Graduate Studies | College of Arts

Graduate Studies

Scottish Studies

The University of Guelph is internationally rec­ognized for a distinguished Scottish Studies graduate program. Along with the Department of History, there are several academic units with scholars and students studying Scottish topics in them. Mentoring a strong cohort of inspired leaders sustains a bright future for the Scottish Studies program.   

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Student Research Spotlight!


Brenna is a PhD candidate in Scottish History working with Dr. Susannah Ferreira. Brenna completed her first research trip to Scotland in Spring 2023 with the generous support of the Duncan Campbell Memorial Travel Grant and the Frank Watson Travel Scholarship.

"My SSHRC-funded research project examines the late medieval North Sea trade networks of Orkney and Shetland to better understand how both their Norse cultural heritage and contact with Scotland—represented by their economic links—informed the unique social and cultural identity of the islands. My research focuses on the exchange of parchment and incorporates an interdisciplinary methodology that combines close study of documentary records, like Scotland's exchequer rolls, with genetic analysis of animal DNA retrieved from parchment charters. My work contributes to and draws on the University of Guelph’s established expertise in both Scottish history and animal genetics to inform persistent questions of national identity in the Northern Isles." Brenna Clark

Pictured: Brenna Clark © Brenna Clark, 2022


Katherine is a PhD student in Scottish History working with Dr. Cathryn Spence. Since beginning her studies in Fall 2022, Katherine has been instrumental in coordinating, along with fellow PhD History students a new lecture series - the Scottish Research Circle, to highlight a blend of senior and emerging scholars in a variety of topics related to the history of Scotland.

“I chose to pursue my PhD at the University of Guelph because the reputation of the Scottish Studies program speaks for itself. I’m humbled to be working and learning with colleagues of this caliber. My research focuses on the Scottish Wars of Independence and the elements of gender present throughout contemporary tellings as well as through epic poems. I hope to highlight how women were not only passive bystanders but actively willing and involved in times of violence within the range of their own autonomy. Women are seen through their familial connections to elite men or working women on campaign. While typically left out of historical narratives, they had a place and purpose. Further I hope to address medieval masculinity and the standards placed on men during this era and specifically in times of conflict.” Katherine Foran

Pictured: Katherine Foran © Katherine Foran, 2022


Gavin is a Scottish History MA student working with Dr. Kevin James. Gavin is the recipient of various University of Guelph Graduate Scholarships which recognize graduate students with high academic standing. Additionally, Gavin has received the Alexander H. Brodie Memorial Award, St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal Research Travel Grant in Scottish Studies and the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto Travel Grant to support his 2023 summer research trip in Scotland where he consulted the National Library of Scotland, the National Records Office, and the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.  

“My research looks at licensed trade in the Scottish domestic front during the First World War. Specifically, I am analyzing the Glasgow hospitality trade and its relationship with licensing measures introduced during wartime. This research will provide valuable insight into the maneuvering and economic survivability of hospitality institutions during times of crisis. My main research interests include the history of First World War, histories of domestic institutions during wartime, and alcohol licensing.” Gavin Hughes  

Pictured: Gavin Hughes © Gavin Hughes, 2023