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Masters in Humanities Research: Global History

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Start dates
12,690 EUR
September 2021

12,690 EUR
September 2022

12,690 EUR
September 2023

Program description

Masters in Humanities Research: Global History

The Global History program, is a specialization of the Humanities Research Master, aimed at talented students who are exceptionally motivated to develop their skills in the field of historical research. It prepares students for a research career in history, or for other research intensive careers.

In the Global History program you will learn to investigate the dynamics and long-term developments of the global interconnection of goods, ideas and people, and the role of power, religion and affects in such constellations. In research intensive courses you will collaborate with renowned researchers and research groups in the fields of migration studies, in the history of capitalism, knowledge and religion, material culture and heritage, emotions and senses, and environmental humanities. The distinguishing characteristic of the program is an interdisciplinary perspective that includes concepts and methodologies from the social sciences, philosophy and law. The program also offers students the possibility to explore and train skills in digital analysis and reflect on the possibilities of the emerging digital humanities techniques, and e-Humanities approaches. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers a thorough training program, with individual guidance by excellent and committed supervisors. You are encouraged to make use of the staff’s intensive networks with heritage and research institutions, governmental organizations and NGO’s (e.g. UNESCO), and business partners (banks, creative industries), to set up embedded research projects, e.g. as a stepping stone for a next step in your career. The Global History program offers a dynamic international context where students from the Netherlands and from abroad exchange views, experiences and historical research questions. Visits to other universities abroad for a research period up to 3 months, are encouraged, with financial support from the Graduate school of Humanities.

The program in a nutshell

The Global History Research Master's program concentrates on the study of politics, culture, religion, economy and daily life from a historical, theoretical and “new” world history perspective. In a globalizing and digitizing world long-term perspectives are needed for the complex phenomena of our time: perspectives sensitive of deep rooted mechanisms of in- and exclusion. Disciplinary boundaries need to be questioned and challenged, new methods explored. In order to face these challenges, they need researchers who are thoroughly trained in finding and interpreting compelling source material, in critical reflection, and in detailed reporting.

The Global History program is aimed to train these skills. Students learn to develop a critical attitude and learn to arrive at original lines of questioning based on a profound knowledge of their research subject. In two years, students learn to develop their own unique expert knowledge, which enables them to start a successful research career.

The study program of 120 ECTS (60 ECTS per year) consists of mandatory and elective parts. 

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Admission requirements

Admission requirements:

  1. 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.
  2. A copy of your bachelor thesis or other papers/essays you have written that might be relevant
  3. Transcript of records: a certified list of the academic results obtained to date (qualifications and lists of grades). The transcript of records should show that you received an outstanding grade for your bachelor’s thesis (7.5 or higher)
  4. A motivation letter for doing academic research
  5. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English (English language proficiency test).

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Tuition fees

  • EU-EER students fee: € 2,168
  • NON-EU students fee: € 12,690


MA Global History

Continuing studies

Career prospects

Your most likely prospect after completing your research master’s degree program is to set up your own research as a PhD student. This involves attracting funding, carrying out research under the guidance of a supervisor, and writing a PhD thesis on the subject. The Humanities Research Master’s Program offers an excellent training for an academic career. In our research design courses you will learn to develop your research skills, construct research proposals for national or European science foundations, and to apply for international research funds. 

You can also embark on a career at a research institute outside of the academic setting. Many research institutes are eager to welcome researchers schooled in qualitative and quantitative research. You can also start a career outside the field of academics, for instance as a history teacher, a journalist, or text writer, a heritage expert, an advisor for the government or for NGO’s.

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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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