Do referenda endanger democracy? What is the politics behind the policies of sustainability? What will the future of the welfare state look like? The Master’s programme History of Politics and Society provides you with a thorough understanding of the historical roots of the most important political and societal issues that politicians, journalists and policy makers are concerned with today.

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internship option
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You will study the historical development of democracy, civil society, the sustainability agenda, and economic inequality in an international comparative perspective. The programme focuses largely on the 19th and 20th centuries and has an interdisciplinary approach: you will combine historical research with concepts and explanations derived from the social sciences.

Emphasis on the modern age

The programme places emphasis on the modern age: the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. However, we also look back to the more distant past if that helps to gain insight into the historical roots of current-day issues.

Go to study programme

Institutions

In our Master’s programme History of Politics and Society, you will develop an understanding of why societies have developed in such divergent ways by examining institutions in the fields of democracy, citizenship, and the organisation of the market. These institutions form ‘the rules of the game’ – they give our present society its form, but they are also the result of a historical process. The programme will provide you with insight into the way in which these institutions - which are so influential in modern society - have developed, and into their functions and consequences.

Theory-driven and comparative

In this programme, you will learn to use theories and concepts from the social sciences plus a comparative approach to examine the mechanisms that can explain the remarkable similarities and differences between cities, regions, states, continents, and historical periods. 

Profession-oriented

The programme offers you the opportunity to apply these insights to current affairs and issues relevant to official policies. The internship or the Politics and Society Lab provide excellent opportunities to do so. Other programme components also pay explicit attention to the application of insights, such as course assignments and guest speakers from the field. 

Language of instruction

The core courses of the programme are offered only in English. For the other courses students may choose between Dutch- and English-taught courses.

Part-time

The part-time option allows you to complete the full-time programme over two years instead of one. 

Teaching Staff

Our lecturers are internationally recognised as experts in their fields. Take a look at the core lecturers of the Master's programme in History of Politics and Society. 

Meet our teaching staff

After graduation

After completing their studies, many graduates pursue careers engaged with current-day political and societal issues, for instance as researchers or policy makers in public or semi-public organisations, at NGOs, in the business world, or in media. There are several job market segments where there is a need for people who can tie together the past, present, and future. 

More on career prospects

Admission

History of Politics and Society is a selective Master’s programme. Do you want to know if you are eligible for this Master?

Check the entry requirements

Utrecht Summer School

Are you currently a Bachelor’s student enrolled in a different university or a different programme, and would you like to get a feeling for what studying History of Politics and Society in Utrecht is about?

Join the political history classes at the Utrecht Summer School! This summer, we offer the following courses: European Politics and Economy,The Making of Europe: Rise of Civilization, The Making of Europe - Track, The Rise of Modern Europe - Track, and The Making of Europe: The Long 20th Century

Key facts

Degree: 
History
Language of instruction: 
English
Mode of study: 
Full-time, Part-time
Study duration: 
1 year, 2 years (part-time)
Start: 
September
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2023-2024: € 2,314

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2023-2024: € 18,332

More information about fees
Croho code: 
66034
Accreditation: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Faculty: 
Humanities
Graduate school: 
Humanities