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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes History
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History

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.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in History
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
66034
Language of instruction
Dutch, English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • An academic humanities degree in History with a clear professional and societal relevance
  • A unique emphasis on the practical application of historical knowledge and methodology
  • Three tracks that focus on the necessary academic and professional skills to increase your employability in the professional field
  • A variety of innovative teaching methods, such as seminars, methodological courses, placements, practical assignments etc.
  • Tailor-made: design your own programme that meets your interests
  • An international and pleasant study environment with many research resources
Programme

Each Master's track is characterized by a flagship course and matching methodological courses that train you both in acquiring and applying historical knowledge. Another unique course in which you will participate is the Masterclass, which instructs you in various professional skills that enhance your employability. You will take research seminars to gain in-depth knowledge of specific historical themes, regions, periods and methods.

Apart from writing a Master's thesis, it is possible to graduate with Master's project, such as an organizational research, an exhibition plan, or the development of didactic materials.

See the programmes of the individual tracks for more information.

A placement or a study period abroad can be combined with the Master's final assignment. You could also follow a seminar at a university abroad.

Programme options
History and Heritage Consultancy (track)

How does Ukraine protect its monuments in the current war? Which policies should Dutch authorities develop concerning art stolen during the Second World War? What should done with disputed statues related to Europe's colonial past?.These types of questions are pressing in our changing world, in which conflict and inequality necessitate us to rethink our attitudes towards the past and its cultural and material heritage. The Master’s track History and Heritage Consultancy at the University of Groningen teaches you how to expertly approach questions about the meaning and uses of (contested) heritage. The track is unique in its dual focus on historical analysis of heritage and professional skills—such as effective communication, grant writing and project management—required for working in the heritage and public sectors.History and Heritage Consultancy offers a broad range of methodological and research courses, which allows for a specialization in your personal field of interest and flexibility in your planning. You learn to interrogate the complexities of history and heritage present in buildings, objects, practices, customs and opinions of the past. You also develop relevant professional skills—for example, by completing assignments for public or heritage institutions, such as the Groninger Museum—which prepare you for immediate employment in the field of history and heritage.You can follow this programme both full-time and part-time.

More information about this option

Politics, Organizations and Learning Histories (track)

How can historians help tackle problems within organizations? How can historical knowledge and skills detect blind spots in organizations and thereby improve their effectiveness and social impact?

The Master’s track Politics, Organizations and Learning Histories at the University of Groningen prepares you to answer these types of questions about the inner workings of organizations. You are taught how to gain historical insight in long-term problems within organizations and how to solve these, after which you become an expert in using the past to solve current issues. The track is unique in its implementation of historical thinking to all kinds of organizations.The track focuses on the interconnection of politics and policy, democracy and legitimacy, and on the implementation and legal aspects of policy. You will contribute to solving societal problems by implementing historical knowledge and research by developing Learning Histories. This theory-based but practically applicable method requires the writing of a narrative that reveals certain blind spots within an organization’s past by analysing sources and conducting interviews. During your studies, you will be assigned to an organization to develop and practise these skills in a practical manner.You can follow this programme both full-time and part-time.

More information about this option

Un/sustainable societies: Past, Present and Future (track)

Could climate change have impacted the fall of the Roman Empire? How do societies historically cope with crises, such as flooding or warfare? How can we understand wealth disparities from a historical perspective?.The Master’s track Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future at the University of Groningen teaches you to utilize historical knowledge and methods to address contemporary developments regarding the (un)sustainability of societies, thereby making you an expert in this field. The track is unique in its focus to learn historians to comprehend societal challenges and to contribute to related public debates from a historical perspective.Issues such as global inequality, environmental changes and democracy all have a long history. Knowledge of their history contributes to a better-informed public, concrete solutions and more sustainable policies. Therefore, you learn to identify, situate and analyse historical trends, to acquire in-depth historical knowledge as well as advanced skills and methods to conduct historical research, and to interrogate the complex interrelation of the past and present. With the aim of learning how to ask relevant questions and to formulate historical arguments in current debates, you will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for connecting the past to current issues and how to conduct debates on future challenges.You can follow this programme both full-time and part-time.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

A study period abroad can be combined with the placement and/or the Master's final assignment. You could also follow a seminar at a university abroad.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
HistoryUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Communication and Information StudiesUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Information ScienceUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Media StudiesUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
LinguisticsUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
ArchaeologyUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
American StudiesUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
English Language and CultureUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
European Languages and CulturesUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Classics (part-time)University of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Arts, Culture and MediaUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Art HistoryUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Minorities & MultilingualismUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Dutch Language and CultureUniversity of GroningenPre-master at previous program with a maximum of 30 EC
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
History (part-time)All Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Students with the following academic background are admissible to this Master's track:

  • A Bachelor's degree in History
  • A Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen, who have successfully completed the Minor in History (max. 30 ECTS)
language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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. Students who gained a Bachelor's degree certificate from an English-taught degree programme, will automatically meet the language requirements.

