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Georgian Scotland

Course Times & Enrolment

Thursdays from 18th April 2024 (Code HS259-303) Thursdays from
18th April 2024 11:00am - 1:00pm • (10 classes)
National Museum of Scotland • Tutor: Helen Rapport PGCE, M.A., PhD
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

This course explores Scotland’s great changes and developments from 1714-1815. Making extensive use of the National Museum’s collections, the course covers the Enlightenment and the growth of Universities, the growth of trade, transportation and industry, and the impact of Jacobite rebellions and events overseas, from France and Spain to the American colonies. 

Please note, this course takes place at the National Museum of Scotland (meet at the Information Desk in the entrance hall).

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment


Content of Course

1. Overview of course, reading and sources. Was there such a thing as Georgian Scotland and if so, what were its achievements and legacies?  

2. Living, working and dying in Georgian Scotland.  

3. Governing Georgian Scotland: national and local politics and the emergence of political parties  

4. Jacobites: how were they dealt with and what impact did this have on society throughout Scotland?  

5. Empire and Revolutions  

6. The distinctly Scottish Enlightenment?  

7. Pastimes, amusements and sport.  

8. The savage Highlander: Military prowess and visitor accounts on the last wilderness in Europe.  

9. New industries and new towns.  

10. Art, architecture and the aesthetic dream. 

Teaching method(s)

Lecture, class discussion and visits to museum collections.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to: 

  • Understand the key social, political, cultural and economic developments in Scotland in this period;  

  • Assess the influence of national and international events on Scottish society; 

  • Analyse historical material to place it in the context of their understanding of the period. 


Core Readings


  • Devine, T.M. and Young, J. R. eds., 1999. Eighteenth-Century Scotland: New Perspectives. East Linton, East Lothian: Tuckwell Press. 

  • Shaw, J.S., 1999. The Political History of Eighteenth Century Scotland. London: Palgrave. 

  • Dwyer, J. and Sher, R.B. eds., 1993. Sociability and Society in Eighteenth-Century Scotland. Edinburgh: Mercat. 

  • Allan, D., 2001. Scotland in the Eighteenth Century: Union and Enlightenment. London: Routledge 

  • Lenman, B. 2009. Enlightenment and Change: Scotland 1746-1832. Edinburgh: EUP 

  • Whatley, C.A., 2000. Scottish Society 1707-1830. Beyond Jacobitism. Manchester: MUP. 


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.