Interested in our programme? Meet us at the Open Day! 
Unable to attend? You can also watch our webinar

Explore Cultural History

In this programme we examine the role of culture in shaping past and present. We explore what culture is. We learn about the history of ideas and social practices, study how people use history today, apply cultural theories, and explore the formation of social identities and heritage. The scope of the programme is Europe in a global setting. We use transnational and comparative approaches to our topics. We ensure there is a balance between the theory and practice of cultural history and heritage through the combination of courses, internships, and thesis. 

Skilled teachers

The historians in the programme are specialists in the fields of empire, public history, race, media history, history of the body, intellectual history, heritage studies and digital humanities. We bring our academic expertise into classroom discussions. Read more about our teaching and research environment, including profiles of our teaching staff. 

Putting theory into practice

Students put theory into practice in their internships. Some choose internships at leading cultural history institutions while others select research-based internships working on cutting-edge projects with Utrecht researchers. Whichever option you choose, you will experience the challenges of being a historian in a changing society. Your internship experience should be connected to the research you do for your thesis, which is the product of a rigorous and rewarding process. Read more about career development

Students emerge from the programme with skills in history, in analysis and writing, and with professional work experience. Our attention to public history and heritage has helped many graduates find jobs in these fields. Other students put our training to good use in a variety of fields from foreign policy and diplomatic work to journalism.

This programme offers an English track and a Dutch track. The modules offered in these tracks are the same – only the language of instruction differs.

Why study Cultural History of Modern Europe in Utrecht?

  • Utrecht has one of the most rigorous, and cutting-edge programmes in cultural history in Europe.
  • The programme pays attention to the role of the past in the present and uses theories from cultural history to critically evaluate public history and heritage.
  • The programme features rewarding domestic and international internships. Students select internships in institutions for public history and heritage or placements in university research centers and projects. They can also opt for a semester abroad.
  • Students receive personal academic advice and guidance throughout their studies.
  • Our lecturers are skilled teachers who produce groundbreaking work in cultural history, public history and heritage, and in the fields of digital humanities. Several are engaged public historians.
  • We work with you to find sources and material that fascinate you, teach you how to analyse them critically, and produce new knowledge about society that is relevant and meaningful.
  • Our cultural career seminar features alumni who now work in journalism, museums, and governmental agencies, or who have founded their own startup companies. They share their experiences of moving from the masters in cultural history and their working lives. The Career Services bureau also offers targeted workshops to guide students through finding a career after their studies.


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

After graduation

After graduating from the Master’s programme in Cultural History of Modern Europe, you will:

  • Understand how Europe and European residents are involved in and produced by global processes.
  • Have the skills and knowledge to analyse and understand culture and cultural history
  • Be equipped with the tools to analyse the relationship between history, memory, and heritage.
  • Be prepared for careers that require an ability to process and synthesize knowledge fast, and that demand good analytic and communication skills. 

Graduates from our programme have found jobs in museums and heritage organisations, education, media, policy, tourism, research and academia as well as in journalism, entrepreneurship and business. Read more about possible career prospects.


Cultural History of Modern Europe is a selective Master’s programme. We welcome students from any background with an interest in the field. Our admissions process is designed to help you understand what you will need to succeed in our programme. We find it important to be realistic with students about the amounts of reading and writing required. Want to know more? Check the entry requirements and email with any questions.


Summer School in Cultural History
Summer School in History

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 cultural history in Utrecht is about? Join the cultural history classes at the Utrecht Summer School! This summer, we offer the following courses: European Culture and Identities, The Making of Europe: from Middle Ages to Modernity, Discovering the Dutch: Dutch Culture and Society and Dutch Culture in a European Context.

  • Bram Hilkens
    "Cultural history is everywhere you decide to uncover it. So why not apply it to your passion?”
  • Silvia van Bergeijk
    "The internship changed my view on history, in a more multi-prospective way."


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MA
  • Master's degree in: History
  • Programme: Cultural History of Modern Europe
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
1 year
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
Application deadline:
  • Dutch & EU/EER students: 1 June
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April
Tuition fees:
Graduate school: