Centre for Continuing Education

Classic Journeys Course: Scotland - A Journey

History. See the future. It’s in the past.

The world as we know it today has been shaped by events of the past. Learn about history the smart way with History courses at the University of Sydney.

Popularly known for being home to Haggis-eating, Bagpipe-playing, Kilt-wearing and Whisky-drinking folk, Scotland is this and much more. Her islands and highlands have been staging grounds for her adventurous and challenging history. Our journey takes us to remote islands, ancient castles and forts. We will explore Neolithic sites, taste Haggis, hear the skirl of bagpipes, and visit sites of historic significance.


At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Decide whether to include parts covered here in their itinerary.
  2. Understand more of Scotland’s history.
  3. Know about historic sites to visit.
  4. Develop a greater interest in traditional Scottish customs.
  5. Be aware of times and distances to cover in Scotland.
  6. Be more confident of creating their own itinerary.


This course covers the following topics:

History of Scotland

  • Celts, Vikings, Normans.
  • Lord of the Isles.
  • Culloden.
  • The Clearances.
  • Tartans.

The Inner Hebrides & Western Isles

  • Mull & Iona.
  • Skye.
  • Harris & Lewis.

The Orkneys

  • Mainland & Skara Brae.
  • Kirkwall.
  • Standing Stones.
  • Maes Howe.

Sutherland, Caithness & the Highlands

  • Castle of Mey.
  • Battle at Culloden.
  • Cawdor Castle.
  • Dunrobin Castle.
  • Pitlochry.

Intended Audience

This history course is suitable for personal interest adult learners, university students and active retirees who are planning to visit Scotland, or those who have a general interest in Scotland.

Delivery Style

I structure the course using a mixture of visual powerpoint presentations, readings by participants, discussion and a class quiz to assist with personal retention of the course material. The course is designed for people planning their own trips to Scotland.

Recommended Reading

  • Walking Through Scotland’s History, Ian R. Mitchell.
  • Scotland’s Castles, Chris Tabraham.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, Antonia Fraser.
  • The Highland Clearances, John Prebble.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • This course is perfectly presented. Just enough history to allow you to understand how events evolved. I am visiting The Highlands, The Shetlands and Orkney and the presenter has made me even more excited about my visit and helped me in my decisions on the must see places!