History and Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands MLitt

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What is special about this course?

This programme brings together the disciplines of history and archaeology through the study of a specific region, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Whether you live locally, or globally, if you have an interest in developing transferable skills in the study of regional pasts, specifically of the north and west of Scotland, the MLitt History and Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands has been designed for you.

Special features

  • Combine the two subjects of history and archaeology in a unique way, towards understanding the past of the Highlands and Islands
  • Full time or part time study is available to suit your circumstances
  • You can study online through the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), which means you can fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments
  • Successful students will be able to proceed from undergraduate study, through the MLitt, towards supervised postgraduate PhD level research
  • You will have support from expert staff at the Centre for History and the Archaeology Institute, throughout your studies
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full Masters degree

Over two-thirds of the research conducted by the university’s Centre for History was rated at 4* and 3*, indicating ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ quality, in REF2014 - the latest assessment of UK university research. The ‘Impact’ of the centre's research on the broader economy and society was ranked joint 8th, higher than Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh. We are also the highest ranked new history department in the UK.

Entry requirements

  • 2:1 Honours degree or above (or international equivalent) in history or archaeology
  • If you have an honours degree in a cognate, or strongly-related subject your application will be considered on an individual basis


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish 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.

Access routes

Students can progress to this programme from our own degrees in history or archaeology.


Core modules are:

  • Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands
  • Primary sources in history

You will also choose one history or archaeology option module, which may include any of the following:

History - any available option module from the MLitt History of the Highlands and Islands, which may include but is not limited to:

  • Contemplating the Clearances
  • Maritime lives: the Scottish Northern Isles during the Early Modern period
  • The Lordship of the Isles
  • Global Scots
  • Gender and the family in the Highlands
  • The seventeenth century Highlands
  • Oral history


  • Excavation
  • Viking and Norse in the North Atlantic
  • Vikings to VE day
  • Neolithic studies
  • Iron Age in the Atlantic world
  • Early medieval archaeology


You will choose three further modules from those listed in the PgCert, ensuring an even split across the two subjects.


To achieve the award of MLitt you must complete a 60-credit research dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE). In addition, archaeology modules will have a video-conference component

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year @ 35 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years @ 17.5 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): up to 6 years

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and online class discussion and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • UHI Centre for History - You can study this fully online programme from anywhere in the world. You will be enrolled and supported by staff at the Centre for History.

Start date

  • September
  • January (part-time study only)


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

2020-21Scottish (SC)Rest of UK (RUKO) and EU (EUO)International (INTO)
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650 £980
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950 £2,940
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900 £5,880
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850 £8,820
2019-20Scottish (SC)Rest of UK (RUKO) and EU (EUO)International (INTO)
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650 £960
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950 £2,880
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900 £5,760
Masters degree (60 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850 £8,640

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

This course is not open to international students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK


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 £5500.

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. For further information on funding see the UHI website.

Additional Costs

If students wish to undertake the excavation module, they will be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and subsistence involved.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your MLitt History and Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands, there are a variety of careers you might like to consider.  Here is a taster of the kind of opportunities available to you:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Media, journalism and politics
  • Community or adult education
  • Museums and libraries
  • Heritage and tourism

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to PhD study at the University of the Highlands and Islands, or elsewhere.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

The Centre for History leads on five taught postgraduate degrees. Our students come from a diversity of backgrounds, in terms of age, location and motivation. Our programmes train students in the research methods used by historians and seek to open up a range of new perspectives on local, regional, national, and global themes, from the medieval to the modern.

I bring my own research on Scottish migration to Europe and on coastal history to my postgraduate teaching, while I’ve found that the students, in turn, influence me and give me all sorts of unexpected and welcome new perspectives on my research.

Dr David Worthington, head of the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands.

Apply for History and Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands MLitt

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2020 or Aug/Sep 2020 or Jan/Feb 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.