History and Archaeology BA (Hons)

Course code V21A

What is special about this course?

If you’re interested in delving into the past using different methods, this joint-honours degree gives you an excellent grounding in the study and practice of history and archaeology.

In the BA (Hons) History and Archaeology you will explore history from the medieval to the modern period, focusing on the cultural, political, social and economic history of Scotland, Britain, Europe and the Atlantic World. In addition, you can choose to specialise in Scottish History at upper level, enabling you to graduate with a BA (Hons) Scottish History and Archaeology. 

You will also develop a wide range of archaeological skills such as fieldwork, surveying and post-excavation, which are mapped to the current occupational standards for archaeology, increasing your employability after graduation.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • A highly practical course focusing on the ‘on-the-job’ skills you need to pursue a career in archaeology or history
  • You can study full time or part time, with some modules available entirely online, so you can fit your studies round your personal circumstances 
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development
  • You can specialise in Scottish History at the upper levels to enable you to exit with a Scottish History and Archaeology degree 
  • The humanities staff at UHI specialise in high quality video-conference teaching supported by a dynamic virtual learning environment and expansive online resources 
  • There are opportunities to volunteer at local museums and archives, and occasional voluntary field trips in the university's region also enhance the experience of your degree 
  • Exciting new modules based on staffs' cutting-edge research are offered at upper level, including our flagship Public History module

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Sciences (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7 which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Other relevant humanities access courses will also be considered on an individual basis.

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following history modules:

  • What is history?

PLUS one of the following:

  • A Middle Age: Europe 1000-1500 OR
  • People, power and protest: themes in modern British history
  • Empire, environment and identity: Scotland 1600-2000

You will also study the following archaeology modules:

  • Archaeological theory and method

PLUS one of the following:

  • Historic landscapes
  • World archaeology
  • European prehistories

You will study two further option modules from a range of history, Scottish history, archaeology and other humanities subjects.

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following history modules:

  • Historians and history

PLUS one of the following:

  • Themes in American history
  • A curious age: European society and culture, c1500-1750

You will also study the following core archaeology module:

  • Excavation skills (residential): should be taken in semester 2 of year 2, as well as a compulsory field school in the summer, at a site location off-campus

PLUS one of the following:

  • Scottish archaeology
  • Managing archaeology for contemporary society
  • Digital heritage

You will study two further option modules from a range of history, Scottish history, archaeology and other humanities subjects.

Please note that if you are a direct entrant to second year, we strongly advise that you take the Level 7 core module, What is History?, as one of your options. Please contact historyhelp@uhi.ac.uk to discuss this further.

Year 3 - BA

You will study:

  • one of the two core modules (either Public history or Archaeology project)
  • two core Archaeology modules
  • a further three modules, ensuring a balance of three History and three Archaeology modules in total.

History modules may include:

  • Queer Britannia: gender, sexuality and performative identities in Britain, 1800-1950
  • A study of things: material culture of medieval and early modern Europe
  • War and chivalry in medieval Britain and France
  • Alps, hills and plain? Central Europe to 1918
  • Crime, custom and conflict, 1700-1850
  • Crown-Magnate relations in later medieval Northern Scotland 
  • The Jacobites: patriots, rebels or opportunists? 
  • Scots in North America 

Students wishing to specialise in Scottish History at Level 10 are advised to take at least one Scottish History option and undertake a Scottish topic for your Public History project, or two Scottish History options if you are not taking Public History.

You will take the following core Archaeology modules:

  • Archaeological sciences
  • Archaeology and interpretation

Archaeology options may include:

  • Pre-history of the Highlands and Islands
  • Archaeology placement - you will be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and subsistence associated with your participation in this module
  • Historical archaeology of the Highlands and Islands

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation in history or archaeology. This is a double-credit module that runs across both semesters. 

You will also study one option module from your chosen dissertation subject, plus three option modules from the other subject.

History modules may include:

  • Chaos and Conflict?: 'Civil Wars' in high medieval Scandinavia
  • Death and destruction: the social impact of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)
  • Fight the power: music and politics of Black America
  • Noble, rebel, king: Robert Bruce and medieval Scotland 
  • Reaching the estate of manhood in late Medieval and early modern Europe
  • Reform, Rupture and Resistance: Late Medieval and Early Modern Ireland
  • The empire strikes back: how the British Empire shaped Scotland
  • The Highland land wars: origins, aftermath and interpretations 
  • The Norman diaspora: conquest, colonisation and assimilation
  • War cruel and sharp: a military history of the Hundred Years' War

If you wish to exit with a BA (Hons) Scottish History and Archaeology degree you must undertake a Scottish History dissertation plus at least one further Scottish History and one History module, OR, if you are undertaking an Archaeology dissertation, two of the three History modules must be in Scottish History.

Archaeology modules may include:

  • Iron Age of Scotland, c800BC-800AD
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Neolithic Orkney 
  • People, plants and animals
  • Sustainability past and present
  • Vikings and Norse archaeology in the North Atlantic

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module. You will also undertake practical archaeology fieldwork and project work
  • For more information, or if you have any questions about studying archaeology at UHI, please contact us at: studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week

The number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes a weekly two-hour video conference seminar for each module, online tutor-supported study and self-directed study.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • UHI House - Centre for History
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in the world
  • Students based near to one of the listed campuses should apply to, and be enrolled and supported by, their local campus
  • All other students should apply to, and will be enrolled and supported by, UHI House

Start date

  • September


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.
  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK studying online from their home country, or living in the UK but assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:

This includes EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK and EEA and Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540 £6,960
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160

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


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Participation in any History field trips or face-to-face activities will be at your own expense. Costs will vary dependent on your location etc. Attendance at such face-to-face events is optional and not essential for completion of the course.

You will be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and subsistence associated with participation in the Archaeology Excavation Skills module and the Archaeology Placement.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of the BA (Hons) History and Archaeology or BA (Hons) Scottish History and Archaeology, you may wish to consider career opportunities in:

  • Teaching 
  • Museum and heritage sector  
  • Archive and library sector
  • Tourism and heritage management 
  • Archaeological contract units
  • Government agencies, local authorities and civil service  
  • Non-profit and charitable organisations  
  • Media and journalism 
  • Politics and policy making
  • Consultancy
  • Research at postgraduate level  
  • Research in business and corporate sector
  • Student association and related support roles

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) History and Archaeology or BA (Hons) Scottish History and Archaeology to the following postgraduate courses:

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

I was still quite young when I finished school so although I did consider other universities, I decided to stay close to home.  During my final year I was awarded the Highland Society of London prize which is presented to the best undergraduate dissertation in the Humanities and Gaelic network across the Highlands and Islands. 

It was a huge honour to be given that prize and I'm grateful to my UHI mentor who supported me all the way. My advice to potential applicants would be to do it! Everything you could possibly imagine is within UHI and you can gain the qualification that you want while staying local.

Caitlin studied History at UHI Argyll.

Apply for History and Archaeology BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 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.