Island Studies MLitt

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What is special about this course?

This Masters programme is the only dedicated postgraduate degree in Island Studies in Scotland. It focuses on the study of islands and their communities, both in Scotland and internationally. Delivered by the Centre for Nordic Studies, the MLitt Island Studies gives you the opportunity to explore the islands of the world.

Island communities are often culturally unique, yet by their nature they share many commonalities, sometimes referred to as 'islandness'. As part of the degree you will undertake comparative and multi-disciplinary study of the Scottish islands, however island communities as diverse as the Baltic, the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Man, the Falklands and Canadian islands, will also be integral to you studies, particularly the critical appraisal of insular governance, tourism and autonomy.

Special features

  • The first Masters degree in a flourishing and respected field of study and research
  • You will explore the insular identities, achievements, threats and futures of islands communities, in Scotland and worldwide
  • You will study the cultural identity, language, literature and politics of island communities
  • You can study individual modules for personal and professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full Masters


Entry requirements

  •  2.1 honours degree or above (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, such as History, Archaeology, Literature or Ethnology
  • Other disciplines, such as history, human geography and the social sciences, will also be considered
  • International students whose first language is not English must meet language competency standards as noted on the international page of our website.

Access routes

Students can access the programme from a range of UHI undergraduate programmes including:


Core modules are:

  • The nature of Islandness
  • The Scottish Islands

You will also choose an additional module from a range of Centre for Nordic Studies and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig modules, the latter through the medium of Gaelic language.


Core modules are:

  • Island Governance
  • Selling 'Cold' Islands

You will also choose an additional module from a range of Centre for Nordic Studies and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig modules, the latter through the medium of Gaelic language.


To achieve the award of MLitt Island Studies you must complete a research dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Part Time (Structured)
  • You will study this course through a combination of video conferenced seminars and learning through the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors and student advisor.
  • International students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study with us must be based at Orkney College UHI during their studies. International students undertaking the course from their home country can study online and by video conference, in real-time or recordings.
  • All other students can choose to study at Orkney College UHI or from their own location studying online and by video conference in real-time or recordings.
  • An online induction will be offered at the start of your course.

How long will my course last?

  • Full time: 1 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part time structured: 2 years @ 10 hours per week

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

Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • September
  • January


How much will my course cost?

The following fees apply to this taught postgraduate course:

2016-17 Scottish
(inc EU)
Rest of UK
Rest of UK
(inc EU)
Per module (20 credits) £520 £520 £650 £650 £1,150 £820
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,560 £1,560 £1,950 £1,950 £3,450 £2,460
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,120 £3,120 £3,900 £3,900 £6,900 £4,920
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £4,680 £4,680 £5,850 £5,850 £10,300 £7,380

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

Enquiries from employers for multiple student registrations are welcome and special fee arrangements may apply.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your Masters course in Island Studies, there are a variety of careers you might like to consider. Here is just a taster of the kind of opportunities available to you:

  • Tourism and heritage sector
  • Journalism
  • Local government agencies
  • Community or adult education
  • School teaching on completion of relevant PGDE qualification

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to PhD study at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and other institutions.

Is there more information available online?

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

Apply for Island Studies MLitt

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2017 or Aug/Sep 2017 or Jan/Feb 2018

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates 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.

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