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St Katharine’s Lodge

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St John’s House

Taught Masters

The MLitt in Scottish Historical Studies offers students the opportunity to explore Scotland’s long term development over time and to focus on more specific topics of interest under the guidance of renowned experts in the field.


  • Modules explore the history of historical writing in Scotland and the relationship between the Scottish past and the Scottish present.
  • Focused attention upon one of three time periods develops the understanding and skills required to pursue independent research.
  • Students have the opportunity to pursue more intensive study of the literature of a topic of their choice under the guidance of an expert supervisor.

Teaching format

Over two semesters, students complete two compulsory modules and two optional modules on a range of themes and topics in Scottish history. The compulsory modules offer a unique insight into the development of historical writing in Scotland from the Middle Ages to the present and explore the complex relationships between interpretations of the Scottish past and their uses in the present. Teaching is primarily by seminars of six to eight students and one-to-one tutorials. The modules are assessed by coursework only; there is no final exam.  Students will spend the final three months of the course focusing on researching and writing the final assessment piece for the MLitt, a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words.

For additional information,
please contact the programme director Malcolm Petrie

PhD Research

We welcome applications from graduates seeking to undertake doctoral research under the supervision of its staff. Full details of their areas of research interest can be found by accessing staff profiles.

Eligible candidates will also be considered for nomination for studentships within the School of History at St Andrews.  Candidates will normally only be nominated for this competition through the ISHR if they hold a first class honours degree (or equivalent), or a distinction in an appropriate training masters degree.

The ISHR currently has over a dozen doctoral students working on a wide range of topics from the Dark Ages to the twentieth century and hosts a number of projects within which clusters of students work on individual but related topics.  The Institute has an excellent record in mentoring PhD students and seeing them through to completion.

Enquiries from students interested in pursuing these opportunities should be addressed in the first instance to Dr Malcolm Petrie ([email protected]).