Programme information MA History

Objectives

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.


Specialisations

The master’s programme in History is founded on the fields of research which are well represented in Leiden. The research programme of the Department of History consists of several specialisations, each representing a specific approach to the study of History and has its specific historiographical traditions and methodological problems and possibilities.

Students can choose a specialisation or subspecialisation from the list of specialisations, mentioned in the e-Prospectus:

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 offered in their specialisation of choice, 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).

Components MA History

  • Literature Seminar [10 ECTS] 
    The introductory course of the master is taught in the form of an intensive literature seminar, in which you will be given an outline of issues relevant to your specialisation. You will use secondary literature sources. Students start their programme with a Literature Seminar, whether they start in September or February.
  • Research Seminar [10 ECTS]
    You will follow a research seminar where you will carry out research on the basis of original source materials or published documents. Objective of this seminar is enhanced performance in the following areas: research skills, presentation skills, composition skills, and ability to evaluate the findings of other researchers. Students follow one Research Seminar in the first semester of their programme. Students starting in September follow their Research Seminar in the Fall Semester, students starting in February in the Spring Semester.
  • Optional Courses [10 ECTS]
    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 (including any Literature and Research seminars offered by the Department of History, subject to availability of space) and those offered by other universities.
    You can either follow one course of 10 ECTS or two of 5 ECTS. It is advisable to take these courses in the first semester of the programme, but it is possible to take them in the second semester, provided you start already with the thesis in the first semester.
  • Thesis and exam [30 ECTS]
    The Master’s Programme will be concluded by a 30 ECTS MA-thesis. This thesis will be based on original research and will be ca. 23.000 words in size. Students are guided in writing their thesis by thesis supervisors. Students are also expected to follow 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. Before graduation students sit for a final exam for which they defend their thesis and answer questions on additional literature.
    A student has to ask a member of staff active in the field of his/her specialisation to act as their thesis supervisor. In the overview of staff, divided by specialisation, possible supervisors can be identified.

Programme schedule

Full-time MA History

Planning

Start in September

Semester Week/date
I 1 Start courses (Literature Seminar, Research Seminar, Optional Course)
7/8 Complete Literature Seminar
10 Subject and thesis supervisor must have been determined. Delivery of this information to the Director of Studies for the MA History.
10-13 MA Thesis:
- Composition of research plan in concordance with thesis supervisor
- Bibliographical state of research
December Delivery of paper for Research Seminar
January Delivery of paper for Optional course (especially if it concerns a second research seminar in history)
II 3 Delivery of Bibliografical Essay
End of June Submission MA Thesis

Always check the overview of deadlines for the exact deadlines.

Start in February

Semester Week/date
II 1 Start courses (Literature Seminar, Research Seminar, Optional Course)
7/8 Complete Literature Seminar
10 Subject and thesis supervisor must have been determined. Delivery of this information to the Director of Studies for the MA History.
10-13 MA Thesis:
- Composition of research plan in concordance with thesis supervisor
- Bibliographical state of research
End of May Delivery of paper for Research Seminar
in June Delivery paper for Optional course (especially if it concerns a second research seminar in history)
I September Delivery Bibliografical Essay
December Delivery MA Thesis
 
Always check the overview of deadlines for the exact deadlines.

Studying abroad and internships

Studying abroad
Studying abroad is an option during your Master History. If you wish to take optional courses and/or write your thesis abroad, take a look at the options (information in Dutch) for studying at other universities. For detailed information, contact the coordinator for studying abroad of the Faculty of Humanities, Karin Aalderink.

If you are planning to write a thesis abroad you can ask permission for dispensation of the Thesis Seminar.

Internship
An internship during your Master History is also a possibility. Check the website of the ''Loopbaanservice Geesteswetenschappen'' (in Dutch, some information in English) for information on internships. Please note that your internship should last at least three months fulltime (for 10 EC). You have to ask someone from the staff of History to supervise your internship.

Please contact the Study advisor of the Master History to make sure your plans for studying abroad or doing an internship are possible within the programme of the Master History.

Honours programme

MA-students have the opportunity to take part in the Leiden Leadership Programme, the honours programme of Leiden University for Master students.

More information

For the latest information on the MA History, subtracks, courses, Master's thesis and requirements for graduation etc. see the e-Prospectus:

Last Modified: 21-10-2016