The bachelor programme of History at the Vrije Universiteit is characterised by a wide scope of topics, dealing with global perspectives, long-term approaches, and connections between different disciplines. Parallel to the Dutch programme, there is a full English-language bachelor track History and International Studies.
During the broad bachelor’s first year, you will acquire a good overview of the field, following courses on main lines of European and global history, and ranging from classic Antiquity up to the present time. In addition, we will train you in general subjects like Academic Skills, Historical Classics, Academic English and Philosophy.
Building on the chronological basis of the first year, second year is thematically organised. Much attention is paid to global history, political history and cultural history. You will also take general courses in historical theory, religious history and history of knowledge. You can also opt for two special combinations of courses: one in Ancient Studies and one in Heritage Studies.
The final year of the programme offers you many choices and opportunities to deepen your personal knowledge, for example by doing a minor programme. You can opt for studying a semester abroad or take an internship at a research institute, state department, a heritage institute or a company. Your last year of Bachelor’s studies will be completed by writing a thesis.
History and International Studies is structured in a similar way as the Ba Geschiedenis: it starts with a broad-based chronologically ordered first year that covers the history from Europe and the world from antiquity until the present, followed by a thematic structured second year in which students take a course in international relations and can choose different electives, and in year three students can opt for a minor, an internship or studying a semester abroad. The programme is finished with a thesis on a subject of one’s choice.
History and International Studies is distinctive for it is a unique programme combining history, the social sciences (including Anthropology and International Relations) and modern languages in order to understand how societies have been connected throughout history. Hence, from year one the programme concentrates on global history, international relations and interactions between societies and individuals throughout history. Students also choose two modern language units in year two and in years three can study a semester abroad, take an internship at an international organization or partake in one of the many internationally oriented minor programmes on offer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Programme overview (Year 1)