Scottish History Network School Essay Prize

To promote the study of Scottish History and support the development of academic skills, we have launched a brand-new essay competition for High School students. Aimed at those studying Higher or Advanced Higher History, the competition challenges students to answer one of five Scottish History questions and offers some amazing prizes in return.

About the competition

Who can enter? The competition is aimed at S5 and S6 students studying Higher or Advanced Higher History at a Scottish High School. This includes anyone who completed Higher or Advanced Higher History in 2016/17, and anyone who will take Higher or Advanced Higher History in 2017/18.

What are the questions? Essays should seek to answer ONE of the following questions:

  1. To what extent did Robert the Bruce play a significant role in helping Scotland gain independence?
  2. “The Reformation had a profound impact on Scotland.” How valid is this opinion?
  3. “The Act of Union (1707) was damaging for Scotland”. How valid is this view?
  4. “Scottish people contributed a great deal to the Empire between 1830 and 1939”. How valid is this view?
  5. How significant was the role of Scottish soldiers during World War One?

These questions are inspired by the five areas of study covered in the Scottish section of the Higher History exam.

How long does my essay need to be? Entries should be between 1000 and 1200 words in length.

How can I get inspired? Did you know 2017 is Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology? As well as reading books and delving into some primary sources, why not take a trip to one of Scotland’s historic sites for inspiration and experience history where it really happened. For instance, a visit to Stirling Castle is a must if you’re interested in Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Independence. Likewise, if you’re fascinated by the First World War then the National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle is the place for you. Historic Environment Scotland offer free education visits and subsidised travel for schools so ask your teacher if a trip would be possible – further details are available at

When does the competition close? The deadline for entries is 31 October 2017.

Where do I send my essay? Entries should be submitted by email to

What details do I need to give? Please state the following at the top of your essay:

         Your full name

         Name and address of your school

         What course you are studying (Higher or Advanced Higher History)

         Name and contact details for your History teacher.

How will the winner be decided? All entries will be anonymised (so the author isn’t known) and passed to a panel of judges for review. The panel will agree a winner and runner-up, and may choose to commend other entries.

What are the prizes? Thanks to History ScotlandHistoric Environment Scotland and Blackwell’s, the following prizes can be won:


         Publication of essay in History Scotland magazine and on website

         Annual subscription to History Scotland magazine

         Historic Scotland annual membership


         Historic Scotland annual membership

–          Book token for Blackwell’s Bookstore

         Publication of essay on History Scotland website


         Publication of essay on History Scotland website



The Scottish History Network is immensely grateful for the support provided by Historic Environment Scotland, History Scotland and Blackwell’s Edinburgh

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