History of Society

Master of Arts (MA) in History of Society

Understanding the past is key to understanding the present. In this programme, you approach history from multiple angles, examining social, political and cultural issues in historical cases.

In this master’s programme, we take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach in understanding and explaining historical processes. Drawing on Insights from the social sciences, political theory and cultural analysis, you will learn to describe both the broad outlines and the unique and specific aspects of historical events.

As a history graduate from Erasmus University, you will know how to relate contemporary social and political issues to long term developments, and be able to produce short or long term visions on international processes. Qualities that are much sought-after in various jobs, companies and fields, such as governmental organizations, NGOs, consultancy, journalism and museums or heritage institutes.

The Master in History of Society is also offered in Dutch.

Why study a Master in History of Society in Rotterdam?

  • A master’s programme which has been voted the best in the Netherlands by students (as published in the Dutch magazine Elsevier), with small-scale seminars and expert lecturers.
  • Training in historical research of contemporary issues.
  • Emphasis on writing-skills, analysis and debate.
  • Optional internships with archives, museums, research institutions.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in (international) governmental organizations, NGOs, consultancies, journalism and museums and heritage institutes. Our graduates also move on to PhD positions in history or educational master programmes for a high-school teaching qualification.

Read more about: Career opportunities Master in History of Society 

Education objectives

In the master History of Society you will be trained to answer cutting-edge questions on historical processes of globalisation, international relations and cultural encounters. You learn to carry out historical research on the basis of selected sources and literature. You analyse current affairs and history and link them together meaningfully by carrying out social-scientific and cultural-historical research.

Read more about: Education objectives Master in History of Society

Target audience

The Master History of Society is an international programme for talented students. Our master specialisations emphasize the combination of historical research with the social sciences, political theory and cultural analysis. The programme appeals to students with broad interests and is the ideal basis for a career in governmental organizations, NGOs, journalism, museums or a PhD position. A background in history/social sciences is your ideal preparation.

Admission criteria

  • Bachelor degree in History
  • Other Bachelor degrees that fulfill the requirement of a combination of history and social sciences, for assessment by the Examination Board
  • Proven ability in English (TOEFL score 600/250/100 or IELTS 7.0)
  • Students who have acquired a related HBO Bachelor  Degree may be eligible for a pre-master programme.

Read more about: Admission criteria Master in History of Society


Do you meet the requirements?

  • If you have a non-Dutch diploma, you start your application in the EUR Admissions Portal. 
  • If you have a Dutch secondary education diploma, you need to register with Studielink.

Please note: an International or European Baccalaureate is a non-Dutch diploma, even if it is obtained in the Netherlands!

For most programmes, Studielink opens in October prior to your starting year. For programmes with a selective admission a different procedure may be applicable.

Read more about: Application in Master in History of Society


Please see below for information about the specialisation within this Master Programme. Whether a specialisation is offered full-time or part-time, is indicated accordingly.

Master specialisation



Global History and International Relations Full-time Part-time