Introduction

History at Aberdeen offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in rich study of all aspects of human adventure in the past, exploring the medieval, early modern and modern periods in Scotland, Europe, America, Asia and Africa. You will study at a university steeped in 500 years of history and now ranked top in Scotland for the impact of its history research.

This programme is studied on campus.

History research at Aberdeen was ranked top in Scotland for its impact and second in the UK, in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.

You will learn in buildings centuries old, yet with the most modern teaching and technology, enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields, with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia.

You will have the opportunity of courses in historical chronological order, ranging from the ancient world to the present day and gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between cultures and national traditions.

You will benefit from access to our historic treasures including manuscripts, books, and museum exhibits collected by distinguished alumni, thinkers and explorers over 500 years, in collections accredited as nationally significant, and of international importance.

Our History graduates are highly attractive to employers for their skills in research, critical analysis, and communication, as well as the understanding of different aspects of human society and culture. Your career options will cover almost every field including politics, education, law, business, ministry, nursing, social work, the armed forces, journalism, NGOs and the heritage sectors.

You will enjoy all the benefits of learning and living in our friendly and vibrant international community, on our beautiful campus with great facilities for learning, sports and leisure and many opportunities to develop the extra skills to boost your employability and to broaden your horizons through studying abroad.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
V100

What You'll Study

History at Aberdeen is diverse and takes a holistic approach to the subject. Courses are studied in chronological order so you will benefit from studying the subject within a solid context. You will gain an in-depth knowledge of past events, human activity and the relationships between cultures over a range of historical periods. Some topics that you will explore, include Scottish and European History, The Vikings, Medieval Europe, History and Philosophy of Science and The British Experience.

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Making History (HI1027) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians. Download course guide.

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Optional Courses

  • Select 30 credit points from Level 1 courses in History and/or History of Art
  • Select a further 75 credit points from courses of choice
Year 2

Year 2

Optional Courses

  • Select 60 credit points from available level 2 courses in History
  • Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Thinking History (HI356J) - 30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 level 3 courses in History
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

History in Practice II (HI4518) - 30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

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Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516) - 30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout. Download Course Guide

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Optional Courses

  • Select a Special Subject course (listed below)
  • Select a further 30 credits from level 4 courses in History
Special Subject: Irish Troubles (HI4001) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the events known collectively as the “Irish Troubles”. That is, the origins, development and partial conclusion of non-violent and violent opposition to the continuation of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s until the present day. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Enlightenment Compared: Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe (HI4003) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: French Revolution (HI4006)
Special Subject: Women and Men (HI4007) - 30 Credit Points

This course will address a number of themes, including modern studies of marriage; the western medieval church and marriage law, sexuality and gender in the middle ages; attitudes to love, marriage and the family; and sex roles and gender differences. We will examine the way in which gender and ideology influence the lives of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the middle ages by examining a variety of primary and secondary sources. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Hitler (HI4008) - 30 Credit Points

Hitler is omnipresent in modern life. He appears everywhere in the media and he is invoked all the time in public and private discourse. Yet Adolf Hitler remains an enigma. While he tends to be reduced to a one-dimensional cardboard cutout villain outside of academia, inside academia there has been a tendency in recent years to diminish Hitler’s importance and to push Hitler to the sidelines. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009) - 30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: European Constitutional Monarchies in the Long 19th Century (HI4023) - 30 Credit Points

On the eve of the First World War Europe was a continent of monarchies. A long 19th century of revolutions, wars, growing literacy, an expanding public sphere, changes in social, economic, intellectual and technological life and imperial expansion lay behind them, but the continent’s monarchical systems had survived in surprisingly rude health. That monarchies had flourished throughout these profound transformations points to their suppleness and ingenuity. This course offers new perspectives on the political cultures of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe. Download Course Guide

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Course Availability

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

In first and second year, teaching involves two one-hour lectures per week and eight hour-long tutorials. At Honours level, students are assessed on a variety of skills, including teamwork, presentational and analytic skills and engagement with historical debate. All courses are supported by extensive online materials delivered through Aberdeen's Virtual Learning Environment, MyAberdeen.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 21%
independent: 79%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 54%
coursework: 42%
practical: 4%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 90%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 45%
coursework: 50%
practical: 5%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 90%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 12%
coursework: 86%
practical: 2%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 89%
placement: 1%
Assessment
written: 38%
coursework: 62%
practical: 0%

Why Study History?

  • Ranked top university in Scotland for the impact of History research and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national quality assessment and student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavian studies, late medieval and early modern period and research centres studying the history of global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, Russian and Eastern European history.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, a large Jacobite collections, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including historians to campus every spring.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, centred around the ancient building of King’s College Chapel, begun in 1490s5 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

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

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

History graduates from Aberdeen acquire skills that are highly praised by employers, including critical analysis, research, clarity of expression and the ability to work independently. You will also gain an unrivalled understanding of the different aspects of human society and culture throughout history. Our previous graduates have gone on to work in a variety of different fields, including politics, law, business, journalism, the media, education, NGOs and the heritage sectors.

Our Experts

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.

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

Facilities

As a History student at Aberdeen, you will have the opportunity to study in one of the oldest history departments in the UK. You will have access to a range of resources unique to the department, including texts from the University Library and research centres.

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX