The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore, the programme structure and delivery method for September 2020 may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about September 2020 study with us.

Study modern history in one of Scotland’s ancient universities, the fifth oldest in the English-speaking world. The University of Aberdeen MLitt in Modern History offers a combination of cutting-edge research, world-leading faculty, and a tradition of historical study dating back more than 500 years. The Aberdeen MLitt in Modern History is aimed equally at future researchers, teachers, decision makers and those with a love for history.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
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The Aberdeen MLitt in Modern History combines cutting-edge teaching, professional research training, and individual research. A postgraduate degree in history prepares students for careers in all fields that value analytical thinking, creative problem solving, and high level research skills. Our students have gone on to careers in teaching, government, public service, journalism, and corporations. It can also lead to further academic study or personal enrichment.

Students on the Aberdeen MLitt in Modern History have access to a wide range of courses in a variety of fields taught by leading international scholars. They will have the opportunity to pursue directed research towards a dissertation on a subject of their choice and will receive training in research skills.

In addition to our taught programme, we also offer an MLitt in History as a research degree. For more information about this option, please click here.

What You'll Study

Degree Content

Degree Content

Students are required to take HI502T (30 credits), HI552R (30 credits), and HI5594 (15 credits) as well as a special subject (HI502K, 30 credits) chosen from the wide range of topics offered by the department of History. These can include Hitler, Irish Troubles, or the Russian Revolution. Students will also take HI5915 Dissertation and Historical Studies (75 credits).

Students intending the MLitt will take HI5915 Dissertation in Historical Studies (75 credits). Those pursuing a PGDip will take HI5913 Research Paper OR HI552G Independent Reading in Historical Studies.

Students may, at the discretion of the programme coordinator, substitute up to 60 credits to the above courses with others offered within the university, including other masters courses within the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy.

Compulsory Courses
Special Subject (HI502K)

30 Credit Points

This course allows you to do in-depth study in a specific area in History or a related subject agreed upon with your programme coordinator. It may be offered in conjunction with you sitting in on level 3 or 4 lectures relating to the subject material, with additional individual tuition. Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course
Engaging with Historiography (HI502T)

30 Credit Points

Students work closely with a member of staff to develop a detailed knowledge of and write a critical survey of the literature in their chosen field. This helps students develop research skills required for the literature review in the dissertation, but will be much broader in scope to ensure they have a secure grasp of the relevant research in their field. The course enhances students' ability to identify and engage critically with a body of literature and improve their skills in academic writing appropriate to postgraduate work. Download Course Guide

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Presenting Historical Research (HI552R)

30 Credit Points

Students complete the course with an enhanced ability to present convincing academic arguments and research findings in writing and, particularly orally. They improve their critical engagement with the research and arguments of other historians.

Students attend research seminars and write a seminar comparison report, fostering engagement with the process of presenting arguments and research findings.

Following training in presentation skills, students present their dissertation proposals in a workshop, recording their presentation using Camtasia, and respond to questions from staff and students. Students then write a reflective analysis of their presentations.

Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course
Research Preparation in Historical Studies (HI5594)

15 Credit Points

This course consists of a mixture of two-hour group seminars and shorter one-to-one supervision with the member of staff best equipped to advise you on your dissertation topic. It will involve detailed discussion of your research ideas and planning with the aim of providing the fullest preparation for researching and writing the dissertation in the summer and research beyond. Fundamental to the success of the course are mutual feedback and support within the student group. Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course
Dissertation in Historical Studies (HI5915)

75 Credit Points

An individually supervised project with a 18,000-word dissertation for students to complete their MLitt qualification

Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course
Research Paper (HI5913)

15 Credit Points

This is an individually-supervised project for students intending to complete a PG Dip in a programme in History

View detailed information about this course
Independent Reading In Historical Studies (HI552G)

15 Credit Points

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in History agreed with the course coordinator. You will be allocated a supervisor and through a series of meetings pursue in-depth reading on a topic and write a 4000-word essay on that subject. Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

For the MLitt students must acquire 180 credits over the course of the year (105 for courses + 75 for the dissertation). Courses should normally total 45-60 credit points in each half-session. Assessment is based on written work and moderated according to university standards. Every student is assigned a dissertation supervisor based on their research interests.

For the PGDip students must acquire 105 credits plus 15 credits from either HI5913 OR HI552G.

Why Study Modern History?

  • MLitt Modern History is tailored to your interests and gives you the foundation for doctoral research or career paths reliant on research and communication.
  • The programme is an ideal next step if you want to study more in the History area.
  • You develop a broad, deep understanding of your area and are assisted by staff with specialisms in History from the 18th to 20th centuries.

Entry Requirements

For more information about the application process, including details about which supporting documents you will be asked to provide, please click here.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Candidates must normally have an Honours degree to at least 2.1 standard in an appropriate discipline or equivalent qualifications and experience.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £8,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £18,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

You can also find funding opportunities advertised on the University’s funding database.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Postgraduate Open Day

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Find out about life at the University of Aberdeen with a live Q&A with current students.

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There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Aberdeen is Famous for Boece

Hector Boece wrote his History of the Scottish People here in the 1520s. He was the first Principal of King's College, writing the Chronicles of Scotland

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Colin Barr
Professor Anthony Heywood
Dr Elizabeth Macknight
Dr Andrew Dilley
Dr Heidi Mehrkens
Dr Ben Marsden
Professor Andrew Blaikie
Programme Coordinator
Professor Thomas Weber

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds
AB24 3DS