International Bachelor History
Studying modern history and its impact on today's societies

Study programme

In this programme, you will acquire a thorough understanding of how changes and continuities in the past influence our daily lives and learn to explain the crucial connection between past and present. You primarily look at history (from 1500 and onwards) and historiography through a social, cultural, political and economic lens. This means that you study history more thematically and less based on historical periods – as is usual in other history departments.

Curriculum

Your history programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam is centred around societal, economic, political and cultural themes and not (as with many other programmes) historical periods. This means that one day, you may be studying a 17th-century account of the travels of an employee of the Dutch East India Company, followed by an explanation of the impact of international treaties on the retention of cultural heritage the next day.

Focusing on themes lets you keep an eye on the big picture, which teaches you to establish links between historical and contemporary developments and learn not just to understand the past but also the issues facing society today. You will study topics such as the growth of main ports, inequality in the world, trends in the fashion industry, and the history of international relations. We approach these themes from a long-term perspective, which enables you to establish a link between singular (series of) events and the bigger picture.

This is the ideal programme for you if your interest goes beyond history alone, if you are curious and want to learn how to connect yesterday with today. 

Focus areas

In the second and third year of the International Bachelor History, you will choose one of the four focus areas: Economic History, International Relations, Social History or Cultural History. This focus area will define the field in which you will graduate and consists of major courses, methodological courses and electives. All students will also participate in a Bachelor Thesis Class and write a bachelor's thesis.

Minor or studying abroad

In the third year, you can choose to do a minor. Within a minor, you take several courses outside of your own field: the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizon. You can also choose to study abroad, at one of our partner universities. For many students, their period abroad is a memorable part of their studies, in which they learn a lot about other cultures and themselves.

Becoming a teacher

The vocational minor (in Dutch) introduces you to the profession of teacher. When you have successfully completed the minor, you can become a teacher in the junior classes of a Dutch high school.

Study programme

Below you will find the courses of the bachelor programme. In the first year, all students take the same courses. In the second and third years, you programme depends on the trajectory you have chosen: with a regular focus area and an internship, with a specific vocational minor or with an international exchange.

Video presentation international bachelor History

Video presentation international bachelor History

    • Term 1

      • You are introduced to the history of the world from 1500 to the present. At the end of the course you are able to reflect on periodization in global history. You use concepts such as Eurocentrism, colonization, capitalism, resistance, decolonization, post-colonial world and globalisation. You learn searching and finding primary and secondary sources in the library and use them in a meaningful way in independently written essays.

      • You will learn how scholarly information is communicated and how you have to credit other academics’ work in your research. You can find and evaluate primary, secondary and tertiary sources. You can identify and use different types of sources in historical research. You will be able to find relevant source material in libraries, archives and on the Internet. You also learn to use digital tools for historical research.

    • Term 2

      • You are introduced to the history of early modern societies between 1300 and 1750. You will acquire new insights into the structural changes that took place in Europe and in the wider world during this period. You are able to analyse historical argumentative texts and use this skill of the so-called structure analysis in producing papers and an oral presentation.

      • You are introduced to the fundamentals of history as academic discipline and to modern historiography. You are capable to recognize different interests and ethical aspects of scientific and popular pursuits of history in cases from past and present, and assess these in a critical way. You understand the meaning of scientific integrity and can apply its basic rules (e.g. properly cite and annotate) in your own products and those of others. You are capable to produce written and oral presentations on historical topics presented in this course and are able to discuss about these topics.

    • Term 3

      • This course provides an introduction to the history of western societies since 1750. Structural changes in politics, culture and the economy are discussed. In addition, you are trained to close-read and interpret primary sources from this period and to report their findings in oral and written presentations.

      • You learn to identify and recognise similarities and differences between social sciences and history. You can define some key concepts of the social sciences and place them in their historical context. You can explain and critically analyse modernisation theories. You can connect social theory with empirical research based on historical sources.

    • Term 4

      • You understand the broad outlines of the Dutch history from the medieval period in a European and global context. You can explain the 16th century Dutch Rebellion as a pluralistic struggle of various groups and interpret the Republic as a civil society. You understand the position of the Netherlands as a colonial power in the perspective of Western imperialism. You can also explain why and how in the 19th and 20th centuries the Netherlands developed into a normal, small western country with characteristic movements such like liberalism, democracy, secularization and multiculturalism.

