Online course: Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum

Published: 11 June 2014

The University of Edinburgh has recently launched details of a MOOC covering Scotland's 2014 independence referendum.

It aims to place participants on the course at the heart of the Scottish referendum debate. Participants will engage critically (and constructively) with the arguments of both sides and with each other, whilst being informed by input from leading Edinburgh University academics. In addition to weekly live-streamed Question Hour with a panel of experts, the course provides video explanations of key issues, interactive debates and role play exercises.

The course begins three weeks before the referendum (25 August 2014) and also considers afterwards the implications of the result. It is structured around six main questions:

  1. Why is Scotland having a referendum?
  2. What does ‘Yes’ mean?
  3. What does ‘No’ mean?
  4. What do Scots think?
  5. The Day After
  6. What Next?

You can use the hashtag #edindyref to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.


This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in finding out more about Scotland’s independence referendum. No prior knowledge is required.

Full course information and enrolment details on FutureLearn


About MOOcs

The University of Edinburgh offers a range of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are short courses that are delivered online for free.

These courses:

  • do not have any entry requirements - all courses can be taken by anyone from anywhere online
  • are usually run two or three times each year
  • are led by world-class academics and supported by teaching assistants
  • typically require 1-2 hours of study each week for around 5 weeks
  • are self-directed, meaning you follow the course materials, complete the readings and assessments, and get help from a large community of fellow learners through online forums
  • are comparable to a standard University of Edinburgh course in terms of content and study level
  • meet high academic standards and are subject to internal quality assurance processes

Although our MOOCs do not have formal university credits assigned to them, Statements of Accomplishment will be available to any learner who completes a course with us.