MSC Programme

The MSc/Diploma in Nationalism Studies is an inter-disciplinary programme designed to give you an understanding of nationalism that is broad in scope and theoretically informed, while also tailored to your specific interests within the field.

We are able to do this because we draw on a range of expertise across the University, in the Centres of African Studies, Canadian Studies, South Asian Studies, and in Politics and International Relations, Economic and Social History, Social Anthropology, coordinating these contributions through the host subject area of Sociology, which plays a leading role in research on nationalism and national identity in the UK.

This stimulating research environment provides a range of seminars of interest to students of nationalism, showcasing the expertise of prominent international scholars and practitioners. You will have the opportunity to meet and engage with leading academics in the field. Recent speakers have included Liah Greenfeld, Tariq Modood, Mark Beissinger, John Breuilly, Jon Fox, Montserrat Guibernau, John A Hall, Michael Hechter, John Hutchinson, Michael Ignatieff, Will Kymlicka, Sinisa Maleševic, Michael Mann and Umut Özkirimli.

The programme is a well-respected pioneer in the field with a rich legacy, which includes over 200 graduates, many of whom have become prominent scholars in the field, and have contributed to establishment of the University of Edinburgh as the major centre for the study of nationalism. It was founded in 1995 by Tom Nairn and David McCrone.


Our most basic aim is to provide you with a stimulating and intensive experience of intellectual inquiry into the phenomenon of nationalism.  Along the way we seek to help you further develop your skills involved in posing meaningful questions, articulating viewpoints, exchanging ideas, conducting research, and communicating effectively through various media.

Specifically our programme aims to

  • give you a sense of the multidisciplinary nature of nationalism studies.
  • provide you with a thorough grounding in the central concepts and major theories of nationalism.
  • help you get a comprehensive view of the ideas and key figures in the field.
  • convey the need to understand nationalism in the context of long-term, historical social change.
  • identify key issues and problems in comparative and case study approaches to the study of nationalism.
  • provide explorations of a variety of substantive cases of nationalism, helping students to think concretely about the phenomenon.
  • enable you to carry out substantial independent research and write a dissertation on a topic of your interest within the field.

For more, please see the programme website: Nationalism Studies.