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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future
Header image Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future

Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future

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.

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?
  • A track in Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future with a clear professional and societal relevance
  • An excellent track that offers a broad array of elective courses and the flexibility to develop your own specialization
  • A clear focus on the historical roots of contemporary developments relating to (un)sustainability and the implementation of academic historical knowledge and methods in a practical manner
  • A unique focus on employability with courses on methods and professional skills, as well as first-hand experiences through special projects and internships
  • An international and pleasant study environment with many research resources
Programme

The core of the track is the course The History of (Un)Sustainability, which introduces you to the key concepts, theories and methods relating to five key themes: politics, economic inequality, migration, conflict and environmental change. You will also be instructed on how to debate about these themes from a historical perspective.

The course Masterclass is also characteristic for the track, as it trains you in various practical skills, such as project pitching, project management and grant writing, in preparation of entering the job market.

You will also choose a number of methodological courses to enhance your historical skills, such as Oral History, The Uses of the Past, Archives or Digital History. Furthermore, you will develop these skills by taking Research Seminars, which offer an in-depth analysis of a specific topic. The list of research seminars to choose from links to the expertise of the lecturers and varies each year. All courses prepare you for the final part of the programme. You will write a Master Thesis on a historical subject of choice to complete your study.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Masterclass I (5 EC)
Introduction into Sustainablity (10 EC)
Research Seminar History (10 EC)
Historical Methods: Archives (5 EC, optional)
Historical Methods: Digital Story (5 EC, optional)
Historical Methods: Oral History (5 EC, optional)
Historical Methods: Quantitative Analysis (5 EC, optional)
Historical Methods: Quantitative Analysis (5 EC, optional)
Historical Methods: The Uses of The Past (5 EC, optional)
MA thesis History (20 EC)
MA workplacement History (10 EC, optional)
Research Seminar History (10 EC, optional)
Programme options
Master's placement (specialization)

During this Master's track, you can do a placement–as an extra course–for 10 ECTS credit points.

This placement offers you the opportunity to gain work experience and provides insight into the labour market. You can do a placement at an institution, organization or company in or outside the Netherlands. It is your responsibility to find a placement yourself, but the placement coordinators can help with this where possible.

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
Communication and Information StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Information ScienceUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

History (part-time)University of GroningenNo additional requirements
ArchaeologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Minorities & MultilingualismUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Art HistoryUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

LinguisticsUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Arts, Culture and MediaUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Dutch Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

American StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

English Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Classical StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

Media StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

European Languages and CulturesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Aangevuld met een facultaire minor Geschiedenis van 30 ECTS (aan de RUG)

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 students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 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 students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 16000full-time
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 18700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

On completing the Master's track Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future, you are equipped with the academic and professional knowledge and skills that are required to work for (non) profit organisations, as you will be able to translate complex problems into accessible information and to analyse these problems from a historical perspective. Our graduates are able to interpret and to reflect on the meaning of the past itself, but also in relation to the present and future. You will learn to structure projects and policy documents, and to negotiate and adopt a diplomatic position. By doing a placement, you will get to know people from relevant fields and build a strong professional network. This Master's track provides you the expertize and tools to find general and specialist positions within a broad array of (non) profit organizations, giving you a clear advantage on the job market.

Job examples

  • Policy advisor to businesses or governmental bodies
  • Regional specialist in international organizations
  • Editor or journalist in various types of media
  • Supervisor in an educational or cultural institution
  • Manager in an organization
  • Policy officer
  • Researcher
Research

Research in the Department of History covers the earliest of human history to the present, focusing on regions from a global perspective. The international staff are all involved in teaching the Master’s track Un/sustainable Societies: Past, Present and Future, offering you the possibility to specialize in a wide range of topics.

For example, the track coordinator, Dr Iva Peša, leads a project that researches environmental histories of resource extraction in Africa. To understand the different responses to the transformative environmental effects of mining and oil drilling, the researchers in this group analyse oral history, archival research, literature and musical research. You can find more information on the webpages about staff members and their research and about the activities of the Research Centre for Historical Studies.

This wide-ranging expertise of our staff allows students to choose their own thesis subjects. Some examples of the topics of students’ theses are political deliberation in Ancient Athens, German forestry practices in early twentieth-century Tanzania, or the restitution of Jewish victims of the Shoah by Dutch municipalities.

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Contact

  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Dr. Iva Peša (programme coordinator)
    Email: i.pesa rug.nl
  • Drs. Bob van der Borg (studieadviseur / study advisor)
    Email: studieadviesgeschiedenis rug.nl
  • Drs. Hidde de Haas (studieadviseur / study advisor)
    Email: studieadviesgeschiedenis rug.nl
  • Admission Office (Contact form)
    Telephone: +31-(0)50 363 8976

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 degree programme has a study advisor whom you can contact if you have questions or need advice about any study-related matters. Everything you discuss will be treated confidentially. If you have a more complex problem, for example 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).