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 Institute for Northern 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 your studies, particularly the critical appraisal of insular governance, tourism and autonomy.
- 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 island communities, in Scotland and worldwide
- You will study the cultural identity, language, literature and politics of island communities
- There are opportunities to participate in question and answer sessions with islanders across the world
- You can study individual modules for personal and professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full masters degree
- 2.1 honours degree or above (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, such as history, archaeology, literature or ethnology
- Other disciplines, such as 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
*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.
Students can access the programme from a range of our undergraduate programmes including:
Core modules are:
- From Atlantis to Utopia: the nature of islandness
- From Muckle Flugga to Pladda: the Scottish islands
You will also choose an additional module from a range of Institute for Northern 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 option from a range of Institute for Northern Studies and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI (via the medium of Gaelic language) modules. These may include:
- Exploring creative writing
- Celts and Vikings in the North Atlantic
- Picts: revealing the painted past
- Tour of the Highlands
- Archaeological heritage of Orkney and Shetland
- Medieval history of Orkney and Shetland
To achieve the award of MLitt Island Studies you must complete a research dissertation.
How will I study my course?
- Part-time (structured)
- Part-time (unstructured)
- You will study this course through a combination of video conference seminars and learning via 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 year @ 20 hours per week
- Part-time (structured): 2 years @ 10 hours per week
The 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?
The following fees apply to this taught postgraduate course:
|Rest of UK |
|Rest of UK|
|Per module (20 credits)||£560||£560||£650||£650||£1,340||£960|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£1,680||£1,680||£1,950||£1,950||£4,020||£2,880|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£3,360||£3,360||£3,900||£3,900||£8,040||£5,760|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)||£5,000||£5,000||£5,850||£5,850||£12,060||£8,640|
|Rest of UK |
|Rest of UK|
|Per module (20 credits)||£560||£560||£650||£650||£1,260||£900|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£1,680||£1,680||£1,950||£1,950||£3,780||£2,700|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£3,360||£3,360||£3,900||£3,900||£7,560||£5,400|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)||£5,000||£5,000||£5,850||£5,850||£11,340||£8,120|
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.
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
You may also be able to apply for a government Professional and Career Development Loan
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
- 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.