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Education Bachelor's degree programmes History
Header image History


Have you ever thought about what connects the past with the present? And would you like to learn more about the background to various historic events? If so, this is your programme!

Important information for prospective students starting a BA programme in September 2020

As a student in the international track of the Bachelor's degree programme in History, you search for explanations of events that took place in the past and are still relevant today. You learn about the connections between various developments, and you're encouraged to dig deeper and ask critical questions.

The programme takes three years. In the first year, you are given an overview of history from Antiquity to the present day, and you study Dutch history. In the second year, you examine history on the basis of various themes, such as economic and social history, political culture and cultural history. The third year, which includes a course unit on the theory of history, is used to deepen your knowledge. Your Bachelor's programme is rounded off with a thesis. As a history student, you are free to compile part of the programme yourself.

You can study for a Bachelor's degree in History on a full-time or a part-time basis, but there is no specific part-time programme. All classes in the international track of the History programme are in English.

Facts & Figures
BA in History
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
English, Dutch
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • The Bachelor's degree programme in History at Groningen is one of the largest in the Netherlands, offering students plenty of choice.
  • The programme came second in the Elsevier Student Survey 2016.
  • The curriculum covers all the major periods and pays specific attention to the cohesion between politics, culture and economics.

In the first year, chronological course units cover the most important events and developments from Antiquity down to the present day. You will also work on your academic research and writing skills and learn about historical sources and the theories behind the study of history. In short, the first year is very diverse and gives you a solid basis for the rest of the programme.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Ancient History (5 EC)
Globalization I: Econ. and Soc. History (5 EC)
HR I: Introduction (5 EC)
Globalization II: Contemporary History (5 EC)
HR II: Skills (5 EC)
Medieval History (5 EC)
Dutch History (5 EC)
Early Modern History (5 EC)
HR III: Historical Debate (5 EC)
HR IV: Sources (5 EC)
Modern History (5 EC)
Regional Perspectives (5 EC)

After studying history in a chronological order in the first year, the second year teaches you to approach history from a thematic perspective. You will learn about three 'types' of history, each with its own emphasis and theory: cultural history, history of political culture, and economic and social history.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Option group: see Ocasys (5 EC)
Theme Cultural History (10 EC)
Perspectives on History (5 EC)
Theme History of Political Culture (10 EC)
Minor (5 EC)
Theme Economic and Social History (10 EC)
Seminar Core Module (10 EC)

De studenten volgen één kernvak naar keuze binnen de drie thema's cultuurgeschiedenis, geschiedenis van de politieke cultuur en economische en sociale geschiedenis.

Theory of History I (5 EC)

In the third year you will address one of these themes in more detail. The core module forms the heart of this third year. A core module is a seminar in which you acquire content-related information and research skills by studying literature and source material. This results in an independent research project with a presentation and a long paper. Your Bachelor's phase concludes with a thesis and possibly a placement.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Minor (30 EC)
Theory of History II (5 EC)
BA Thesis History (10 EC)
Placement (10 EC)
Workshop Public History (5 EC)

Study load

14 hours of class and self-study per week on average

Programme options
Minors (minor)

The fifth semester of your studies is dedicated to your Minor: a coherent set of future-oriented course units. It prepares you for a follow-on Master's degree program or for entering the labour market. You can opt for a Career Minor, a Minor abroad, a University Minor or a Faculty Minor.

More information about this option

University of Groningen Honours College (honours program)

The Honours College will give talented, motivated students the chance to be challenged even more by following Honours programmes and taking part in numerous other activities.

The Honours College comprises a broadening part and a deepening part and has a study load of 45 ECTS credit points besides the 180 ECTS credit points from your regular Bachelor programme.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 16 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Je kunt onder meer studeren in Scandinavië, Oost-Europa, Verenigd Koninkrijk, Rusland, Zuid-Europa, de Verenigde Staten, verschillende landen in Azië en Zuid-Afrika.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Natuur & Techniek
  • Natuur & Gezondheid
  • Economie & Maatschappij
  • Cultuur & Maatschappij
  • HBO propedeuse

    Additional requirements English: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180. For more information on the LCET, refer to site of the language center.

Choice of degree programme check

The degree programme will organize a matching procedure. Attendance is optional. The advice is not binding.

