Why this Study programme

Global History and International Relations

Understanding the past is key in understanding the present. In the master specialisation Global History and Internatiobal Relations, you approach modern history from multiple angles, examining social, economic, political and cultural themes in the past – and connecting them with contemporary developments.

International relations: a historical, cultural, and political concern

Nation-states generate various perspectives on the course of history, influencing the way they enter the world’s political stage. In the master specialisation Global History and International Relations at Erasmus University Rotterdam you will investigate how and why people, regions, nations, or empires behave like they do. By studying the development of different global histories you learn to understand how history is often a cultural, religious, social or political narrative created to legitimize nation states, conflicts, cultural identities or world domination. At the end of your master you will be able to answer the following questions: 

  • How did the United States influence Dutch popular culture and technology in the 20th century?
  • What do diplomatic papers and human rights reports tell us about World War II and the Soviet Union stimulating nationalistic passions in Yugoslavia?
  • How can we trace the roots of the Arab spring back to social, economic and geopolitical developments during the Cold War?
  • Why do rising economies like China and India currently challenge military, political and economic power in the world? 

    Five reasons to study Global History and International Relations at the EUR

    • learn while being in the field, go to archives and museums to find journals or protest pamphlets that will help you to build your cases; 
    • study in an international environment! According to the Times Higher Education, the Erasmus University is one of the 125 most international universities worldwide; 
    • you will benefit from the engaging tutorials and a dedicated team of lecturers;
    • a master in Global History and International Relations allows you to work in many types of working environments. Whether you want to become a journalist, ambition a career in politics, or as a scientist, this master will prepare you thoroughly; 
    • studying Global History and International Relations in Rotterdam means living in a city with an interesting past and a dynamic present.

    Methods: to the archives!

    You will go to archives, museums and libraries, looking for journals, letters or novels and protest pamphlets to build your cases. Based on such sources, you will learn how the public sphere has changed. Furthermore, you will learn how you can use interesting sources such as paper archives, digital databases, oral history and political documents for your own research.

    A word from our students

    Tara Lewis

    Tara Lewis - Student Global History and International Relations

    That is one of the beauties of studying History, things rarely turn out the way you thought they would.
    That is one of the beauties of studying History, things rarely turn out the way you thought they would.

    "I did not exactly choose to study history after extensive contemplation. I obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications and I was looking for a programme that would further enrich my education. History proved the ideal choice.

     I loved studying History. Of course the programme was sometimes intensive, but the courses were also interesting and diverse. I wrote my thesis on the 1641 rebellion in Ireland; I love the country yet never expected to write my thesis on this particular subject. That is one of the beauties of studying History, things rarely turn out the way you thought they would.

     I started working as an editor for the local newspaper during my bachelor. A friend of mine learned that the newspaper was looking to recruit reporters and I happily applied for the position; the position would enable me to look into different subjects, and approach these from different angles." 

    Julie Küpperfahrenberg

    Julie Küpperfahrenberg - Student Global History and International Relations

    Here I had the feeling that my knowledge about history could be transformed into actual contributions to solve political problems and crises.
    Here I had the feeling that my knowledge about history could be transformed into actual contributions to solve political problems and crises.

    "I knew that I wanted to do a master at a university abroad. In my opinion, it contributes a lot to your personal and professional development when you place yourself outside your familiar context. As I had only vague ideas in which direction I wanted to go with my professional background (every history student is more than familiar with utterances such as ‘History? Oh! That’s interesting! But what are you going to do with this later?’), I gathered information about master degrees at manifold European universities. I had come to the conclusion that I did not want to commit myself to the mere study of events, processes and developments of the past, so no art for art’s sake, but that I wanted to draw lessons from the past in order to improve the future. In this respect I was really exited when I came across the master program ‘History of Society: Global History and International Relations’ offered by Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Here, for the first time, I had the feeling that my knowledge about history could in some way be transformed into actual contributions to solve political problems and crises. Thus I applied at Erasmus University Rotterdam and I got admitted.

    Although I was also approved at other universities, when I received my admission for Rotterdam, I did not shed a thought about going somewhere else. Firstly, Erasmus University is highly regarded in Europe. Secondly, the program itself exactly met my interests and my professional background. Thirdly, although I had only been in Rotterdam once before, I remembered it to be an open-minded, multi-cultural city with a very special charm that makes it so different from other cities in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. I like the fact that Rotterdam is not one of the well-known touristic cities such as Amsterdam or Brussels, where everybody had already been - Rotterdam is in this way my city. The program fully meets my expectations. Although it is a lot of work, a lot to read and to write, I can clearly see the developments that I have made in the last six month, not only professionally or scientifically, but also and in particular personally.

    When I will hold my Master degree in September, I seek to invest some time to concerns of my heart. I plan to do an internship at Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. As I now approached political problems from an academic point of view, I feel that I need to add a humanitarian and practical perspective. Only then I will be equipped to find a work place, which is dedicated to solve international problems and thus to make the world a better place."

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