At the end of the first year you choose a specialisation, made up of a group of 4 related specialist subjects. You take your specialisation subjects in the second year, all on level 3. ​All students develop the same types of skills, even though the subject matter differs between profiles. You may also use your optional course profile to take subjects from another specialisation. The specialisation you choose relates to either the History track or the International Relations track. 

Specialisations core of your 2nd year

Specialisations form the core of the second-year History programme. On the one hand, they are broad and varied in nature, providing a wide selection. On the other, a specialisation allows you to deepen your knowledge according to your interests, and build up a specialisation in a certain field. All specialisations are structured the same way:

  • an introductory subject,
  • two research seminars and
  • an in-depth case-study module

Preparation for a master's programme

None of the specialisations below prepare students for a Master's programme more specifically than any other; Master's selection is based on all Bachelor's subjects and results (including minors and specialisations), as well as the student's motivation.

Below you will find more information about the specialisations and how to enroll. 

How to enroll in a specialisation?

As a first year student, you register for the first two courses of the specialisation of your choice during the registration period for block 1 and 2. Registration for the specialisation courses in block 3 and 4 takes place in November. Please note that priority rules may apply to some specialisation courses. For these courses, you will need to register during the first two weeks of the course registration period.

For more information: 

Specialisation requirements

  • You must complete one specialisation in its entirety within your Major. It is not possible to replace a course from one specialisation with another course from a different specialisation.
  • If you wish to take courses from another specialisation, you may do so in the electives part of your programme. These courses are taken individually, i.e. you do not need to take the entire profile. 
  • Some courses are offered once every 2 years. If you have attended a course in your second year as part of your specialisation, you can also follow the alternating course in your third year. You can then include these as an elective.
History Track

Are you interested in the wide variety of languages, cultures and religious traditions that have made Europe what it is today? In this specialisation you will look for the realisation of this diversity of religious, ethnic and political identities from an antique and medieval perspective. You study papyri, manuscripts, certificates, inscriptions, coins and archaeological objects and finish with an excursion to Antique and Medieval centers such as Aachen, Trier and Cologne.

Course overview

Revolutions have taken place throughout history. In this specialisation we study the birth of the modern state, compare brutal dictatorships, analyse the success and failure of revolutions from Napoleon through to the Arab Spring and dissect the roots of populism. As well as attending lectures, you will take part in an excursion to Revolution-era Paris, attend workshops on political negotiation at the seat of the Dutch parliament and meet former students working in the field of political history.

Course overview

Cultures and mentalities set minds in motion and create connections, but also lead to confrontations, division and exclusion. Cultural history studies the ideas and identities that have shaped our past. How did people give meaning to their lives? How did they communicate with each other, hold celebrations and deal with historical changes? In this specialisation you will explore how this cultural past can be studied, appreciated and presented to society as a whole.

Course overview

Why do some societies flourish while others collapse? What role do multinationals, like the Dutch East India Company and Shell, play in society? How can we study the consequences of catastrophes such as natural disasters and wars? In this specialisation you will study the root causes of inequality and learn to use history to analyse and solve contemporary problems. By means of field-trips, debates, interviews, and research you will acquire a wide set of skills. 

Course overview

International Relations track

What is Europe, and what could Europe be? This specialisation focuses on the history of modern Europe since the start of the twentieth century. You will examine how modern Europe came into being: from the two world wars to European integration, via NATO and the Warsaw Pact. You will learn what preceded today’s Europe and will approach these issues from international, political and conceptual perspectives. 

By choosing this  specialisation, you automatically choose for the International Relations track. Note! If you select a specialisation from the International Relations in Historical Perspective track, you cannot register for the International Relations minor because there is too much overlap between the courses.

Course overview

The globalisation of the past five hundred years has brought about fundamental shifts in worldwide economic relationships. This specialisation looks at questions such as: What is globalisation? What role do human rights play in globalisation? How is globalisation managed and what conflicts underlie it? And what form has the international order taken since decolonisation? You will conduct a detailed investigation into international relations, imperialism and the global dimensions of cultural and political changes. 

By choosing this  specialisation, you automatically choose for the International Relations track. Note! If you select a specialisation from the International Relations in Historical Perspective track, you cannot register for the International Relations minor because there is too much overlap between the courses.

Course overview

Wars and attacks, terrorism and state repression: we read about these topics in the newspapers every day. Nowadays conflict and violence are both far away and close at hand, affecting the whole of the modern world. National security is high on the political agenda. In this specialisation you will investigate the phenomenon of political violence, the background to modern-day international conflicts and the relationship between these conflicts and the development of attitudes to security.

By choosing this  specialisation, you automatically choose for the International Relations track. Note! If you choose the specialisation Conflict, Violence and Security, you cannot register for the Conflict Studies minor because there is too much overlap between the courses.

Course overview

Useful tools

  • Example of a study plan
  • In the Course Planner you will find an overview of all courses that are part of your programme.