and commercial markets.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Apply critical analysis to primary and secondary sources in the understanding of Scottish books, editions and texts.
  • Identify and evaluate critically the rationale behind different approaches to editing.
  • Employ appropriate evidence and theoretical approaches to produce individual analyses of case studies in Scottish book history and textual editing.

Transferable/key skills

By the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Provide original and creative responses to problems in material culture.
  • Compose well-researched and targeted academic-style essays and case studies.
  • Communicate to an advanced level complex theoretical approaches and their practical application.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

This PG Certificate offers practical training in book history and textual editing unavailable elsewhere. 

It would, therefore, be highly valuable to anyone considering a career in academia, research, publishing, archival work, heritage and culture, as well as to those planning to undertake postgraduate research in Scottish literature and/or book history.

It also offers additional skills-based tuition and continuing professional development for archival, heritage and library professionals.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2024-25



  • £4,050 (total fee)
  • Part-time fee: £1,350 per 20 credits

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

TOEFL (ibt, mybest or athome)

  • 79; with Reading 13; Listening 12; Speaking 18; Writing 21
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements , this includes TOEFL mybest.

Pearsons PTE Academic

  • 59 with minimum 59 in all subtests
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Oxford English Test

  • Oxford ELLT 7
  • R&L: OIDI level no less than 6 with Reading: 21-24 Listening: 15-17
  • W&S: OIDI level no less than 6.

Trinity College Tests

  • Integrated Skills in English II & III & IV: ISEII Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.


As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, see how to apply for a postgraduate taught degree

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application, see Application System Help.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Application deadlines

September 2024

  • International & EU applicants: 26 July 2024
  • UK applicants: 16 August 2024