Research Master Humanities, Program Global History

The Global History programme, is a specialization of the Humanities Research Master, aimed at talented students who are exceptionally motivated to develop their skills in the field of historical research. It prepares students for a research career in history, or for other research intensive careers.

In the Global History programme you will learn to investigate the dynamics and long-term developments of the global interconnection of goods, ideas and people, and the role of power, religion and affects in such constellations. In research intensive courses you will collaborate with renowned researchers and research groups in the fields of migration studies, in the history of capitalism, knowledge and religion, material culture and heritage, emotions and senses, and environmental humanities. The distinguishing characteristic of the programme is an interdisciplinary perspective that includes concepts and methodologies from the social sciences, philosophy and law.

The programme also offers students the possibility to explore and train skills in digital analysis and reflect on the possibilities of the emerging digital humanities techniques, and e-Humanities approaches. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers a thorough training programme, with individual guidance by excellent and committed supervisors. You are encouraged to make use of the staff’s intensive networks with heritage and research institutions, governmental organizations and NGO’s (e.g. UNESCO), and business partners (banks, creative industries), to set up embedded research projects, e.g. as a stepping stone for a next step in your career. The Global History programme offers a dynamic international context where students from the Netherlands and from abroad exchange views, experiences and historical research questions. Visits to other universities abroad for a research period up to 3 months, are encouraged, with financial support from the Graduate school of Humanities.

The Global History Research Master's Programme concentrates on the study of politics, culture, religion, economy and daily life from a historical, theoretical and “new” world history perspective. In a globalizing and digitizing world long-term perspectives are needed for the complex phenomena of our time: perspectives sensitive of deep rooted mechanisms of in- and exclusion. Disciplinary boundaries need to be questioned and challenged, new methods explored. In order to face these challenges, we need researchers who are thoroughly trained in finding and interpreting compelling source material, in critical reflection, and in detailed reporting. The Global History programme is aimed to train these skills. Students learn to develop a critical attitude and learn to arrive at original lines of questioning based on a profound knowledge of their research subject. In two years, our students learn to develop their own unique expert knowledge, which enables them to start a successful research career.

MA History Courses (max 30 EC)
The programme starts with general introductions to historical research and theory, followed by thematic specialization courses of the student’s choice. Here the research master’s student can connect to the different specialization tracks of the MA history programme: Global Social History, Migration & Mobility, Religion & Society, Cultures of Knowledge, Medical History, Politics & Sovereignty (Dutch language track).

Humanities Core Modules (3 x 6 EC)
Together with the other Humanities Research Master students, you will follow three courses in humanities research and research design. These courses are aimed to provide a general introduction to the history, philosophy and methodology of humanities research, and to two cross cutting themes of VU humanities research: Environmental Humanities and Digital Humanities. You will also actively participate in the graduate lectures & seminars of the Graduate School of Humanities.
After the introductions, the courses focus at research design: they will train you to position yourself in the international research field and to develop your skills in developing and presenting innovative research. In the second year, you will learn to write a research proposal for national or international science foundations.

Core Courses - Humanities connected (2 x 9 EC)
In two core courses the history research master’s students (1st and 2nd year) come together to dive into the research of one of the leading research groups of the department. Students will learn to collaborate with cutting edge research groups, and to connect their own expertise to the main questions and methods of this state of the art research.

National research schools (10 EC)
All research master students enroll with a Humanities National Research School at the start of the first year of their study. The Graduate School of Humanities organizes this enrolment. Students then choose from the programmes of a National Research School a selection of courses, masterclasses, summer or winter schools of at least 10 EC. 

Individual study programme (30 EC)
A large portion of the study programme is reserved for individual choice. This way you can develop a tailor made study programme, together with you mentor. You can choose for a stay at an another university or research institute in the Netherlands or abroad, or an internship, for tutorials, or specific skill trainings, combined with participation in conferences, workshops and the graduate lectures & seminars of the Graduate School of Humanities.

Thesis (30 EC)
Already at the beginning of your second year, you will start to prepare, together with your mentor, for your final thesis trajectory. This way, you can optimize your individual study programme in preparation for your final thesis. You thesis will give you the opportunity to prove the academic research skills you have acquired during the programme. Your final thesis will show you have a profound level of knowledge of the historiography and theory of the research field, the creativity to find a compelling subject of research, and the ability to think systematically and critically, and finally: the ability to communicate all this in the English language.

Programme overview

Teaching and Examination Regulations (in Dutch) on VUnet (inlog)

Naam vak Periode Credits Code Pdf
Core Course National Historiographies and Contested Heritage 9.0 L_AAMPALG008
Research Master Thesis Humanities, Global History Ac. Jaar (september) 30.0 L_AAMPHUGSCR
From Source to Public: The Historian's Flowchart through Imperial Eyes Periode 1 6.0 L_GAMAGES022
Key Works in Contemporary Historical Thought Periode 1 6.0 L_GAMAGES023
Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities Periode 2 6.0 L_AAMPALG014
Core Course Ecologies and Emotions Periode 2+3 9.0 L_AAMPALG012
History and Theory Periode 2+3 6.0 L_GCMAGES014
Humanities Research Career Preparation Periode 2+3 6.0 L_AAMPALG006
Essentials of Humanities Research Periode 4 6.0 L_AAMPALG013
Naam opleidingsdeel Code Pdf
Research Master Humanities, Program Global History, Electives and/or Tutorial LM_RHUMGH_K
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