Explanatory notes

Wil je in september beginnen met een bacheloropleiding aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen? Meld je dan uiterlijk op 1 juni aan in Studielink. De opleiding geeft je de mogelijkheid om gebruik te maken van een matchingsactiviteit, om te zien of jij en de studie bij elkaar passen. Welke matchingsactiviteiten er precies zijn, verschilt per faculteit.

Heb je vragen over matching? Kijk dan op

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021

Choice of degree programme check

If you intend to start with a bachelor degree programme at the University of Groningen in September, make sure to apply before June 1 in Studielink. The degree programme will give you the option to participate in a matching activity to see if you and the degree programme are a match. Which matchings activity they provide depends on the faculty and programme.

Any questions about matching? Check

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Additional requirements English: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180. For more information on the LCET, refer to site of the language center.

previous education

Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma, a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with a Dutch 'hbo-propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned above.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 9500full-time

Gehalveerd wettelijk collegegeld voor eerstejaars:

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After completing your degree in History, you will be able to think critically, with a focus on problems. You will also be able to process large amounts of information and present the results clearly. Historians often find work in journalism and in museums, cultural institutions or publishing houses. Many of them go into politics, the government or business.

Job examples

  • Government policy officer
  • Spokesperson for a mayor
  • Exhibition organizer
  • Journalist
  • Reseacher
  • Lecturer or teacher

Teaching and research are closely interwoven at university. All professors and most of the lecturers who teach your course units are also conducting research in their own subject fields. This means that your classes will be partly based on the Faculty’s current research. You can learn more about the research within the department of History via this link.

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  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Iris Leussink (Student Ambassador)
  • Reinder Klinkhamer (Student Ambassador)
  • Drs. Bob van der Borg (study advisor history)
    Email: studieadviesgeschiedenis
  • Drs. Hidde de Haas (study advisor history)
    Email: studieadviesgeschiedenis
  • Office For Student Affairs Faculty Of Arts (Make an appointment with the study advisor via Office for Student Affairs Faculty of Arts)
						Testimonial of Erik Dijkstra

    Genuinely curious

    – Erik Dijkstra
    Read more

    History was one of my favourite subjects in secondary school. It suited me perfectly because it was so wide-ranging. I like to try a bit of everything, which is why I decided to study History. I was 18 when I left Enschede for Groningen, because the University of Groningen offered a degree programme in Journalism. In the end I decided to stick with History, although I did follow as many electives as I could on photography, film and television.

    The most important thing I learned in my studies that I still use today is the ability to select core issues. As a reporter with the ‘Jackals’, I try to find current, moving and funny stories. I am always looking for news. Genuine curiosity, that is what all History students have in common. To prospective students I would like to say: When choosing your degree programme, get to know yourself first! Ask yourself what you enjoy most!

						Testimonial of Reinder Klinkhamer

    Since my childhood I have always been fascinated with the past

    – Reinder Klinkhamer
    Read more

    About Reinder

    My name is Reinder Klinkhamer, I am 20 years old and I just started my third year studying History. Two years ago, I moved from Meppel (a small town in South-West Drenthe) to Groningen to study here. Besides my hobbies (medieval re-enactment and playing the accordion), I am also active in the study association GHD Ubbo Emmius. Last year, I also started the following a course on 16th and 17th - century writing and Russian language proficiency courses. I’ve become more active within the History program this year as I am part of the program committee the second year running as well as working as a student mentor.

    Why a Bachelor in History?

    Since my childhood I have always been fascinated with the past, playing king, knight, or pirate. My later hobby of re-enactment certainly intensified my interest. It hence comes as no surprise that from high school on, I planned to become a History teacher. After successfully completing the History course web classes offered by the RUG and having participated in the matching day I knew with certainty that I wanted to study History.

    Read more about Reinder Klinkhamer and why he chose to study History in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Reinder an e-mail!

						Testimonial of Anne van Boven

    On the History programme you learn to view present and past problems from different perspectives.

    – Anne van Boven
    Read more

    History is a broad programme that you can tailor to your own interests. This freedom of choice is the reason that I decided to study History. My interest lies in contemporary history, and most of my course units are international in outlook. I don't think it's possible to understand contemporary problems without knowing their history. On the History programme you learn to view present and past problems from different perspectives.

