All our exciting, innovative MLitt programmes are informed by the unique history and culture of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They have a global reach attracting students from across the world.

You can study the rich heritage and culture of the Highlands and Islands with masters in Highlands and Islands Culture and Highlands and Islands Literature, or you can study the Northern Isles with a masters in Orkney and Shetland Studies (the only one of its kind). Our Island Studies masters takes a global approach, and our distinctive masters in Viking Studies explores gender issues as well as the Vikings as imagined today.

From our taught programmes you will be able to progress on to research degrees, gaining many valuable personal development skills along the way.

MRes and PhD programmes are also available with INS.


Fleur Ward, PhD research in Island Studies"I was attracted to studying in Orkney because it gave me the chance to physically visit the sites and access specialised material. I received great support and encouragement from all teaching staff and the lecturers always had time to invest in their students and their needs. Studying on the course has helped me to develop fundamental interpersonal, problem solving and team building skills."

Fleur Ward, originally from Melbourne, Australia, relocated to Orkney to undertake the MLitt Orkney and Shetland Studies. She is now a PhD researcher in the discipline of Island Studies based at the Institute for Northern Studies, Orkney College


Andrew Jennings, Masters programme leader "The Institute for Northern Studies is based in Orkney and Shetland, the northern most part of the UK. Our students come from a variety of places and backgrounds, even from as far away as Canada and Australia. Our exciting, innovative programmes are embedded in the history and culture of our area. These include Viking Studies, Highlands and Islands Culture, Highlands and Islands Literature, Orkney and Shetland Studies and Island Studies."

Dr Andrew Jennings, programme leader for the institute’s masters programmes, is the author of a number of publications on Scottish history, Norse place-names and island studies, and is currently involved in a number of projects, including an international project with the Estonian War Museum.