About the programme
The one-year master’s programme in History gives you the chance to gain a degree based on your own particular interests and ambitions.
Overview of History specialisations
The master in History offers seven specialisations. Within these specialisations, a flexible format allows you to further tailor your qualification to reflect your interests.
- Ancient History: provides you with a comprehensive overview of the history of the Greek and Roman period.
- Archival Studies: helps you understand why archives were founded and how they operate.
- Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence: in which you will study processes of migration, urbanisation, economic development and global interaction through time.
- Colonial and Global History: the best in-depth programme on the history of colonialism and globalisation currently available in Europe.
- Europaeum Programme European History and Civilisation: Leiden-Oxford-Paris Programme: is a unique programme offered by Leiden University, the Université Paris I – Panthéon/Sorbonne and the University of Oxford.
- Europe 1000-1800: focuses on the momentous cultural and political transformations that characterised Europe between 1000-1800.
- Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present: gives you the chance to be part of a programme that is at the forefront of a new international approach to understanding how national politics and identities in Europe are conceived.
For a detailed programme overview, please check the specialisation of your interest.
The general structure of the programme is as follows.
- Literature Seminar (10 EC)
- Research Seminar (10 EC)
- Optional Courses (10 EC)
- Thesis and exam (30 EC)
- Thesis Seminar
For a more detailed programme overview, please check the specialisation of your interest.
- Internship options
- Peer feedback and assessment
- Essays, research papers
- Oral presentations
The one-year Master of Arts in History (study load 60 EC) aims to bring you state-of-the-art knowledge in your subject area of choice. You will pay specific attention to the analysis of historical process, the study of primary sources, conducting historical research, historiography and methodology.
The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts and the analysis of complex conceptual problems, and the ability to independently conduct high-quality scientific research are key goals of the programme.
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.
For a detailed programme, please check the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.
Prof.dr. Gert Oostindie
Professor of Colonial and Postcolonial History
“The least any professor of History can do beyond simply teaching students the methods, contents and ethics of the discipline is to help them reflect on why all of this might be helpful for understanding not simply the past, but also the present. As a frequent contributor to the mass media I feel historians have something substantial to add to public debates and in my teaching I do attempt to stimulate my students to think about this, and to develop the requisite skills.”
“Many of our master’s students discover the quality of our programmes only after they join us. In the Netherlands, self-promotion is not a big part of our culture, yet Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty ranks alongside the most prestigious universities in the world, and is the established leader in continental Europe. What can our students expect from this programme? An education on par with the world’s best, with teaching by top researchers.”
Alumni: close-knit global community
“Your graduation from a master’s programme marks a new chapter in your relationship with Leiden University. Our alumni community is highly active in terms of network-building and development. They are valued by the university, and we support them with personal and professional development and free use of our facilities such as the Leiden University Library. This close-knit global community offers life-long support for all our former students in terms of reaching goals, maintaining friendships and expanding networks.”
Research: encouraging you to think beyond your own discipline
“Some of the most high-profile humanities research produced today is conducted at Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty. These faculty members are among a handful worldwide who can lay claim to such a depth and breadth of academic expertise. One example is our centre of excellence on Native American cultures, languages and history – a research group that is one of the best in the world. At Leiden, we can offer students expertise in most niche areas of interest. Our faculty members often work together across disciplines, and encourage students to think beyond the limits of their own discipline, which is where the future of innovative research lies.”
Careers: opportunities to develop your talent
“Decisions made during your studies have a big impact on your future. We offer you many opportunities to develop your talents both within and outside of the classroom, including internships, study trips abroad, student committees, and minors. These opportunities help define your objectives for after your studies, and equip you with additional skills and experience.”