Master's degree programme in History
Master of Arts in History?
The Master's programme in history allows you to explore different historical periods, topics and individuals, a period of practical training, elective subjects studied at other departments, and communication subjects. As a graduate of the programme, you will enter the job market with general competences ranging from teaching and communication to specific skills such as project understanding, project management or research. You can also choose to apply your comprehensive knowledge of the history and cultures of the Western world to work with intercultural issues and contexts in public or private sector companies. The Master's degree programme builds on the solid knowledge of history you acquired in your Bachelor's degree programme and forms the basis of the further development of your academic skills and profile.
Your own history degree
You have a great deal of influence on the structure and direction of your education, regardless of the track you choose to specialise in for your Master's degree. You shape your degree through your choice of subjects, including project management, communication, the use of history, a social science theme, specialisation in narrowly defined or general topics in history, or practical experience acquired during a period of training at an upper secondary school or in a private sector company or project-oriented work. You therefore have a say in which subjects and topics you want to concern yourself with, how much work experience you want to take and which courses you want to take.
History in relation to the present
History has played a role in shaping and creating us and our current reality. History is always with us; it forms our everyday life and our view of the world. In the Master’s degree programme in history, you study how history is used today to chart a course for the future, as seen in political debate. You develop the ability to identify and analyse historical means and rationales, and learn how to pass this knowledge on. You may also choose to focus and specialise and to become an expert in a narrow field or acquire general knowledge of many different periods. You decide!
On the Master's programme there is an international track in English, International and Global History(track A1), wich is open to both international and Danish students. If you are interested in adding an international dimension to your studies in History read, download and print more information about the programme track in International and Global History.
On completion of the degree programme, you will receive the title Master of Arts (MA) in History.
If you are interested in learning more about the history programme you can take a look at the programme profile, where you can find more information about the academic staff and their expertise and disciplines or be inspired by the research programmes and research centres at the Department of Culture and Society.
Track A1 in cultural history (taught in Danish): A Bachelor’s degree programme in history, or a Bachelor’s degree programme in the humanities or social sciences with a supplementary subject (45 ECTS) in history
Track A2 in international and global history (taught in English): A Bachelor’s degree programme in history, a Bachelor’s degree programme in social sciences, a Bachelor’s degree programme in anthropology, a Bachelor’s degree programme in the humanities or social sciences with a supplementary subject (45 ECTS) in history, or any other Bachelor’s degree programme in the humanities or social sciences with at least 30 ECTS in history.
Track B (taught in Danish): – A Bachelor’s degree programme in history with a supplementary subject (45 ECTS) in a subject taught at upper-secondary school, where the Master’s supplementary subject is a continuation of the Bachelor’s supplementary subject and amounts to 45 ECTS or 75 ECTS*. * Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme at another faculty where the programme combination is approved with a 30 ECTS extension, so that the Master’s supplementary subject amounts to 75 ECTS, are admitted to track B with an extension. The Master’s degree programme will thus amount to a total of 150 ECTS points.
Track C (taught in Danish): – A Bachelor’s degree programme in another subject with the Bachelor’s supplementary subject (45 ECTS) in history from Aarhus University Based on an individual assessment, the board of studies decides whether applicants with any other basis for admission have academic qualifications which can be regarded as the equivalent of those outlined above.
Legal right of admission
Students of the Bachelor’s degree programme in history at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master’s degree programme in history on condition that application is made with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor’s degree programme to the Master’s degree programme. This legal entitlement only exists if applications are received on time by Aarhus University.
Admission to track A2 in International and Global History requires English at upper-secondary school ‘B’ level or the equivalent. Admission to the additional tracks of the Master’s degree programme in history requires Danish at upper-secondary school ‘A’ level or the equivalent.
As the Master’s degree programme in History (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.
Selection criteria for track A1, B and C:
In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.
The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.
Selection criteria for track A2 – International and global history
In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Academic background (75%)
Average mark (i.e. GPA) – Bachelor’s degree (50%)
The number of relevant courses* (measured in ECTS) included in your Bachelor’s degree course of study (25%)
* Relevant courses include all courses with a substantial historical content. These may stem from your major or minor subject in any combination.
Please note that marks/grades obtained after the time of application will not be included in the GPA.
The admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the information provided by diplomas, transcripts and the statement of relevance.
