British Studies MLitt

Course code R930

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.

Special features

  • Interdisciplinary postgraduate training in the Humanities
  • 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

*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scotland-domiciled students)

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

Access routes

An honours degree in History, Archaeology, Literature, Philosophy or a related subject in the arts and humanities.


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

  • British identities
  • Global Scots: 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:

  • Arguments and alternatives in history
  • Introduction to palaeography and languages in North Atlantic history
  • Primary sources in history (MLitt History) 
  • Voices from the past: understanding and using oral 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?

  • 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)
  • You can study this programme from anywhere in the world via distance learning, and will access lectures and video conference tutorial sessions online, in real time or through recordings. Distance learning students will enrol through the Centre for History.
  • You may also enrol and base yourself at one of the listed campuses. Lectures and seminars for students enrolled at a campus will still take place via video conference.

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): 6 years

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in seminars (where relevant) and online class discussion, as well as your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • UHI Centre for History

Start date

  • September
  • January


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
  2021-22 2022-23
Per module (20 credits) £560 £560
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,680
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,360
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,000

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), studying this course on-campus or online from their home, the following fees apply:



Per module (20 credits) £650 £669
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,950 £2,007
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,900 £4,014
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,850 £6,021

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. For 2022-23, students will get an automatic fee scholarship.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

2022-23 On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland) With scholarship Online study (from home country) With scholarship
Per module (20 credits) £1,492 £1,120 £1,010 £760
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £4,476 £3,360 £3,030 £2,280
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £8,952 £6,720 £6,060 £4,560
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £13,428 £10,080 £9,090 £6,840

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union, studying on-campus or online, the following fees apply:

  On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland) Online study (from home country)
  2021-22 2022-23 2021-22 2022-23
Per module (20 credits) £1,420 £1,492 £980 £1,010
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £4,260 £4,476 £2940 £3,030
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £8,520 £8,952 £5,880 £6,060
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £12,780 £13,428 £8,820 £9,090


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

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international postgraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying full-time 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. 

Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS. You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5,500, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study. 

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.

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 MRes at UHI or another institution.

Is there more information available online?

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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 2023 or Aug/Sep 2023 or Jan/Feb 2024

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.