Scotland: Culture, Literature, and History

Scotland is more than Braveheart, bagpipes, haggis, and whiskey. From the ancient town of St. Andrews, home to one of Europe's oldest universities, to the culturally vibrant city of Edinburgh, birthplace of R.L. Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott, to the rich folk tradition of the Highlands, Scotland is also a country with a history steeped in drama and intrigue. Through classroom lectures/discussions and site visits to museums and monuments in Scotland, this course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the literary culture of Europe's northernmost Celtic peoples, focusing on the major figures who helped shape that culture.

Topics include:

  • Scottish Enlightenment
  • 19th century fiction
  • The history of Scotland and its national and imperial contexts
  • The gender politics of Mary Queen of Scots

"O Scotia! My dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent;
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content."

-Robert Burns

Faculty member: Dr. Jessica Stock, e-mail

May apply toward upper-level credit for the English major, humanities major, arts and humanities general education requirements, or electives.

Prerequisite: WRTG 112 Introduction to Academic Writing II

Tentative Course Itinerary

Day 1 (Sunday)

1500Arrival at Edinburgh; check into hotel. Location: TBA

Day 2 (Monday)

1000Blood and Guts Tour
1400Scottish National Library
 Class lecture

Day 3 (Tuesday)

0830Private bus tour: Stirling Castle and the Trossachs

Day 4 (Wednesday)

TBAWalking tour of Edinburgh Castle and Old Town,
to Holyrood Palace

Day 5 (Thursday)

0830Private bus tour: St. Andrews, County of Fife, and fishing villages

Day 6 (Friday)

1000National Portrait Gallery
1400National Museum of Scotland

Day 7 (Saturday)

TBAThe Writer's Museum

Day 8 (Sunday)

TBADeparture from hotel in Edinburgh

Accommodation and Transportation

For your convenience, UMGC coordinates the hotel and excursion arrangements for a flat fee of $650 per student per field study course. This fee will be charged to your student account and covers seven nights of lodging (double occupancy room), as well as local transportation costs and entry to all excursions. Depending on availability, single rooms may be available upon request for an additional fee. Please contact the course professor for details.

The $650 fee does not include travel to and from the city where the course is held. You must make your own travel arrangements to the course.

Textbooks and Course Materials

Please refer to the current course syllabus found on the schedule for details about course materials. This course uses no-cost online resources.

Registration Details

You may register for the 3 credit field study course with your local program coordinator or online at MyUMGC. Tuition assistance or financial aid can be applied toward tuition costs. For more information, contact the UMGC Field Study Office at CIV +49-(0)631-534-800, or e-mail

Before completing your travel plans, please verify with your local program coordinator or the Field Study Office at UMGC Europe Headquarters that the course will be held as scheduled. If you drop/withdraw from a field study course after the registration deadline, you will be charged a fee of $100.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is a field study course different from a regular course?
A field study course packs all of the 48 contact-hours of other courses into seven adventure-filled days on location, so you can earn three credits in 5 weeks. In addition, rather than taking place in an education center, a field study course takes place in a historical European city where the subject being studied has its roots. You will visit historical sites and museums as well as participate in lectures that bring it all together for a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

The on-site portion of field study courses are also scheduled during registration weeks, so they shouldn't interfere with your other courses.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

Helpful Hints

Before you leave:

  • Contact your travel agency concerning insurance coverage for cancellations.
  • Contact your health insurance company for information concerning coverage at your destination.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of your destination country.
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination.
  • Obtain city maps for your destination.
  • Leave contact information with people at home who may need to reach you during the course.
  • Make sure your legal affairs are in order and leave a short-term power of attorney with someone you trust.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport and the contents of your wallet--leave one copy at home, and bring the other with you.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Resources page.