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Colonial and Global History (research) (MA)

The Colonial and Global History (research) programme at Leiden University offers the most in-depth and comprehensive programme of European expansion and globalisation currently available in Europe.

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A top-ranking programme

According to the QS World University Rankings 2021, History at Leiden University is rated 1st in continental Europe and 15th in the world.

Why study Colonial and Global History (research) at Leiden University?

You will join a research master's programme in which you will explore how worldwide political, economic, cultural and religious contacts shaped processes that led to the development of regional identities and the formation of states. Although the programme highlights the global connections and entanglements made by conquest, trade and migration, you will gain a unique comparative understanding of European imperialism and its impact on Asia, Africa and South America.

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Join a highly stimulating academic environment

You will join an international cohort of students and researchers who have chosen Leiden University and the Colonial and Global History (research) programme on the basis of the department’s internationally-acclaimed research and its Cosmopolis scholarship programme. In a highly stimulating and international academic environment, you will participate in the latest debates in the field of colonial and global history and you will contribute yourself to the progress of that field by investigating unexplored primary sources.

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's programme?

Check the entry requirements

Focus on maritime history

Unique about this programme is its focus on maritime history, a field which has enjoyed a real renaissance in the past two decades, encompassing humankind’s relationships to the seas and oceans of the world. Besides economic, political and nautical themes, there is a new attention to social and cultural phenomena and the relation between maritime and global history, and between maritime history and cultural heritage institutions.

Benefit from excellent resources

Leiden University is the perfect place to study Colonial and Global History on the basis of the massive archival collections of its East and West India Company (VOC and WIC) in the National Archives and the Royal Library in The Hague (15 minutes from Leiden). The programme offers tailor-made methodological and practical courses to access and optimally use these unexplored materials to open a truly unique window on early modern Asian, African and American societies.

Is this programme for you?

If you are interested in dedicating more time to in-depth research, or are thinking of a future in academic or non-academic research, you should consider choosing the Research MA over the MA. A love for reading and discussing intensively with your fellow students, as well as conducting your own research, is essential. If, moreover, you are ambitious and not averse to hard intellectual work, you have what it takes to complete this programme successfully.

Find out more about the career prospects

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 50 Research
  • 25 Government and semi-government organisations
  • 12 Consultancy
  • 6 Financial institutions
  • 6 Culture, sports and recreation
  • 1 Other

The graph above is based on alumni data from the Research Master History 2016-2020

Colonial and Global History (research) degree

Colonial and Global History (research) at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a research master’s degree in History and the title Master of Arts (MA).

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