Taught course

History (by online distance learning)

University of Edinburgh · History

Entry requirements

Applicants should have received or expect to receive an undergraduate degree in any relevant arts, humanities and social science field. At a minimum, we normally require a 2:1 honours degree (from UK universities); a 3.4 GPA (from US universities), or the equivalent from other international institutions.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Join our flexible online history masters programme and study with one of the world’s most prestigious universities at a pace that suits you and fits around your ongoing work or personal commitments. Our innovative online MSc in History allows students across the world to take advantage of the remarkable range of historical expertise available at the University of Edinburgh and to study towards an internationally recognised graduate qualification, without the disruption or expense of relocation.

Flexible study options
The flexible structure of the programme allows you to study for a single Course, a Certificate, a Diploma or the MSc, by completing skills training courses and specialised option courses. The thematic breadth means you can choose from a diverse range of topics such as American politics to modern Japanese history, from post Second World War Europe to medieval Scottish history, and you will be able to further your own specialised interests through the dissertation.

Careers and further study
A postgraduate degree is an intellectually rewarding experience, enhancing both your skills and employability, and could facilitate a change in career direction or prepare you for further postgraduate research such as a PhD.

Programme details
You can commence your studies in September or January and can choose to apply for the MSc either full-time (in a year) or part-time (between 2 and 4 years). Part-time students can exit the programme at any stage with the qualification they have earned, determined by the number of courses completed.

Compulsory courses for the MSc:
: Approaches to History
: Historical Skills & Sources

Optional courses may include:
: The Lords of the Isles: Clan Donald, c.1336 - c.1545
: Scotland and Ireland, 1800 – 1945
: The Shadow of Versailles: Interwar Europe, 1918-1939
: Seeking ‘Japan’ in a Westernizing World: Revolution, Romance and Imperialism 1868 – 1945
: Willingly to War? The origins of the First World War
: Consensus to Thatcherism: Government and Politics in Post-War Britain
: The American Civil War
: Photography and Irish Life, 1839 – 2000
: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism
: Athens of the North - The Origins and Ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment
: The Crusades and the Euro-Mediterranean world
: Diaspora, Migration and Exile: The History of the Global Irish since 1600
: Myth and the History of Scholarship in Early Modern Europe

A 12,000-15,000 word, independent primary source-based research project, which can be related to or separate from the option courses you study, to allow you to specialise in your preferred area of study.

Thanks to our state-of-the-art e-learning software and extensive digital resources, the programme is delivered entirely online. From academic advisers and support co-ordinators, to specialist subject librarians and other student support staff, we ensure our distance learning students get the best out of their studies.

More information
Please visit our website for more information about the programme and to contact us directly:

Information for international students

For students whose first language is not English, detailed information about required English language qualifications can be found on our website.

Fees and funding

Any student in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology is eligible to apply for scholarships within the School and University. For more information contact the University’s scholarship and funding service on scholarships@ed.ac.uk

Qualification and course duration


part time
48 months
full time
12 months
distance learning
12/48 months


full time
12 months
distance learning
12/36 months
part time
36 months


distance learning
12/24 months
part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment120
Dissertation60 (15,000 words)

Course contact details

Lindsay Scott
0131 650 9948
0131 651 3070