Orkney and Shetland Studies MLitt

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What is special about this course?

This is the only course of its kind that focuses on studying the history, culture, literature, archaeology and language of the Orkney and Shetland Islands; communities of significant strategic importance through the ages.

Come with us on a journey to explore the islands’ unique culture and heritage, delivered by the prize-winning Centre for Nordic Studies team.

You will be able to progress on to research degrees once you have completed this Orkney and Shetland Studies course and you will have gained valuable personal development skills along the way.

Special features

  • Unique course content not available anywhere else
  • You are taught by local experts in Orkney and Shetland
  • We use video conferencing and a virtual learning environment to deliver the course at a distance
  • Small class sizes
  • You can also choose options in palaeography, creative writing and the North Atlantic World
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full Masters degree

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

Access routes

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


Core modules are:

  • Orkney and Shetland Myths and Origins
  • Archaeological Heritage of Orkney and Shetland
  • Medieval History of Orkney and Shetland


Core modules are:

  • Traditional Customs and Beliefs of the Highlands and Islands
  • Modern History of Orkney and Shetland

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Early Scottish and Norse Literature
  • The Orkney and Shetland Tongues
  • Orkney and Shetland Literature
  • The Language and Paleography of older Scots
  • Exploring creative writing
  • The North Atlantic World


To achieve the award of MLitt Orkney and Shetland Studies you must complete a research dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full time
  • Part time (structured)
  • Part time (unstructured)
  • 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 Orkney College UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your Masters course in Orkney and Shetland 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:

  • School teaching on completion of relevant PGDE qualification
  • Community education
  • Adult education
  • Journalism – particularly newspaper and radio
  • Working for government agencies
  • Tourism
  • Teaching on this or similar degrees


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 Orkney and Shetland 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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