British Studies MLitt

What is special about this course?

The MLitt British Studies is the only interdisciplinary masters course in British Studies in the UK. It brings together four key disciplines from across the humanities – history, literature, philosophy and archaeology. It allows students to develop their interest in any aspect of British identities, across disciplines and centuries, and offers an excellent foundation for independent research.

You will explore the shifting meanings of Britishness, from the Roman era to the present day, with experts who are highly research active. You will examine a variety of representations and articulations of Britishness, exploring how British mentalities and identities have been experienced by people from all backgrounds - both in the UK and abroad - and questioning the idea of Britishness.

You will be trained in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of identities and in a range of research skills and methodologies, equipping you to pursue doctoral research in a selection of disciplines. You will gain hands-on skills in digital humanities and your dissertation will give you the opportunity to work closely with a range of local museums and archives. You can also gain ‘practical’ academic experience in conference organisation, public speaking, networking and virtual research environments.

On the MLitt British Studies programme you will be taught by academics who played a key part in the university’s REF2014 submission - the latest assessment of UK university research quality. Overall, the Centre for History was the highest ranked new history department in the UK: over two-thirds of research was rated at 4* and 3* in history and area studies, indicating ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ quality. The ‘impact’ of this research on the broader economy and society was ranked joint 8th and 12th respectively throughout the entire UK, with area studies coming out top in Scotland.

Special features

  • Interdisciplinary postgraduate training in the Humanities
  • Opportunities to work with one of our partners in the region’s heritage sector (Inverness Museums and Galleries; Historic Environment Scotland; Highland Archive Centre)
  • Opportunities to participate in the Hub for the Study of British Identities, an online virtual research environment (VRE)
  • Opportunities for digital humanities training
  • Available in the Highlands and Islands or online from anywhere in the world
  • Ideal for students who have undertaken a joint-honours or liberal arts undergraduate degree, but designed in a way that also supports students who are new to interdisciplinary research or the individual disciplines that form part of this course
  • Opportunity to undertake a substantial interdisciplinary research project
  • Opportunities to study additional modules from across the Humanities

Entry requirements

  • 2:1 Honours degree or above (or international equivalent) in history, archaeology, literature, philosophy, or a related subject from elsewhere in the arts and humanities, either from the University of the Highlands and Islands or from another university, domestically or internationally


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scotland-domiciled and EU students)

Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland-domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.


You will choose three out of the following core modules (60 credits): 

  • British identities
  • Re-imagining the nation
  • Philosophy and British identity: Adam Smith and the virtues of modernity
  • Britain begins: archaeological background to British studies


You will choose the remaining core module from those listed in the PgCert, plus two option modules which may include:

  • The British Empire
  • Britishness and sport
  • Global Scots
  • Primary sources in History (MLitt History) 
  • Varieties of History (MLitt History)
  • an elective from History or other subject area


  • To achieve the award of MLitt British Studies you must complete an interdisciplinary research dissertation

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 no change to how the course will be delivered next year. 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. Students usually have the option to study on-campus at one of our academic partners, however all students will study online from their home location from September 2020. Any campus attendance will be planned in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, most likely during semester two (from January 2021). 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 weekly interactive video conference seminars, and online via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Students who choose to study by distance learning will access lectures and video conference tutorial sessions online, in real time or recordings
  • Students who choose to attend the seminars will enrol at a college campus, while those studying through distance learning will enrol at the Centre for History

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured): minimum 2 years
  • Part-time (unstructured): maximum 6 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • UHI Centre for History

Start date

  • September
  • January


Fees payable for this online postgraduate course depend on your assessed fee status:

2020-21Scottish (SC) On-campus or onlineEU On-campusRest of UK (RUK) On-campusRest of UK (RUKO) and EU (EUO) OnlineInternational (INT) On-campusInternational (INTO) Online
Per module (20 credits) £560 £560 £650 £650 £1,380 £980
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,680 £1,950 £1,950 £4,140 £2,940
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,360 £3,900 £3,900 £8,280 £5,880
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,000 £5,850 £5,850 £12,420 £8,820
2019-20Scottish (SC) or EU On-campusScottish OnlineRest of UK (RUK) On-campusRes of UK (RUKO) and EU (EUO) OnlineInternational (INT) On-campusInternational (INTO) Online
Per module (20 credits) £560 £560 £650 £650 £1,340 £960
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,680 £1,950 £1,950 £4,020 £2,880
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,360 £3,900 £3,900 £8,040 £5,760
Masters degree (60 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,000 £5,850 £5,850 £12,060 £8,640

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


From 2017, eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying full-time for any taught postgraduate course, up to full Masters level, can access loans up to £10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full-time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5,500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level, who meet the residency eligibility, can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.

External scholarships and financial support may be available.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The highly developed critical, analytical and communication skills you will acquire through your studies will make you a strong candidate for a wide variety of careers. In addition, your hands-on digital skills will make you an attractive candidate to global enterprises. You may choose a career in:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Media
  • Journalism
  • Community or adult education
  • Museums and libraries
  • Heritage
  • Politics and NGOs
  • the charity sector

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to consider further study such as a PhD or MLitt by Research.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say

I’ve been able to improve my knowledge of Highland history through the university’s Scottish History degree and now the MLitt British Studies. The more I’ve learned and explored, the more beneficial it has been for my business – so I’m going to keep on learning for as long as I can.

John combines running his own guided tours business, The Hebridean Explorer, while studying part time on our MLitt British Studies.

One of the great strengths of the programme is its emphasis on developing a wide range of academic skills, including training in digital humanities and working closely with Highland museums and archives.

Dr Jim MacPherson, Programme Leader for the MLitt British Studies.

Apply for British Studies MLitt

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2021 or Aug/Sep 2021 or Jan/Feb 2022

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.