Masters Degree

The MLitt programme in Transnational, Global and Spatial History embraces an exciting and growing area of study that promotes new transnational perspectives and ways of seeing the past through a more explicit appreciation of scale in space and time.

Further details about the programme and how to apply are available on the ‘Study at St Andrews’ pages of the main University of St Andrews website.


  • This programme provides a unique introduction to the emerging field of spatial history, including the study of representations of space, landscapes, mental maps, spatial practices and topographies of memory.
  • Students will explore approaches to the history of cities as hubs, transfers and travel, the circulation of ideas and the migration of peoples.
  • Students will gain proficiency in powerful tools for mapping, geographic analysis and the study of social networks as well as skills in the use of non-textual sources and overcoming the challenges of translation and multi-lingual archives

Teaching Format

Over the course of two semesters, students will take two compulsory modules and two optional modules. Teaching methods include seminars, fortnightly tutorials and practical classes. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed by coursework only; there is no final exam. Students will spend the final three months of the course focusing on researching and writing the final assessment piece for the MLitt, a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016-2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.

Compulsory modules

  • Global Times Plural Spaces 1: offers a strong foundation in the major approaches to comparative and transnational history as well as the emerging field of spatial history.
  • Global Times Plural Spaces 2: explores a variety of understandings of spatial history, including the idea of mental maps, the study of landscapes, places of memory and spatial practices.

Optional modules

Students choose two optional modules. Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

  • Skills in Transnational History: the acquisition and development of skills in the digital humanities and skills required for using specific historical sources.
  • Directed Reading in Modern History: offers a directed reading project designed to encourage the development of skills of historical analysis through concentrated study of a topic chosen by the student.
  • The Creation of an Atlantic World: introduces students to the concept of the Atlantic World, a unit of analysis used by historians to understand the changes wrought in the western hemisphere by the British, French, and Iberian discovery and settlement of the Americas, and by Europe’s slave trade with Africa.
  • War, State and Society in Early Modern Europe and New Worlds: explores the transformations in the size, scale and scope of European warfare between the late fifteenth and late eighteenth centuries.
  • Disease and Environment (c.1500–2000): examines the manner in which sickness and death have shaped human history, both biologically and culturally, over the past 500 years.
  • Environmental History: Nature and the Western World, 1800-2000: studies environmental history over the past two centuries in an international context.
  • Themes in Middle Eastern History and Politics: looks at a variety of theoretical and disciplinary approaches, including Orientalism, as well as exploring questions of nationalism, statehood and identity.
  • Perceptions of Central and Eastern Europe: study of the diverse ethic and cultural characteristics of the region itself and its transformation since the emergence of modern nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century.
  • Political Thought and Intellectual History: introduces the political theory and intellectual history of the early modern period.
  • Building Britain: The Construction and Deconstruction of Britishness since 1707: explores the concept of ‘Britishness’ and its construction and deconstruction from 1707 to 2000.
  • Themes in American History: the most important issues in the history of North America, from its foundations as European colonies onwards.

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.


For further information and inquiries, please contact our Directors Dr Riccardo Bavaj ([email protected]) or Dr Nikos Papadogiannis ([email protected]).