History and Literature BA (Hons)

Course code V21L

What is special about this course?

The joint honours degree in history and literature allows you to turn your passion for the past and for writing into an interesting career.

The BA (Hons) History and Literature covers a range of approaches, from thematic modules that cover a variety of places and historical periods, to concentrated and in-depth studies of a particular group of authors or periods of history.

Each year, you will build on your analytical and research abilities through a series of skills modules. 

You can also choose to specialise in Scottish History at the upper levels and graduate with a BA (Hons) Scottish History and Literature degree. 

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

Special features

  • You will explore literature and history in a local and global context
  • The degree can be studied full time or part time to suit 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 Literature 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


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

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 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 core module: 

  • What is history? (S1) 

Plus, a choice of one of the following modules: 

  • People, protest and power: themes in modern British history (S1) 
  • A middle age? Europe c. 1100-1500 (S2) 
  • Empire, environment and identity: Scotland 1600-2000 (S2) 


You will also study the following two modules:

  • Theories of literature: an introduction (S1)
  • Travellers in the wilderness: literature and the theme of exile (S2)

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



Year 2 - DipHE


You will study the following core module:

  • Historians and history (S2)

Plus, a choice of one of the following three modules:

  • A curious age: European society and culture, 1500-1750 (S1)
  • Court, kirk and burgh in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland 
  • Themes in American history


You will also study two modules which may include:

  • Gaelic poetry: an introduction (S1)
  • Theatrical powerplay: classical and modern tragedy (S2)
  • Heroic literature: epic from classical to contemporary (S2)
  • Medieval literature: texts and contexts (S1)

You will study two further option modules from a range of history, literature, 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 project modules: 

  • Public history (S2) OR 
  • Literary borrowings: adaptation and appropriation (S1)

You will also study a further five option modules, ensuring a balance of three History modules and three Literature modules in total. 


Modules may include:

  • Clash of civilisations: the Crusades, 1096-1198
  • Alps, hills and plain? Central Europe to 1918
  • Crime, custom and conflict, 1700-1850
  • Crown-Magnate relations in later medieval Northern Scotland
  • Queer Britannia: gender, sexuality and performative identities in Britain, 1800-1950
  • Scots in North America
  • The Jacobites: patriots, rebels or opportunists?
  • War and chivalry in medieval Britain and France
  • Dynastic decline and religious violence: Valois France, 1550-1610

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.


Modules may include:

  • Imagining new worlds: renaissance literature and thought (S2)
  • Romantic genius: Scottish and European literature, 1750-1830 (S1)
  • Risk anything: modernist short story (S1)
  • Nature writing and ecology (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation in history or literature. 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. Please see notes below if you wish to specialise in Scottish History.


Modules may include:

  • Death and destruction: the social impact of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)  
  • Fight the power: music and the politics of Black America
  • The Scottish Highlands before Culloden (1603-1707)
  • Chaos and conflict?: 'Civil Wars' in high medieval Scandinavia
  • Reaching the estate of manhood in later medieval and early modern Europe 
  • Noble, rebel, king: Robert Bruce and medieval Scotland 
  • The empire strikes back: how the British Empire shaped Scotland 
  • The Highland wars: origins, aftermath and interpretations 
  • War cruel and sharp: a military history of the Hundred Years' War

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


Subjects may include:

  • Avant-garde literature (S1)
  • Apocalyptic fictions (S1)
  • Satire: the art of attack (S2)
  • Metafiction: self-referential texts (S2)

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.

How long will my course last?

  •  Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  •  Part-time (structured): 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 College UHI
  • Shetland

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.
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £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:

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

International students

This course is not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students (including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK) requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here. For students living in the UK and assessed as international for fee status, the following fees will apply:

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

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090

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

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed the BA (Hons) History and Literature or BA (Hons) Scottish History and Literature, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Teaching and education 
  • Libraries and Archives 
  • Museums and the heritage sector 
  • The media and journalism 
  • Publishing 
  • Government (local and national)  
  • Non-profit-making organisations 
  • Research at postgraduate level 
  • Research in the business and corporate sector 
  • Creative arts 
  • Marketing and PR

Can I progress into further study?

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

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for History and Literature BA (Hons)

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

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.