Registration procedure

Please use this step-by-step guide for more information regarding your eligibility and your specific application procedure.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 January 202501 February 2025
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Students with the following academic background are admissible to this Master's track:

  • A Bachelor's degree in History
  • A Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen, who have successfully completed the Minor in History (max. 30 ECTS)
language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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. Students who gained a Bachelor's degree certificate from an English-taught degree programme, will automatically meet the language requirements.

Registration procedure

Please use this step-by-step guide for more information regarding your eligibility and your specific application procedure.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 January 202501 February 2025
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 18700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After completing the Master's programme, you are able to think in a critical and problem-oriented way. You can process a large amount of information and present the outcomes with great clarity. Many historians find work in journalism, museums, at cultural organizations or in publishing. They can go into politics as well, or find jobs in governmental organizations or in business. Our Master's tracks have proven themselves for providing graduates the tools to find employment as:

  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Policy advisor or officer
  • Officer European Parliament
  • Head of educational services at a cultural institution
  • Teacher
  • Communications Advisor
  • Editor and journalist in various media
  • Researcher
  • Manager in a business
  • Curator at a cultural institution
  • Advisor to businesses or government
  • Coordinator in education, events and so forth


Research

Research

Our international teaching staff are members of the Centre for Historical Studies, which is devoted to research on a wide range of aspects of historical investigation, spanning from Classical Antiquity to our own time. Research interests are mainly focused on the cultural, social, political and economic diversity of Western societies, but also expand to the non-western world (notably South East Asia and Africa) and cover issues such as post-colonialism and transnationalism.

Three research groups facilitate interdisciplinary research on themes which are at the heart of current debates in historical disciplines and the wider society. Researchers operate interdisciplinary and internationally.

• ‘Sustainable societies: past and present’ studies forms and practices, arrangements, cultures and institutions which explain and contribute to the social coherence and sustainability of societies from antiquity to the present. It is unique in its endeavour to lay bare the historical and cultural roots of the present-day relationship between politics, state and society. It addresses explicitly the role of literary, artistic and religious culture in these processes alongside that of the more familiar political institutions.

• ‘Regions, Networks, Mobility.’ Research in this theme group is based on the idea that money, goods, news, knowledge and beliefs function and become meaningful in networks of exchange within or crossing borders. The complexity of the historical processes involved is addressed interdisciplinary, thereby challenging economic, social, cultural and political historians as well as other researchers in the arts and humanities and beyond to cooperate and develop new and exciting insights and interpretations. The theme is embedded in Groningen’s research strength in the history of regions and in the evolving new research area of the circulation of knowledge.

• ‘Thinking about History and Historical Culture.’ The University of Groningen has a long and internationally recognized expertise in the metahistorical reflection of history and culture. The aim of this research group is twofold: to surpass the limits of one single historiographical perspective and to analyse human memory as it manifests itself in (auto-)biographical writing, historical products of individuals or groups that collect, record or write ‘their own’ history such as game designers, historical novelists and film producers.


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Contact

Consultant at ECP Platform for the Information Society

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!

Read more

Junior Research Consultant - Meines Holla & Partners

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.

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International Programmes Officer

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.

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University of Groningen Orange Tulip Scholarship/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

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.

Research Master

Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of History.

Read more

Study associations

Ubbo Emmius

Ubbo Emmius is the study association of the History department at the University of Groningen.
The association organizes a broad set of activities year-round. These can vary from social, study related, career or even activities that focus on all together. Not only this, but you can also get a nice discount on all your study books if you order them through us. The organization of the activities lies, for the main part, with the 17 committees that Ubbo has. There is for example the Career Committee, the Party Committee, the Travel Committee and the list goes on. All in all being a member of Ubbo is a great addition to your time as a student! For a full overview of who we are and what we do, you can take a look on our website or social media.
https://www.ubbo-emmius.nl/home
Read more
Study support

Each Master's degree programme has a study advisor whom you can contact if you have questions or need advice about your degree programme and other study-related matters. Everything you discuss will be treated confidentially. If you have a more complex problem, for example study delay, a performance disability or if you are ill for a long time, you should contact a student counsellor.

In addition, you can also follow various courses at the Study Support section of the Student Service Centre (SSC), for example on study stress and holding presentations.