Masters in History
History matters. The master’s degree in history at the VU trains you to become a professional historian. The course is broad-based and also allows you to specialize in a particular area of history. Each specialization is based on one of the chairs of the History Department. The progress of your study is personally mentored by a professor. According to a student, “History at VU Amsterdam distinguishes itself by its small community of students and the support of its staff.”
- Global History and International Studies
- Medical and Health Humanities
- Religion and Society from Antiquity up to Today
The Master’s History is designed for students with an academic Bachelor's degree 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, economics, political science, international relations or sociology, with a significant historical interest, apparent from a major or specialisation equal to a minimum of 30 ECTS.
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All students follow a number of basic courses. In addition you choose the broad Master's curriculum or one of the three specialisations. If you decide to follow the broad Master's curriculum then you make your own choice from the other subjects offered. Each specialisation is connected to one or more of the chairs of the History Department. The progress of your study is personally mentored by a member of the academic staff.
1 GLOBAL HISTORY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
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 programme combines approaches from history and the social sciences, especially anthropology, economics and international relations
2 MEDICAL AND HEALTH HUMANITIES
Medical and Health Humanities combines the history of health and medicine with a wide array of arts and humanities approaches. Classes explore the different ways that bodies and minds have been investigated and understood, and how these various ways of knowing shape everyday life, medical practice, and public health policy. Participants learn to contextualise medical ideas in the time and culture, and to analyse a diverse range of sources, including historical artifacts, comics and films, medical texts and health journalism. Drawing on methods from across the disciplines, students will broaden their tools of investigation beyond the written word to also consider the sounds, smells, and the look and feel of the past and its lessons and legacies in the present day.
3 RELIGION AND SOCIETY FROM ANTIQUITY UP TO TODAY
Religion and society mutually influence each other: important aspects of society find their expression in religion, while religion helps to determine the character of society. In the course of history the role and scope of religion in society fluctuate, and neither society nor religion is static or uniform. This specialisation focuses on a European and Middle Eastern line in history. It is also possible to focus specifically on the history of Protestantism in the Netherlands.
- EU-EER students fee: € 2,168
- NON-EU students fee: € 16,630
Scholarships & funding
With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university. The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.
MA in History
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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