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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!

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

    Met het VWO examen Engels voldoe je aan de taaleis.

  • Natuur & Gezondheid

    Met het VWO examen Engels voldoe je aan de taaleis.

  • Economie & Maatschappij

    Met het VWO examen Engels voldoe je aan de taaleis.

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij

    Met het VWO examen Engels voldoe je aan de taaleis.

  • HBO propedeuse

    Taaleis Engels: minimum TOEFL eis iBT 90 (met een minimum van 21 voor alle onderdelen), of IELTS 6.5 (met een minimum van 6 voor alle onderdelen). Cambridge C1 Advanced of C2 Proficiency met een minimum score van 180.

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 mei 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 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022

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 May 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
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 below.

other admission requirements

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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2021-2022€ 1084full-time
non-EU/EEA2021-2022€ 8916full-time

The Dutch government is halving tuition fees for first-year students in higher education.

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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						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 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 Bibi Koekkoek

    Het is een ontzettend veelzijdige studie waar je je creativiteit vaak goed in kwijt kan!

    – Bibi Koekkoek
    Read more

    Hoi! Mijn naam is Bibi Koekkoek, ik ben 21 jaar oud en zit in mijn derde jaar van de studie Geschiedenis. Ik ben actief bij de studievereniging GHD Ubbo Emmius en heb net mijn bestuursjaar achter de rug. Naast studeren en de studievereniging vind ik het ontzettend leuk om te tennissen, muziek te luisteren en af en toe creatief aan de slag te gaan door te tekenen of te schilderen. Dat ik dit jaar studentambassadeur ben, vind ik een erg leuke toevoeging aan dit lijstje!.

    Waarom Geschiedenis?

    Wanneer ik vroeger naar de bibliotheek ging, kwam ik niet alleen thuis met fictieve boeken, maar nam ik ook informatieve boeken mee over geschiedenis. Wat mij toen vooral ontzettend fascineerde was Egyptologie. De jaren daarop is mijn interesse in geschiedenis alleen maar toegenomen. Het is een ontzettend veelzijdige studie waar je je creativiteit vaak goed in kwijt kan! Ondanks dat ik ontzettend getwijfeld heb over wat ik wou studeren, heb ik bij Geschiedenis altijd een goed gevoel gehad. Behalve het feit dat ik geschiedenis ontzettend leuk vind, wist ik ook nog niet (en nog steeds niet helemaal), wat ik in de toekomst wilde doen. Dat vind ik een van de mooie dingen van de studie Geschiedenis. Het is zo breed dat je je goed kan oriënteren en verschillende dingen kan proberen om erachter te komen wat goed bij jou past. Zelfs als je veel verschillende interesses buiten geschiedenis om hebt, valt dit ontzettend goed te combineren. Denk hierbij bijvoorbeeld aan Gender Studies, Internationale Betrekkingen of Filosofie.

    Lees hier meer over Bibi en waarom ze koos voor een studie Geschiedenis in Groningen.

    Vragen? Stuur Bibi een e-mail!

						Testimonial of Ayşe Rana Özsan

    History has always interested me as a subject because so much of the world around us can only be fully understood by examining what has lead up to the present moment.

    – Ayşe Rana Özsan
    Read more

    Hi! My name is Ayşe Rana Özsan, I am 21 years old and I have just begun my second year of the History programme here at the University of Groningen. I came here from all the way across the ocean in Canada and, predictably, I am in the international track of the course. I am an active member in our study association Ubbo Emmius and participate in several committees within the university.

    Besides my involvement in the university itself, I enjoy spending time with my friends, learning languages, and travelling. That last hobby has recently been replaced with a lot of TV since the start of the pandemic, of course. My cat, at least, seems to be very happy that I am home more often.

    Why History?

    History has always interested me as a subject because so much of the world around us can only be fully understood by examining what has lead up to the present moment. I had many other interests before starting university, and in fact, I was majoring in Business in 2018. However, when I realized my favourites courses I took that year were two electives in History, I knew that changing my major was the right choice for me.

    Read More about Ayşe Rana and why she chose to study History in Groningen.

    Questions? Send Ayşe Rana 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

Ubbo Emmius

Ubbo Emmius is the study association of the History department at the University of Groningen.
Ubbo Emmius is an association in which leisure activities and professional events are combined. GHD Ubbo Emmius has set up a career committee in order to advise and inform its members in the field of study, internships and professions. Each year this committee organizes two trips to institutes or companies, such as the European Parliament in Brussels. In addition, every year a career conference is organized with speakers of different fields and alumni who can familiarize history students with their life after graduation.
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 the 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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