History, 2012-2013

New MA-students (including those still in the admittance procedure) are required to attend the MA introduction on Tuesday 11 September, in the LIPSIUS building / room 003, 16-17h.

The History Master consists of the following specialisations:

Ancient History
Archival Studies
Medieval and Early Modern European History
Migration and Global Interdependence (with subtrack Economic History)
European Expansion and Globalisation (with subtracks Maritime History)
Political Culture and National Identities (with subtrack Political Debate)
Europaeum programme European History and Civilisation: Leiden-Oxford-Paris Programme

Optional courses

As a part of the programme of the chosen specialisation (see the specialisation of your choice first), students follow one or two optional courses, with a total of 10 ECTS.

All MA courses offered at level 400 or higher can be followed as ‘Optional Course’. These may comprise MA-courses offered by Leiden University (including any Literature and Research seminars offered by the Department of History, subject to availability of space) and those offered by other universities.

Here you find the optional MA courses offered by the History department of Leiden University:

Meer info

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation



The master’s programme in History trains students to specialise in a particular sub-field
of history. In the course of the programme, students are trained to become academics
who can answer research questions arising from the latest developments in academic
thinking in a critical, creative and innovative way. Graduates will be expected to report
on the results of their research, both orally and in writing, either in Dutch or English.
They possess a high degree of specialist knowledge of their field and have insight into the
methodology and history of their field.

Moreover, after completing this programme, students will have the knowledge and
competence required for positions outside the university that require an academic level
of thinking, for an upper secondary teaching qualification or for a PhD position.

Please note: if you have completed an Educational Minor as your optional subject, you
are allowed to follow a fast-track Educational MA (30 ects instead of 60 ects). Please see:


Full-time and part-time
The full-time programme spans one year, the part-time programme eighteen months.
The only difference between the two programmes is in the length of time required for
their completion; in content they are identical.

There are six specialisations for the students to select. The specialisations correspond
to the research done at the History Department and are taught by staff members of the

  • Ancient History
  • American History
  • Medieval and Early Modern European History
  • Migration and Global Interdependence
    (including the subtrack Economic History)
  • History of European Expansion and Globalisation
    (including the subtrack Maritime History)
    (including the subtrack Archival Studies)
  • History of Political Culture and National Identities
    (including the subtrack Political Debate)
  • Europaeum Programme European History and Civilisation

Within their specialisation, students follow one literature seminar for 10 ects in which
they are introduced to the current state of developments in the particular field. In
addition, they choose one of the 10 ects research seminars, as well as an optional
course, for an additional 10 ects. Students are also expected to follow a thesis seminar as
preparation for the master’s thesis (30 ects in total).

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students must have completed 60 ects of courses including the
writing of the thesis. The master’s thesis carries 30 ects and generally does not exceed
23,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. The master’s thesis is based
on the student’s original research and collection of data from secondary literature and
primary sources. The thesis supervisor must be a lecturer in one of the sections of the
History Department.
Also see: hum.leiden.edu/students/regulations.