History and Politics BA (Hons)

Course code V21P

What is special about this course?

This joint honours degree in history and politics offers you the chance to study two distinct but complementary subjects, based in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, yet with an international approach that will prepare you for life and employment beyond university.

As you progress through the course, you will choose from a combination of modules, equally balanced between history and politics. You will study the history and politics of Scotland, Britain, Europe, North Atlantic and North America.

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 Politics degree.

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

Special features

  • Modules are taught by experts from the university's Centre for History and the Politics team
  • This joint honours degree gives you a broad understanding and skills ssbase in global issues in history and politics
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development
  • The Centre for History holds regular research seminars to which students are welcome
  • You can specialise in Scottish History at the upper levels to enable you to exit with a Scottish History and Politics 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

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
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Sciences (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7, 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 history 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 study the following modules:

  • Ideas and ideologies in politics (S1)
  • The evolving politics of the British Isles (S2) 

You will also choose two further option modules from a range of history, politics, 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 study the following modules:

  • History of political ideas (S1)
  • Comparative politics (S2)

You will also choose two further option modules from a range of history, politics, 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 following core project modules: 

  • Public History (S2) OR Advanced social research methods (S1) 

You will also study a further five option modules, ensuring a balance of three History modules and three Politics 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, plus undertake a Scottish topic for your Public History project, or two Scottish History options if you are not taking Public History.


Modules may include:

  • Challenging liberal democracy (S1) OR Wars of the Promised Lands (S1)
  • Devolution, federalism and territorial politics (S2) OR European politics (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation in History or Politics. 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 Politics degree you must undertake a Scottish History dissertation plus one further Scottish history or history module, OR, if you are undertaking a Politics dissertation, two of the three History modules must be in Scottish History.


Subjects may include:

  • Geopolitics: territory, security and strategy (S1) OR Democratising Europe (S1)
  • Terrorism and unconventional warfare (S2) OR Political theory (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
  • Part time (unstructured): 10 hours per module

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
  • Perth
  • 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 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 Politics or BA (Hons) Scottish History and Politics, there are a variety of careers you might like to consider, such as:

  • Teaching and education
  • Research at postgraduate level
  • Research in the business and corporate sector
  • Media and journalism
  • Museums and the heritage sector
  • Libraries and archives
  • Local and national government
  • Political advisor
  • Civil Service Fastrack scheme
  • Policy analyst
  • Parliamentary assistant 

Can I progress into further study?

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

Is there more information available online?

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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 Politics 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.