Orkney and Shetland Studies MLitt
Course code Q323
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 Institute for Northern 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.
- 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 language, literature, 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
- 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
*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:
- Orkney and Shetland myths and origins
- Medieval history of Orkney and Shetland
- Scotland's customs: traditional beliefs and folklore
Core modules are:
- Modern history of Orkney and Shetland
- Archaeological heritage of Orkney and Shetland
You will also choose two option modules which may include:
- Scotland's customs
- From Atlantis to Utopia
- From Muckle Flugga to Pladda
- Exploring creative writing
- Celts and Vikings in the North Atlantic
- Picts: revealing the painted past
- Small island governance
- Selling cold islands
- Tour of the Highlands
To achieve the award of MLitt Orkney and Shetland Studies you must complete a research dissertation.
How will I study my course?
- Part-time (structured)
- Part-time (unstructured)
- You will learn through a combination of video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors and student advisor
- International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must be based at UHI Orkney 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 UHI Orkney 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?
For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:
- 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.
|Per module (20 credits)||£584||£584|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£1,752||£1,752|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£3,504||£3,504|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)||£5,256||£5,256|
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:
|2023-24||2024-25 (on-campus)||2024-25 (online)|
|Per module (20 credits)||£720||£792||£780|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£2,160||£2,376||£2,340|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£4,320||£4,752||£4,680|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)||£6,480||£7,128||£7,020|
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. These 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.
|2024-25||On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland)||With scholarship||Online study (from home country)||With scholarship|
|Per module (20 credits)||£1,666||£1,250||£1,110||£833|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£4,998||£3,750||£3,330||£2,499|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£9,996||£7,500||£6,660||£4,998|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£14,994||£11,250||£9,990||£7,497|
|2023-24||On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland)||With scholarship||Online study (from home country)||With scholarship|
|Per module (20 credits)||£1,600||£1,120||£1,080||£810|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£4,800||£3,360||£3,240||£2,430|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£9,600||£7,200||£6,480||£4,860|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£14,400||£10,080||£9,720||£7,290|
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)|
|Per module (20 credits)||£1,600||£1,666||£1,080||£1,110|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£4,800||£4,998||£3,240||£3,330|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£9,600||£9,996||£6,480||£6,660|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£14,400||£14,994||£9,720||£9,990|
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 £11,500 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £7,000 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 £7,000, 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?
Once you have successfully completed your MLItt 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
- 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.
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, UHI Orkney.
Our students have the chance to undertake unique programmes delivered by world leading experts. Their study at both masters and PhD level also equips them with a range of soft transferable skills which makes them very employable in today’s interdisciplinary and digital workplace. We are very much looking to the future as well as the past at the Institute for Northern Studies!
Dr Alexandra Sanmark, Reader in Medieval Archaeology, Institute for Northern Studies.
Apply for Orkney and Shetland Studies MLitt
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.