Scottish History MA/MA(SocSci)

Eilean Donan Castle

The study of history is the study of change and continuity in human society through time. Scottish history is the study of Scotland’s past.

Scottish History at Glasgow boasts renowned researchers at the cutting edge of the discipline across all periods, from medieval to modern.

The Centre for Scottish & Celtic Studies at Glasgow addresses Scottish history in a genuinely crossdisciplinary environment and students are encouraged to get involved.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • This programme can only be taken as joint honours

Programme structure

Year 1

You will take two core courses in history, one of which introduces you to the history of Scotland.

Topics you will study include:

  • the independent kingdom
  • medieval society
  • castles
  • government
  • the Wars of Independence
  • Catholic belief and a Scottish church
  • Renaissance learning and culture
  • Reformation and absentee monarchy
  • Covenanting revolution
  • Cromwellian conquest
  • Union with England in 1707
  • commerce with Europe and America
  • industrialisation and 20th-century Scotland.

Year 2

You will study modern social and cultural history, and global history. These courses introduce you to new historical skills and approaches and represent a progression from first year.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you can only take Scottish History as a Joint Honours degree in combination with another subject. It is most often combined with Celtic Studies.

You may take courses on topics such as:

  • the first Scottish War of Independence
  • Scottish popular culture
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • the history of the Gaelic language
  • Scotland and the American Revolution
  • the Highland Clearances
  • international migration
  • warfare in Scotland.

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.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities as part of your degree. This won’t add any extra time to your studies. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2021

Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

Summary of entry requirements for Scottish History

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)

  • AAAAA Higher or AAAA Higher + B Advanced Higher (BBBB S5 minimum for consideration)
  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)

  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: one A-level Humanities subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL English and HL Humanities subject.

2021 Admissions Policy and further information about entry requirements

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

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

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

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years 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:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

As a history graduate you will be able to enter many different careers, from teaching to the financial services, and the skills you will have developed are extremely popular with employers. Our recent History graduates have been employed, among many other organisations, by:

  • Glasgow Museums
  • HarperCollins
  • Oxfam
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Police Scotland.

Degrees and UCAS codes

Scottish History can only be taken as a Joint Honours degree.

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA (Hons)

Scottish History/Archaeology: VVF4 (4 years)
Scottish History/Celtic Civilisation: QVN2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Celtic Studies: QVM2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Central & East European Studies: RVP1 (4 years)
Scottish History/Classics: QVV2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Economic & Social History: VVG3 (4 years)
Scottish History/Economics: LVD1 (4 years)
Scottish History/English Language & Linguistics: QV3F (4 years)
Scottish History/English Literature: QVHF (4 years)
Scottish History/Film & Television Studies: VWF6 (4 years)
Scottish History/Gaelic: QV52 (4 years)
Scottish History/Geography: LVR2 (4 years)
Scottish History/History of Art: VVF3 (4 years)
Scottish History/Mathematics: GVC2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Music: VWF3 (4 years)
Scottish History/Philosophy: VVD5 (4 years)
Scottish History/Politics: LV22 (4 years)
Scottish History/Portuguese: 3W2Q (5 years)
Scottish History/Psychology: CVW2 (4 years)
Apply via UCAS
Applicants must meet the Psychology requirements
Scottish History/Scottish Literature: QVF2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Sociology: LVP1 (4 years)
Scottish History/Spanish: V2R4 (5 years)
Scottish History/Theatre Studies: VWF4 (4 years)
Scottish History/Theology & Religious Studies: VVF6 (4 years)

MA(SocSci) (Hons)

Scottish History/Business Economics: LVD2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Economic & Social History: VV32 (4 years)
Scottish History/Economics: LVC2 (4 years)
Scottish History/Politics: LVF2 (4 years)

Scottish History can only be taken as a Joint Honours degree. 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply


Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS


History students thought staff were good at explaining things

Discover Uni, January 2020
study abroad plane