2. Other relevant experience (25%)
Work experience and voluntary activities relating to research and communication in history
International work experience and voluntary activities (e.g. diplomatic internships, intercultural exchanges, NGO activities).
The admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the information provided by the CV and other relevant documentation.
In addition to the general documentation requirements, you must upload the following documentation to your application:
- Statement of relevance; a brief statement in English (1-2 pages) which explains:
- The relevance of your Bachelor’s degree in relation to the Master’s programme
- Your career plans
- The courses in your Bachelor’s degree which have particular relevance to the Master’s programme
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) describing your relevant educational and work experience in chronological order.
You may enclose additional documentation of relevant work experience, letters of recommendation.
Please note that applicants are NOT required to upload course descriptions.
In the following graphical presentation of the subject you can see the different modules and courses that, in addition, link to the course catalogue where you can read the course descriptions.
As a student it is important to know the regulations for your chosen subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you. You can find this information in the academic regulations.
The Department of History and Area Studies is located in the old main buildings at Aarhus University in the immediate vicinity of Vandrehallen, Solgården, Amfiscenen and the State and University Library. The department has a large number of international students so you will hear a variety of languages spoken.
- FRED is the Section for History’s own festive social committee, which organises Friday bars, theme parties such as Shrovetide, the October party and in spring also a revue party. Every Friday between 14.00 and 19.00, the Vandrehallen is converted to the best Friday bar at the university, with draught beer and great music.
- In addition there is the Section for History’s Student Committee where History students discuss their discipline and various issues and possibilities. There is no obligation to attend – but you are welcome if you have a topic you would like to discuss. On the Student Committee’s web site you can read about the committee’s work in the minutes of their meetings. For more information, please visit the committee’s page on Facebook here.
- Finally, there is the ‘Historia’ lecture association. This is a lecture association for History students with monthly lectures about everything from Greek hoplites to the effects of the Second World War. The association also organises excursions to interesting historical places in Denmark.
Student-to-student is your opportunity to ask about being a student at the Faculty of Arts and about Aarhus and Denmark in general to another international student who has already taken the leap and now lives in Denmark and studies for his/her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts.
You can read more about the student-to-student service and find the list of AU international student ambassadors at Arts here.
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Job functions for grads
This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.
As a History graduate, you have the following competence profile:
- Understanding historical contexts: As a history graduate, you have comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of Danish and world history, and you can analyse contexts and social processes.
- Analysis: During your studies, you have learnt to analyse everything from individuals to historical effects and globalisation processes. This has given you the necessary tools to analyse almost any historical situation – tools that are also useful in everyday life.
- New knowledge: As a history graduate, you have learnt to produce new historical knowledge by reading source material, project work and studies of specific historical topics.
- Source criticism: You know how to gather source material and information and evaluate it in the light of history using critical analysis and methodology.
- Structuring: You are able to work independently and to define, structure and implement projects and processes.
- Communication: As a graduate, you are able to express yourself both orally and in writing, on historical subjects and issues.
The five most common career paths for history graduates are:
- Teaching and research: More than half of our history graduates find jobs as teachers at universities, upper secondary schools, training colleges and folk high schools, or as researchers at universities, archives, etc.
- Art and culture: You have good prospects of getting a job at a museum or an archive, where you can work with planning, information search, cultural communication and administration.
- Public administration: An historian’s knowledge of political processes and the ability to gather, evaluate and communicate information mean that history graduates have good prospects of getting a job in public administration. As a consultant or manager in public administration, you might work with everything from communication and consultancy to documentation and quality assurance.
- Communication: Many history graduates work with internal and external communication in public or private sector organisations. In such positions, the ability to gather, evaluate and communicate information is crucial.
- IT and the internet: Historians are used to handling and managing large amounts of source material. This is a useful skill in jobs such as a web editor or IT consultant.
At the Section for History, you can also pursue a career as a researcher. You have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme at the faculty’s graduate school. You can apply after completing one year of your Master’s degree studies or when you have completed your Master’s thesis. For more information about PhD degree programmes at Aarhus University.
Upon completion of their degree programmes, students at Aarhus University become part of the university’s alumni network, GERDA.
Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.
You can also read more about a range of career guidance services including special events and workshops at Arts Karriere.