History (Master), 2018-2019

The History Master consists of the following specialisations:

Ancient History
Archival Studies
Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence
(with subtracks Economic History & Governance of Migration and Diversity)
Colonial and Global History
(with subtrack Maritime History)
Europe 1000-1800
Europaeum Programme – European History and Civilisation: Leiden-Oxford-Paris Programme
Political Culture and National Identities
(with subtrack Political Debate)


Be aware that this is the 2018-2019 MA History programme. Students who started their programme before September 2018 need to adhere to the academic requirements of their (older) programme.

Literature Seminar (10 EC)
Students commence their programme with a Literature Seminar, whether starting in September or February.

Research Seminar (20 EC)
Students take two Research Seminars in the first semester of their programme: one from within their specialisation, the second within the History department.

Optional Courses (10 EC)
Students follow one or two optional courses. All MA courses offered at level 400 or higher can be followed as optional course. These may comprise MA courses offered by Leiden University and those offered by other (foreign) universities. Alternatively, students can also opt for an internship. For more information about the different possibilities, see the specific MA Optional Courses page.

Thesis and exam (20 EC)
The Master’s Programme will be concluded by a MA-thesis. Students are guided in writing their thesis by thesis supervisors. Halfway through the first semester, the student commences with the thesis and has to ask a member of staff active in the field of his/her specialisation to act as their thesis supervisor. See the Overview of Staff for a possible supervisors. The thesis is written in the second semester.

Before graduation students sit for a final exam in which they defend their thesis and answer questions on additional literature.

Thesis Seminar
Students are required to take a thesis seminar. This seminar consists of a number of meetings in which students are given the opportunity to present their work and to comment on the work of others. The seminar aims at providing students with some additional support in the writing process as well as achieving further uniformity where practical matters are concerned.

Optional Courses

Additional information


The programme has the following objectives:
1) To enable students to acquire academic knowledge, understanding and skills, and train them in the use of scientific methods in the field of history;
2) To enable students to develop the following academic and professional skill:
* Independent academic reasoning and conduct;
* The ability to analyse complex problems;
* Academic reporting.
3) To prepare students for an academic career and further education;
4) To prepare students for a career outside academia.


The Master programme in History (60 EC) offers you the chance to determine a study based on your own particular interests and ambitions. With several specialisations on offer – each containing a number of specific subjects – you will pay specific attention to the development of theories on historical processes, historiography and methodology of historical research.


  • Literature Seminar 10 EC
  • Research Seminars 20 EC
  • Optional Course 10 EC
  • Thesis, Thesis Seminar and Exam 20 EC

Language of instruction

The language of instruction and examination of the programme is English and Dutch. Students are expected to have an adequate command of the language of instruction of the programme.

Coordinator of Studies

Send an e-mail to mahistory@hum.leidenuniv.nl