      • You are able to write a well-structured and annotated academic paper based on scholarly literature, written in correct English or Dutch.

    • Term 1

      • Focus Areas: Economic History, International Relations

        Within this course you will become acquainted with the field of international relations and the balance of power in the world. It explores the theories associated with this and how this relates to economic globalization since the nineteenth century.

      • Focus Areas: Cultural History, Social History

        You are introduced to the disciplines of social and cultural history. You are acquainted with the history of both disciplines, you can critically assess works of social and cultural historiography and you can apply main theories and methods of both disciplines in academic papers.

      • Focus Areas: all
        You learn how to collect, analyze and present quantitative historical data. You learn to interpret the data and you will start using statistical research yourself.

    • Term 2

      • Focus Areas: Economic History, International Relations
        You study the constantly changing relationships between multinationals and national governments. You learn to place the current developments of these relationships in a historical context.

      • Focus Areas: Cultural History, Social History
        In this course you learn to view historical representations (such as monuments, exhibitions and commemorations) in a critical way. The political and social impact of these historical representations is discussed on the basis of interesting cases.

      • Focus Areas: all
        In the second term, you choose an elective within your chosen focus area. You have the choice between different courses in History and other disciplines at Erasmus University.

    • Term 3

      • Focus Areas: Economic History, Social History
        In this course you will learn which economies are emerging and what effects this has on the division of labor in the world. You do this on the basis of different historical cases.

      • Focus Areas: International Relations, Cultural History
        How many generations are needed before a migrant belongs somewhere? Which passport is the most accepted in the world - and why is this unjust? The history of different models of cosmopolitan and national citizenship is central to answer these questions.

      • Focus Areas: all
        This course elaborates on the theoretical issues discussed in the Rethinking History 1 course. It discusses the philosophy of history and historiography (the history of writing about history).

    • Term 4

      • Focus Areas: Economic History, Social History
        You will learn how economic inequality was named by scientists from different streams and periods. You also investigate how economic prosperity and inequality are linked to each other throughout history.

      • Focus Areas: International Relations, Cultural History
        You study the different concepts and definitions of religions and religious organizations. As a student, you will learn how to investigate how religions have adapted and form historical changes.

      • Focus Areas: all
        In the fourth term, you choose an elective within your chosen focus area. You have the choice between different courses in History and other disciplines at Erasmus University.

    • Term 1

      • In the third year you can follow a minor. This teaches you to look beyond the limits of your own study. A minor can also be a good preparation for a specific master.

      • This minor introduces you to the profession of teacher in secondary education and everything that comes with it. If you successfully complete the minor, you will be given the authority to be able to teach in the substructure of havo, vwo and VMBO-t.

      • During the third year you get the chance to go abroad for a semester (two blocks). You can choose from different partner universities within and outside of Europe.

    • Term 2

      • If you go through the process with the regular focus area, you will receive the Bachelor Thesis Class in term 2. You will learn how to set up a small-scale historical research for your bachelor's thesis. The Bachelor Thesis Class focuses on the Focus Area you have chosen.

      • As a historian you possess specific skills. In this course you will learn how to use your skills after studying in society and on the work floor.

      • During this educational internship you will apply the knowledge and skills that you have gained during your minor in practice.

      • During this educational internship you will apply the knowledge and skills that you have gained during your minor in practice.

    • Term 3

      • If you go through the process with a regular focus area, you will write your bachelor thesis during the third term of this year.

      • Focus area with educational minor or international exchange
        If you opt for a focus area with an educational minor, or if you went on exchange in the first semester, you will receive the Bachelor Thesis Class in term 3. In the Bachelor Thesis Class you learn to set up a small-scale historical research for your bachelor's thesis under supervision. The Bachelor Thesis Class focuses on the Focus Area you have chosen.

      • If you have opted for a focus area with an educational minor, or if you have been on an exchange in the first semester, you will follow the course 'Emerging Economies and Global Labor' or 'Migration, Citizenship and Identity in Global History' in term 3.

    • Term 4

      • If you go through the trajectory with a regular focus area, your internship will take place in the last term of year 3. You can now apply all historical knowledge and all the skills you have gained during your Bachelor's. During this internship you will experience what it is like to work in an organization. Students can end up with government institutions, historical institutes, museums or companies. You can also build on your professional network.

      • If you have chosen the program with an educational minor or an international exchange, then you write your bachelor thesis in the last term of year 3.