The taught MSc in History offers you the opportunity to study history at an advanced level through taught courses and independent research.
You will advance your knowledge and understanding of selected topics in history, as well as enhance your skills in independent research, critical analysis, and both oral and written presentations. You’ll have a range of courses to choose from, enabling you to tailor your degree to your interests and ambitions.
Breadth of expertise
The University of Edinburgh is home to one of the largest groups of historians in the United Kingdom. Our research interests and the courses we offer cover just about every major area of historical inquiry.
As a student on the taught MSc in History you can take full advantage of this breadth, studying medieval Scotland, revolutionary America, modern India, and much else besides.
Studying in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology you will benefit from small-group seminars and individual supervision from nationally - and internationally - renowned historians.
The programme involves two semesters of teaching followed by an individual research project.
The MSc lasts for 12 months from September to the end of August in the following year. To be awarded an MSc you must complete the coursework and a dissertation.
The taught courses are worth a total of 120 credit points and are assessed mainly by essays and written work. Provided you achieve the required standard, you will proceed to a period of individual research from May to August, resulting in a final dissertation worth a further 60 credits.
You will take several courses across two semesters of teaching, including two compulsory courses and a range of optional courses.
You will undertake a research project and produce a dissertation which is submitted on an assigned date in mid-August.
Find out about the admission criteria and required qualifications for the MSc in History.
You will need a UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or another international equivalent, in History or other humanities or social science subject with a significant historical component.
Relevant experience or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.
Equivalency of international qualifications
Guidance on the equivalency of international qualifications is provided by the International Office. If you are unsure of the equivalency of your degree, the International Office provides information by country.
English language requirements
If you do not come from a majority English-speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.
- IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
- TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
- PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
- CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
Your English language qualification must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Alternatively, we may also be able to accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country for entry (as defined by UK Visas & Immigration), provided the degree is no more three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. In such cases, we may additionally require you to take the University’s Test of English at Matriculation (TEAM). This test is designed to highlight any weaknesses you may have with your English and tuition will be provided for you free of charge.
Our students have a variety of career paths in mind.
Many students are attracted to the MSc in History as an advanced qualification that may be valued by a range of employers; a more specialised supplement to their undergraduate degrees that could set them apart in a crowded job market. Others are interested in pursuing academic careers and see the MSc as preparation for a PhD, while some are considering an academic career as a possibility and use the MSc to establish whether it is the right career choice.