Do referenda endanger democracy? Why is it so difficult to combat global economic inequality? What will the future of the welfare state look like? The Master’s program 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 policymakers are concerned with today.

You will study the historical development of democracy, civil society, citizenship, and economic inequality in an international comparative perspective. The program 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.

As a student you will develop new academic skills and perspectives: you will learn how to use comparative research methods and how to analyze long-term developments. Through internships, training and engaged supervision, the Master’s program also offers a good preparation for the labour market. In this way, we train you as a historian able to use knowledge of the past to help explain and solve current-day issues.


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


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


After completing their studies, many graduates pursue careers engaged with current-day political and societal issues, for instance as researchers or policymakers 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: employees who help shape the future by providing insight into the origins of contemporary society.


There are a number of job market segments where there is a need for people who can tie together the past, present, and future: employees who help shape the future by providing insight into the origins of contemporary society. For example:

  • Policy makers in the public sector (national government and lower levels) or at semi-public organisations: employees who can advise on issues such as political structures, social relationships, and economic developments.
  • Researchers and consultants at important consultation bureaus in these fields, such as the Netherlands Institute for Social Research or the Scientific Council for Government Policy, or parliamentary assistants for political parties.
  • Research journalists and consultants in media- or business communities, with an eye to social issues and socially responsible entrepreneurship.


Below you find examples of jobs in which an expert in political history is required.

  • Eline Huizinga works as a Program Secretary for the National Fraud Task Force (Ministry of Security and Justice). The purpose of the National Fraud Task Force is to prevent and combat fraud using public resources. In order to achieve this goal, the office uses a number of measures, from reviewing regulations to cooperating in investigations.

Other alumni of the program work as:

  • Policy advisor at the EU and External Relations Team of the Scottish government
  • Trainee at the Dutch Ministery of Internal Affairs
  • Political editor at the Dutch Ministery of General Affairs
  • Advisor at Transitiepartners, een organisation that supports municipalities with changes in the social domain
  • Consultant at Wallaart & Kusse Public Affairs, een company that helps organisations to set up a lobby.
  • Editor and planning officer at the TV news program EditieNl

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Last updated December 1, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 2 years
2,083 EUR
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee 2019-2020): € 2,083. Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee): 2018-19: € 15,575, 2019-20: € 16,600
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