History of Society

Master of Arts (MA) in History of Society

Understanding the past is key in understanding the present. In this programme, you approach modern history from multiple angles, examining social, political and cultural themes in the past – and connecting them with contemporary developments.

In this master programme, you study historical processes in a comparative and interdisciplinary manner. Drawing on insights from the social sciences, political theory and cultural analysis, you will learn to describe both the broad outlines and the unique aspects of historical events from the early modern period to the present. Studying topics such as international relations, migration, trade and cultural heritage, will provide a better understanding of the present as well.

As a history graduate from Erasmus University Rotterdam, you will be able to produce short or long term visions on international (historical) processes. You will also be an experienced writer, presenter and debater. All of these skills are much sought-after in jobs at governmental organisations, NGOs, consultancy agencies, museums or heritage institutes. An academic career is also possible after this Master’s programme.

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

Why study a Master in History of Society in Rotterdam?

Studying History of Society in Rotterdam means:

  • participating in a master programme which has repeatedly been voted best Dutch master programme in the field of history (by the Dutch magazine Elsevier and Keuzegids Masters);
  • learning how to do historical research on contemporary issues;
  • approaching history from multiple angles and studying phenomena in an international context;
  • benefiting from small-scale classes and a dedicated team of lecturers;
  • the possibility to do an internship, for example at an archive, museum or research institution.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in (international) governmental organisations, NGOs, consulting agencies, journalism, museums and heritage institutes. Some of them have also moved on to PhD positions in the field of history, or to educational master programmes for a secondary 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 of the Master in History of Society.

Target audience

The master programme History of Society is an international programme for talented students, who want to combine historical research with insights from the social sciences, political theory and cultural analysis. If your interests are broad and you want to develop a similar theoretical foundation, then this is the programme for you. The programme is also perfect for those students who envision themselves having a career at a governmental organisation, an NGO, in journalism, at a museum or if you want to do a PhD. The programme is primarily aimed at students who have a background in history or the social sciences.

Admission criteria

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

Read more about: Admission criteria of the Master in History of Society.


Do you think you meet the requirements? Start your application in Studielink. Please take a look at the faculty website for more detailed information on the application procedure.

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