What should be done with statues related to Europe's colonial past? How can historians help tackle problems within organizations? How do societies historically cope with crises, such as flooding or warfare?
All these questions apply historical knowledge and methods to present-day challenges, which is the core aim of the Master’s programme History at the University of Groningen: to provide insight into current issues from a historical perspective with an emphasis on practical historical applications at an academic level.
The Master History consists of three tracks:
By choosing these tracks, you will be trained to curate a historical exhibition, apply digital techniques in the field of heritage management, interpret and evaluate cross-border historical phenomena and formulate policy advice, or analyse the consequences of processes of change in organizations and companies.
Students wishing to pursue an academic career may also be interested in the two-year Research Masters Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies or Modern History and International Relations, while those wishing to become a secondary school teacher can combine the Master’s programme History with an Educational Master (in Dutch).
You can follow this programme both full-time and part-time.
Studying history was a conscious decision. I was drawn to media and culture and keen to study the lesser known subjects and stories, so I chose Media, Culture and Heritage as my specialist subject.
I was particularly intrigued by the course units in Visual Culture and Documentation Techniques, which examine the power of imagery and explain how you can tell a visual story. The knowledge I acquired was very useful later on in the programme, while I was researching up-and-coming film culture in North Korea.
At the moment, I am working as an advisor at ECP Platform for the Information Society, where I mainly concentrate on communication tasks and project management. On graduating, I worked as a researcher at the VPRO television company for a while, preparing various programmes and documentaries behind the scenes.
The Master's programme teaches you how to deal with huge volumes of information. You also develop your capacities for analytical thinking and your writing skills to a very high standard. You learn to think critically, as this is an essential aspect of History. The small scale of Groningen and the friendly atmosphere in the city are what particularly appealed to me. But there's a lot more to it if you study History. I really enjoyed student life and had a terrific time in Groningen!
In August 2013, I started a practical placement at Meines Holla & Partners in The Hague, a lobbying and public affairs office that provides a range of public and private parties with advice and support in setting agendas and representing interests. Both parties were happy with the placement and so after a traineeship lasting a year, I stayed on as a Junior Research Consultant.
My job involves assisting consultants in various lobbying and public affairs processes, acting as a junior advisor on several accounts and conducting research (e.g. political feasibility studies and stakeholder analyses) for current and potential clients.
I started considering my career options while doing my Bachelor's degree in History. I wanted politics to be part of my career, so I chose the specialization Policy, Administration and Politics as part of my History Today Master's track. I decided to stay in Groningen on account of the broad range of subjects and the possibility of gaining practical experience during a placement.
The research and writing skills I developed during the Master's track now form the basis of my current duties. In addition, the methodology course units in quantitative policy analysis and interviewing now stand me in good stead during my day-to-day work in the political world of The Hague.
I work on the cutting edge of politics and industry and for the time being I'm in exactly the right place. The lobbying and public affairs sector suits me down to the ground and I'm very ambitious – I hope to realise my ambitions within this company in the years to come.
The practical Master's track History Today gives you a realistic idea of your options with a degree later on. This was a great help to me. The University of Groningen was a great place to do a Bachelor's degree in History so I decided to stay there for my Master's degree.
One of the electives in this programme is the methodology course unit Life stories. You learn how to conduct an in-depth interview and write a compelling biography. The lectures are extremely useful as you have practical assignments and a lot of attention is paid to feedback. This was a great help in terms of my own personal development. In addition to this course unit, I also took the 'Dutch Travellers in Europe' research course unit, which was very interesting. It's all about how Dutch travellers saw other countries and populations, and what they wrote about them. The course unit dovetailed nicely with the subject of my thesis, 'Dutch travellers in Scotland in the nineteenth century.'
On graduating, I worked at the Huygens Institute for Dutch History as a research assistant. I then took a job as a teacher, tutoring school pupils in history in the run-up to their final exams. At the moment, I'm working as an International Programmes Officer at Leiden University. I work in the Admissions department, where one of my tasks is to assess applications from international students.
Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, India or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.
Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.
Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of History.