    Alongside my studies, I have served on a number of committees and served for a year on the board of the study association for History students. Not only was this great fun, it was also a great learning experience and of real benefit to my student career. In that period I acquired a number of skills that will be most valuable in my future career. In the History programme there are numerous opportunities to further challenge yourself. You can follow a minor of your interest or do a placement. I am going to study in Mexico for six months. As long as you make an effort, you will have loads of opportunities.

						Testimonial of Iris Leussink

    In Groningen, the curriculum offers a lot of room for specialising in and focussing on the fields you are interested in

    – Iris Leussink
    Read more

    About Iris

    Hey there! My name is Iris, I’m 20 years old and a second-year History student. I follow the international track of the History programme, so I do all my courses in English. I am originally from Utrecht, but now I live together with two of my friends in Groningen. Next to my university course I am also part of the Honours programme, and I am quite active in the History study association, GHD Ubbo Emmius, where I am currently in the Study Committee. I also really like sports, in the last year I have really enjoyed running, playing beach-volleyball, and swimming. Lastly, I work as a student ambassador so I can give aspiring History students information about what studying History in Groningen is all about.

    Why History?

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that has been all over the place in the process of determining what I wanted to study. To give you an illustration of my struggle in figuring things out; over the years I have considered Business/Management, Political Science, Linguistics, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the end, after attending many orientation events, I stopped asking myself which path would be the most profitable, and started asking myself “what do I like to study the most?” And the answer was History (and English, I wasn’t that decisive yet). But there are many reasons beyond that as to why I chose to study History. Other interests of mine are gender studies and international relations, which I thought would both work really well combined with History, which luckily turned out to be the case! In that sense, History is a rather broad subject. You can specialise in countless subfields (e.g. cultural history, political history), eras (e.g. the Hellenistic period, the Late Middle Ages), and areas. In Groningen, the curriculum offers a lot of room for specialising in and focussing on the fields you are interested in, which really attracted me to the programme. Next to that, I found that studying History offers a wide variety of job prospects; whether you want to make a career as a researcher, politician, teacher, or whether you want to work for a national government, international organisation, or company, studying History will be a good start to any of those careers, and many more.

    Read more about Iris Leussink and why she chose to study History in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Iris an e-mail!



Pupils in pre-university education who are keen to find out what university is all about can follow a web class in History. A web class is an online course offered by the University of Groningen for pupils in the 5th and 6th years of pre-university education. The course involves ten study hours, which serve as an introduction to History. You read texts, do assignments and hold discussions with other prospective students and a lecturer.

If you are interested, sign up for the web class .

Read more

Study associations

GHD Ubbo Emmius

GHD Ubbo Emmius is the study association of the History department at the University of Groningen. GHD Ubbo Emmius is an association in which leisure activities and professional events are combined. It has many committees focusing on this wide range of activities, among these is a career committee that advises and informs its members in the field of study, internships and professions.
This committee has organized multiple trips, such as to The Hague and to the European Parliament in Brussels, and also lets its members find out what career path suits them best by workshops from career coaches.
Read more
Student profile

You are interested in the past and the present and you're a bookworm with a wide range of interests and a passion for writing. In addition, you are ambitious, critical and determined, with lots of self-discipline. If you can identify with this, then History is the programme you're looking for!

(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned more than 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative result, you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system.

N.B. Some degree programmes use a tutoring system; please check with your study advisor.

Study support

De overgang van school naar universiteit brengt veel veranderingen met zich mee. In het eerste jaar van je studie word je daarom extra goed begeleid.

Om de overgang te versoepelen is er voor alle eerstejaars het mentoraatsysteem. Tijdens de bijeenkomsten leer je hoe je effectief kunt studeren en hoe je bewuste keuzes maakt in je studie. Daarnaast kun je tijdens je gehele studie een afspraak maken met de studieadviseur. Daar kun je terecht als je vragen hebt of advies wilt over je studie en andere zaken rondom het studeren. Alles wat je bespreekt wordt vertrouwelijk behandeld. Zij kunnen je bij complexe problemen ook doorverwijzen naar studentendecanen of de cursussen van Studieondersteuning.

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