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Our online magazines on Bachelor’s programmes and Master’s programmes provide you with information on the programme and student life. They also feature testimonials and videos. Switch between Bachelor's programmes and Master's programmes by clicking the button at the bottom of the page. Happy reading!
What is History?
Historians engage with the past in a multitude of ways. There are cultural historians, political-economic historians, film historians, historians of science, and urban historians, to name just a few. Some historians teach, some conduct and publish research, prepare exhibitions, write biographies, or comment on recent events. Some study the far distant past, while others focus on the 1970s, the 1980s or even more recent history.
We have a tendency to think that historians reconstruct the past, rebuilding history one stone at a time. But that is not the case. If there is one thing that historians know for sure it is that the past is gone. Their job is to use sources such as archives, inscriptions, other written sources, photographs, clothing, paintings, films and digital information to investigate what developments took place in the past and why.
A historian searches, reads, watches, compares, selects and uses theories to create his or her own interpretation of what might have happened. This goes far beyond ‘facts’ and dates: it is about analysis, theory formation, and understanding.
Historians contribute to our society in a myriad of ways because they find work in many different sectors. Thanks to their broad and varied training and skills they can understand and clarify complex situations. Historians who conduct research, teach or work in museums and cultural institutions contribute to our understanding and awareness of our past. But their knowledge and skills mean many historians also end up working in politics, governmental organizations, the media or the corporate sector.
Is this the programme for you?
Are you engaged in society? Do you have a broad social interest in both the present and the past? Would you, for instance, like to explore and understand the historical background of a phenomenon like terrorism? Do you enjoy reading about lots of different topics and are you a good writer? Are you ambitious, with a critical and analytical mind? Can you work independently and are you brave enough to let go of ‘certainties’? Then the History degree programme is precisely what you are looking for!
Humans and animals grow closer in wartime
How profitable was slavery? To what extent were slaves able to preserve their African heritage? What role did slavery play in the development of a global capitalist system? Such questions are the subject of vigorous debates among historians. The legacy of slavery is evident to this very day, from racial segregation to Blues music. Slavery is one the themes you can select in the first-year course unit ‘Historical Debate’. You will discover what historians have written about slavery and the relevance of their research to contemporary society.
Why are American politicians often photographed while playing sports? What sources can you use to find out whether globalization damages the sovereignty of nation states? How did medieval cities differ from those of classical antiquity?
What is History?