Scottish History and Archaeology BA (Hons)

UCAS code V22A

What is special about this course?

If you’re interested in delving into Scotland’s rich and colourful past, this joint honours degree gives you an excellent grounding in the study and practice of Scottish history and archaeology.

You will explore Scottish history from the medieval to the modern period focusing on the cultural, political, social and economic links between Scotland and other northern European and Atlantic regions. You will also develop a wide range of archaeological skills such as fieldwork, surveying and post-excavation, with an emphasis on the cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands. These skills are mapped to the current occupational standards for archaeology, to increase your employability after graduation.

You will learn the theoretical aspects of Scottish history and archaeology through a combination of face-to-face and video conference seminars in the classroom, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), supported by your tutors.

Special features

  • A highly practical course focusing on the ‘on-the-job’ skills you need to pursue a career in Scottish history or archaeology
  • Few courses in the UK offer this high level of practical archaeological experience
  • Our studies are linked to the distinctive cultural heritage of the region – what learning experience could be richer and more fulfilling?
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development
  • Occasional voluntary History field trips in the university's region enhance the experience of your degree

Accommodation

We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social  Science (12 SCQF credits) with 3 additional SCQF credits at level 7 which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two.

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Access to Christian Theology at our university and other relevant humanities access courses will also be considered on an individual basis.

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following Scottish history modules:

  • What is history? PLUS
  • Scottish history, 1066-1603 OR
  • Scottish history, 1603 - 20th century

You will also study the following archaeology modules:

  • Archaeological theory and method PLUS
  • Historic landscapes OR
  • World archaeology OR
  • European prehistories

You will also choose two further option modules from a range of history, archaeology and other humanities subjects.

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following Scottish history modules:

  • Historians and history PLUS
  • Land and people: the Scottish Highlands 1700-2000 OR
  • Scotland, the North Sea and the Baltic

You will also study the following archaeology modules:

  • Excavation skills (compulsory); normally taken during the Summer vacation prior to the commencement of year two, at a site location off-campus. You will be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and subsistence associated with your participation in this two-week module. PLUS:
  • Scottish archaeology OR
  • Digital heritage OR
  • Managing archaeology for contemporary society

You will study two further option modules from a range of history, archaeology and other humanities subjects.

Year 3 - BA

You will study:

  • one of the two core modules (either Public history or Archaeology project)
  • the two Archaeology core modules
  • and a further five options, ensuring a balance of three Scottish history and three archaeology modules. You may take one History module in place of one Scottish history module.

Scottish history modules may include:

  • The Jacobites: patriots, rebels or opportunists?
  • Crown-magnate relations in later medieval norther Scotland
  • Scots in North America
  • Emigration from the Highlands and Islands since 1750
  • Scots in Poland, Poles in Scotland
  • The sovereignty of the sea?

Archaeology core modules are:

  • Archaeology and interpretation
  • Archaeological sciences

Archaeology options may include:

  • Pre-history of the Highlands and Islands
  • Historical archaeology of the Highlands and Islands
  • Archaeology placement - you will be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and subsistence associated with your participation in this module

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation in Scottish history or Archaeology.

You will also study one option module from your chosen dissertation subject plus three option modules from the other subject. You may take one History module in place of one Scottish history module.

Scottish history modules may include:

  • The empire strikes back: how the British Empire shaped Scotland 
  • Merchants, mariners and maritime marauders: Scottish trade in the early modern period
  • The Highland wars: origins, aftermath and interpretations
  • Culture and Christianity in the Highlands and Islands
  • The seventeenth century in the Highlands
  • Royal power, propaganda and performance: selling the Stewart monarchy
  • Noble, Rebel, King: Robert Bruce and Medieval Scotland

Archaeology modules may include:

  • Sustainability past and present
  • People, plants and animals
  • Neolithic Scotland
  • Iron Age of Scotland c800BC-800AD
  • Vikings and Norse archaeology in the North Atlantic
  • Landscape archaeology

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

As your course was designed using our blended learning approach and has run successfully for many years in this way, we can confirm that there will be limited change to how the course will be delivered next year. From September 2020, you will study online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and opportunities for campus attendance will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing. For the joint degree with archaeology, this also applies to the excavation skills module, where this is not possible an online alternative may be available. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all staff and students.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study this course through a combination of face-to-face and video conference seminars, as well as online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE)  which is supported by your tutors and student advisor. There is a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module which students should attend at their home campus

How long will my course last?


  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

The number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes a weekly two-hour video conference seminar for each module, online tutor-supported study and self-directed study.


Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Highland Theological College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI - Dornoch and Thurso campuses
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September

Fees

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Degrees2019-202020-21
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Full-timeLevel2019-202020-21
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

  2019-202020-21
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £11,650 £12,000
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,820 £6,000
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,940 £2,000

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

Additional Costs

Participation in any History field trips will be at your own expense.

You will also be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and subsistence associated with participation in the Archaeology Excavation skills module and the Archaeology placement.

What can I do on completion of my course?

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Media
  • Politics
  • Archaeological Contract Units
  • Consultancy
  • Archives & Museums
  • Government agencies and Local authorities
  • Tourism and Heritage management

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Scottish History and Archaeology to the following postgraduate cours

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

The university is a modern institution that puts Highland history at the forefront of its efforts, rather than relegating it to a provincial interest. I have had opportunity to work on excavation of Dùn Naomhaig (Dunyvaig) castle in Islay. This was a dream come true. My time spent volunteering in Orkney not only gave me the archaeological skillset to get involved in this project, but provided a practical background from which I could broaden my understanding of the new site. Having just begun planning my dissertation centred on the Lordship of the Isles, this knowledge has already proven incredibly useful in informing my view of them.

Duncan Foxley is in his third year of the BA (Hons) Archaeology and Scottish History at our Orkney College UHI campus.

I’ve gained a wide range of archaeological fieldwork skills and a greater understanding of how commercial and research archaeology works are undertaken. After volunteering, I was offered a job with AOC Archaeology Group: having the degree was fundamental to this. I would like to move up to become a
project manager in the future. Volunteering in Orkney was a highlight of my experience and I also thoroughly enjoyed doing my dissertation, which allowed me to learn about St Kilda.

Sam Golder graduated with a BA (Hons) Scottish History and Archaeology from our Perth College UHI campus.

Apply for Scottish History and Archaeology BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.