Postgraduate taught 

Early Modern History MSc/PgDip

Plantation and Civility in the Hebrides and in Ulster, c1541-1639 HIST5136

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore the expropriation of lands in the Hebrides and in the north of Ireland during the reign of James VI, 1567-1625, and the subsequent plantation of non-Gaelic speaking peoples in areas which had hitherto been Gaelic speech communities. This contentious topic will be explored from several perspectives and an emphasis will be placed on the need to accommodate, if not reconcile, differing points of view.


2 x 1 hour sessions for ten weeks (10 lecture and 10 seminar hours).

Excluded Courses





3500 word essay at 70%, a 15 min oral presentation (weighted at 20%) and associated powerpoint presentation (weighted at 10%), with 10% of the mark given for general oral contribution to seminars.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ provide students with an overview of the plantation process in both the Hebrides and in Ulster at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

■ apply historical analysis in understanding Gaelic Society and its interaction with the Anglophone & Scotophone world from Gaelic as well as from non-Gaelic perspectives.

■ develop an understanding of the rationale and motivations of planters.

■ make students aware of historiographical issues in plantation history.

■ help students develop critical and analytical skills through the close reading of sources by studying historical documents (in translation where necessary).

■ provide students with the ability to develop primary source research and essay writing skills.

■ encourage the development of presentation skills, thus enhancing employability for the student.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ analyse the forces at work in the plantation process incorporating contrasting perspectives.

■ discuss critically the distinctive features of Gaelic society in the Hebrides and Ulster and their responses to plantation.

■ assess the pressures and motivations at play in moving people from (England and) Scotland to undertake plantation in the Hebrides and Ulster.

■ evaluate historical analysis as it applies to Plantation in the Hebrides and Ulster.

■ contextualise and analyse a number of primary sources (accessed either in English, Scots or in Gaelic, in translation, as may be necessary).

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.