Master in History: Global History and International Studies
The MA History programme Global History and International Studies focuses on how the circulation of people, goods and ideas across the globe developed over time and shaped the world as we know it today. Courses deal with a range of subjects, from the “Great Divergence” between industrial development in China and Europe to unfree labour in a global perspective, the circulation of racial theories and global migrations. In specialised courses you learn from our experts about the most recent trends. The choice of subject for your master’s thesis is free.
Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.
In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. Specific admission requirements for the Master’s programme History:
The Master’s History is designed for students with an academic Bachelor’s in history. You may also be accepted if you have an academic Bachelor’s in other disciplines of the Humanities (including theology or philosophy) or in anthropology or sociology, with a significant historical interest, apparent from a major or specialization equal to a minimum of 30 ECTS.
For international students the level of studied academic theory needs to be based on the course description, literature list and sample of academic writing, due to a lack of distinction between applied and academic universities abroad.
You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a full high school/International Baccalaureate in English or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. You can already apply online without having the test results. In case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:
- TOEFL score (score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).
- IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
- Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C.
Please refer to the Admission and language requirements page for the general requirements.
Does this course require proof of English proficiency?
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More than just the past
The programme combines approaches from history and the social sciences, especially anthropology, economics and international relations. Courses deal with a range of subjects, from the “Great Divergence” between industrial development in China and Europe to unfree labour in a global perspective, the circulation of racial theories and global migrations. In addition to archival sources, students will acquire a basic notion of field research and the use of online sources such as diasporic social media and learn to work with digital databases in the field of economic and social history. Students can also improve their knowledge, network and skills by participating in activities of research institutes such as the centre for Environmental Humanities and CLUE+. The link between history and contemporary political debates on migration, nationalism and ethnicity is discussed throughout the programme.
The programme is taught by staff from the Chair of Economic and Social History and the Chair of Global History from an Anthropological Perspective, currently held by Prof. Pál Nyiri.
A programme that trains you to become a professional
This programme is a specialisation within the Master’s degree programme in History, which trains students to become professional historians with specialised knowledge and transferable skills such as writing, presenting and analytical skills. Students, personally mentored by a member of the academic staff throughout their studies, take several core courses and choose specialised tutorials or opt for an internship.
A combination of core courses and specialisations
The master’s degree course in history at the Vrije Universiteit has a unique character due to the combination of a broad common curriculum and specialisations. All students follow an introductory core subject, two research subjects and the subjects ‘History and Theory’ and ‘Key works in Contemporary Historical Thought’. The subjects of the broad master’s course offer a basis from which you can specialise. The introductory course and the course ‘History and Theory’, given in the same period, ensure a common basis from which to progress, regardless of your disciplinary background. ‘Key works in Contemporary Historical Thought’ helps you to develop your specialisation. In the research courses you examine a specific historical problem in depth and develop your research skills. It is also possible to do an internship.
You become acquainted with new methods of the e-Humanities and are brought regularly into contact with the working practices of historians. You are free to choose the subject of your master’s thesis from the field of your specialization.
- EU-EER students fee: € 2,168
- NON-EU students fee: € 16,630
Master in History
A Master's title in History gives you an attractive employment prospect, as you will develop broad-based knowledge and an analytical method for reading and writing. Among other areas, such as politics, journalism or education, you could work for government institutions, businesses or international institutions.
About this institute
Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...
Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.
They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:
- Human Health and Life Sciences
- Science for Sustainability
- Connected World
- Governance for Society
As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.
In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.
The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.
At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.
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