Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Scotland and Slavery: A Visit to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Course Times & Enrolment

Tuesday 14th May 2024, (Code HS253-306) Add to Basket Tuesday 14th May 2024, 11:00am - 12:00pm • (One-day course) Scottish National Portrait Gallery • Tutor: Alastair Learmont
£10.00 Concessions and discounts

Course Summary

This History taster uses displays at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to stimulate discussion about slavery and its place in Scotland’s past. Individual portraits and medallions will be used as case studies to illustrate particular aspects of Scotland’s involvement with slavery.

Please note, this course takes place at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (meet at the Information Desk).

Course Details

Content of Course

1. Contextual introduction.

2. Discussion of Portraits / Medallions.

3. Subjects are likely to include Robert Burns (a Scottish Sojourner); Robert Cunninghame Grahame of Gartmore (the Scottish Slave Owning interest); Lord Mansfield (the legal status of slaves), and one other either Horner/Moore Scotland and Abolitionism. 

Exhibits are liable to change so precise course contents will vary accordingly.  

Teaching method(s)

Presentation and discussion in a gallery setting.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand, in general terms, the nature and extent of Scotland’s involvement with slavery in the Caribbean during the 18th and early 19th century;

  • Analyse, in general terms, the impact of Scotland’s slavery past in a national and international context.


Core Readings

  • Devine, TM, Scotland’s Empire, Penguin, 2005.

Class Handouts

A handout will be provided with further details of web sources and specific readings.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.