Universiteit Leiden

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Colonial and Global History (MA)

The master’s programme in Colonial and Global History at Leiden University offers the most in-depth and comprehensive programme on the history of colonialism and globalisation currently available in Europe.

Missed the Master's Online Open Days on 10-11 November? The presentations have been recorded, and can be found on the Master Talks platform!

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A top-ranked programme

According to the QS World University Rankings 2022, History at Leiden University is rated 1st in continental Europe and 16th in the world.

Why study Colonial and Global History at Leiden University?

You will join a master in which you will explore the mutual interaction between the global and the local: between globalisation and regional processes of identity- and state-formation.  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. While the programme highlights the global connections and entanglements made by conquest, trade and migration, you will gain a comparative understanding of European imperialism and its impact on Asia, Africa and South America.

Learn more about the study programme

Focus on Maritime History

You can also choose to focus on Maritime History. Maritime history, a field which has enjoyed a real renaissance in the past two decades, encompasses 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. Leiden University is the only university within the Netherlands with its own master’s specialisation in Maritime History.

Learn more about the Maritime History specialisation

Focus on Heritage and Postcolonial Studies

When you choose the Heritage and Postcolonial Studies specialiation, you will focus your studies on colonial and postcolonial Indonesia, in transnational and comparative perspectives. You will critically study the politics and practices of archives in the context of colonial and postcolonial history, thereby engaging with debates and queries regarding their decolonization.

Learn more about the Heritage and Postcoloial Studies specialisation

Benefit from access to excellent resources

During your studies you will have access to unique documentation centres and libraries specialising in Asia and Africa within easy reach of Leiden University – at the National Archives and the Royal Library in The Hague.

Admission and Application

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

Check the entry requirements

History Degree

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

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 20 Research
  • 16 Government and semi-government
  • 11 Culture, sports and recreation
  • 11 Education
  • 11 Information management
  • 11 IT
  • 5 Welfare and health
  • 5 Financial institutions
  • 5 Wholesale or retail
  • 5 Business services

The graph above is based on alumni data from the MA Colonial and Global History 2016-2020

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