Universiteit Leiden

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Europe 1000-1800 (research) (MA)

About the programme

During the two-year Europe 1000-1800 programme you will learn from inspired academics and learn how to conduct quality research.

The programme includes a number of courses enabling you to acquire a better understanding of theories on historical processes, historical debates and methodology of historical research. In the first semester, you will follow a course in historical methodology, in the second semester a course in research skills. Both courses are taught by first-rate instructors and address problems and issues highly relevant throughout your study.

For a detailed programme, see the online Prospectus.

Literature Seminar

The programme starts with an intensive Literature Seminar, which covers the first 8 weeks of the semester. During this course you will discuss recent insights and key issues within the field of Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence.

Research Seminars

You will take two Research Seminars during which you will carry out research on the basis of primary source material or published documents. You will take one Research Seminar during the first semester. The second Research Seminar may be taken during the second semester, or abroad during the third semester.

Historical Theory

This course is compulsory for all Research MA students. It discusses major problems in historical theory or philosophy of history through close readings of relevant texts. Topics that will be addressed include explanations, models, intentions, representations, narratives, paradigms, comparisons, objectivity, and ethics.


The tutorial is the mainstay of our Research MA as it offers intensive, eye-to-eye discussions with one of Leiden’s many specialists. During the tutorial you will explore the field and determine the subject and research question of your thesis.

Courses Research Schools

Within the Research MA History, students are required to take courses at a Research School, amounting to at least 10 EC. You will compose this set of courses yourself, together with the Coordinator of Studies. Research Schools courses offer training in both methodology and area specific knowledge. Research MA students choose courses at the Research School that relates most with their possible area of research.

Developing Research Proposals

This course is also compulsory for all Research MA students. It will focus on the development of your research skills. You will learn how to arrange academic research, from initial research question to publication/research proposal. Senior researchers will guide you through this process, using their own ongoing research projects as guideline.

Optional Courses

You will also take a number of Optional Courses, worth up to a total of 20 EC. We encourage students to take these courses abroad. However, you are also able to fill in this Optional Course space with a multitude of options. See the Prospectus for more information.


You conclude the programme by writing a Research MA-thesis. Students are guided in writing their thesis by thesis supervisors. Upon graduation students sit for a final ceremony for which they defend their thesis and answer questions on additional literature. 

The main aim of the programme is to ensure that after graduation, you will be able to function as a junior academic researcher, either in a semi-academic position or at a university. You will be able to solve complex academic problems independently, critically and creatively, and report on these results with clarity both in writing and verbally. The programme qualifies you to continue your studies in a PhD studentship.

Detailed programme

Year 1 & 2
Course EC
Current Debates in Medieval and Early Modern History I 10
Current Debates in Medieval and Early Modern History II 10
Thrones, Families, and Power: Dynastic Rule in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds. 10
Premodern Political Culture in Europe 10
Historical Theory 10
Developing Research Proposals 10
Tutorial 10
Research School Courses (ResMA History) 10
ResMA Thesis History & Final Exam 30
Course EC
Maritime treasures: diving into maritime history 10
The Business of Empire: Colonial and Imperial Entrepreneurship, 1415-1974 10
In or Out? History of Inclusion and Exclusion since 1900 10
Political Eloquence in the Netherlands 10
Surinamese Political History: A Special Case of Shared History? 10
Empire and Diversity in the Roman World 10
Global Peace Movements in the Era of Decolonization 10
On the Hippie Trail. Colonial Knowledge, Local Agency, and the Countercultural Imagination of Asia 10
Thrones, Families, and Power: Dynastic Rule in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds. 10
Dangerous Cities? The Risks of the Urban Environment (1750-2000) 10
Gender, Sexuality, Migration Since 1960 10
The Irish Revolution, 1912-1923 10
New Approaches to the Holocaust in Central and Eastern Europe 10
Premodern Political Culture in Europe 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants (ResMA) 10
Arsenal of Democracy?: The United States and the World since 1945 10
Leiden Elective Academic Periodical 10
Religions of the North: Impact of the Roman Empire on Religion in the Northwestern Provinces 10
A Life of Crime? Poverty, Illegality, and Making Do in the City, 1800-1930 10
Russia Revisited in War and Revolution (1914-1921) 10
Addressing Authority. The Politics of Petitioning 10
Research Workshop: Greek and Latin Epigraphy (10 EC) 10

For a more detailed programme, see the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Latest knowledge

All courses are taught by academics who are active researchers. The curriculum is regularly updated to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights. Regular seminars are held presenting students with our researchers' latest findings. Your research thesis is often linked to one of the research projects of our faculty members, who play an active role in every individual's education, acting as mentors and community builders.


Claire Weeda

Researcher and University Lecturer

Claire Weeda

"Europe 1000-1800 offers multi-faceted research-based seminars in which collective identities are explored in relation to networks of commerce and communication, negotiations between rulers and subjects, and the transfer of knowledge and ideas. This dynamic approach, connecting the regional to global, allows us to unravel complex processes tapping a broad range of primary sources from local to international archives and libraries."

Friendly atmosphere

"One of the great benefits of the Europe 1000-1800 program is the friendly and informal atmosphere. We frequently organize extracurricular seminars and drinks afterwards, which are attended by students and faculty members and where ideas and plans can be discussed. Many seminars are based on own research and this is stimulating to both students and staff."


"Researching European or global history requires a certain set of skills, which in general often seems to be acknowledged by employers in and beyond academia. Some students will go on to write obtain a PhD. Many pursue careers working in journalism, at museums and cultural institutions, publishing houses, as policy advisors or in diplomacy. They often hold intellectually engaging positions that demand analytical, organizational and good writing skills. Students of premodern and early modern history are generally highly regarded for their language skills, their specific and often detailed knowledge and their ability to apply abstract concepts."

Following individual paths

"Past experience has learned that internships in particular motivate students as well as offering them valuable contacts and insights into how to use their skills and knowledge outside of the university. Together we try to find internships that are individually tailored to students’ interests. Researching topics of individual interest is also encouraged in the thesis seminar. I think this is one of the most important aspects of the programme: students are encouraged to follow their individual academic paths, yet are offered a broad itinerary on their way."

Admission and Application

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

Check the entry requirements

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