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Master in History: Global History and International Studies

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Virtual open day
Virtual open day
Start dates
September 2021

September 2022

September 2023

Program description

History: Global History and International Studies

The MA specialisation History: Global History and International Studies is a unique programme combining approaches from history and the social sciences.

The History department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a long tradition in teaching and researching global relations and international history. Special areas of attention are economic, colonial and postcolonial relations between Western countries and the postcolonial world – including Africa and Southeast Asia.

We also focus on the relations between Europe and the US in the wider context of the Atlantic world and the global impact of changes in Asia and China.

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Admission requirements

You will be directly admitted to the master’s programme if you have a bachelor’s degree in History from a Dutch research (WO) university.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. European Studies, Anthropology), your application must be assessed by the Board of Admissions.

If you have an HBO diploma from a Dutch university of applied sciences in a related field, such as the second-degree teacher training course in History, you may be able to qualify for the programme by following the premaster’s programme.

It is obligated to participate in an assessment before you can start your premaster’s programme. If you have a first-degree certificate (MO-B) in History, you could qualify for direct admission to the programme upon approval by the Board of Admissions.

English language requirements

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English-taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

  • TOEFL 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 with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website

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Program content

  • From Source to Public: The Historian's Flowchart
  • Key Works in Contemporary Historical Thought
  • History and Theory
  • Slavery, Abolition and Compensation in the Dutch Colonies in the West and in the East
  • History of Natural Disasters
  • Specialisation Tutorial Master History
  • Master Thesis Colloquium History
  • Master Thesis History

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 15,546

Continuing studies

With a master’s title in History you can embark on PhD research at a university or research institute.

Career opportunities

A master’s degree in History: Global History and International Studies makes you an attractive employment prospect because you have broad-based knowledge of societal challenges from a contemporary and historical perspective. Besides, you have developed an analytical way of reading and writing. These are skills that are specially important in today’s information driven society. Many of our alumni found jobs as advisor, journalist, consultant and policy analist.

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Want to know more about this program, Master in History: Global History and International Studies? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.

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...

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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.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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