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Culture, History and Society (BA Major of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges)

Today, globalization makes us all aware of how closely we are connected to, and often dependent upon, the actions of people who are distant from us. Human migration and economic liberalization have confronted local communities with changes happening on a global level. How can we devise ways to share resources and negotiate conflicts? How can we understand the origins and consequences of human difference? How are they defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, or any number of other factors?

The Major BA Culture, History and Society is part of the Bachelor's programme Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges at Leiden University College in The Hague. Students choose a Major at the end of their first year and their focus is largely on their Major in the second and third year of their studies

Daniela Vicherat Mattar

Major Convener Culture, History and Society

Daniela Vicherat Mattar

''The Culture, History and Society Major draws insights from the humanities and social sciences to help you address the global challenge of living together peacefully and equitably in socially diverse communities.''

Greg Frey

Alumnus Culture, History and Society

Greg Frey

''I see human diversity as an important part of a lot of different ways of thinking about the world’s challenges and this is why I chose it as a major. There are a lot of curious, critical and kind people here and conversations really get moving in class.''

''What is culture? was my favourite course because it drew on all kinds of texts and philosophies to talk about the weird cultural conventions and myths we live under.''

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The Culture, History and Society Major

The Culture, History and Society (CHS) Major at Leiden University College The Hague combines conceptual and methodological insights from the social sciences (anthropology, geography and sociology) and humanities (art history, cultural studies, history and literature). Our aim is to appreciate, examine and understand the density of social life in its cultural, historical, moral and political manifestations. We explore ideas central to modern cities, migration, gender, race, coloniality, heritage, inequality and power by looking both at dynamics in social relations and the relations between humans and the environment. By studying different time frames, and regions of the world, the courses offer both western and nonwestern perspectives on the processes that gave, and are giving, shape to our social, cultural and political world.

In this major, we examine questions such as...

  • What motivates people to collective action in different times and places and how is that action undertaken?
  • How have societies been formed and to what extent does that define the current socio-political relations?
  • How do multiple cultural forms condense distinctionsthat organize social life?
Core tracks of the Culture, History and Society major
Core tracks of the Culture, History and Society major

What does the future hold?

Due to the broad nature of the Liberal Arts & Sciences degree and the strong interdisciplinary skills developed in the programme, graduates are in demand on the labor market. Liberal Arts & Sciences students go in many different directions after graduation. Your major is a key stepping stone in your path towards a Master's degree or future career.

It is common for Liberal Arts & Sciences graduates to pursue a master's degree, to further challenge themselves and to specialize. The master's builds on knowledge gained in the major as well as the programme as a whole. Some examples of master's programmes that students with a major in Culture, History and Society pursued:

  • MA Arts and Politics @ Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
  • MA Management of Cultural Diversity @ Tilburg University, The Netherlands
  • MA Sociology @ University of Cambridge, UK
  • MA Curating Cultures @ SOAS, University of London, UK

During and after their studies, students pursue many different extracurriculars, engage in internships or follow master's degrees. Due to the wide variety of experiences and goals, each career path is different. Some examples of career paths that students with a major in Culture, History and Society pursued:

  • Governmental organisations such as the Cultural Heritage Programme
  • National and International NGOs focusing on Media/ Journalism
  • International organisations like UNESCO
  • Curatorial positions at museums and other heritage institutes


Read more about this unique study programme on the programme website, see our upcoming events or read how to apply!

Chat with a student from this Major



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