Master of History (Leuven)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

This master enhances your historical knowledge and equips you with the required tools to pursue a methodological approach to the study of the past. Throughout the degree, you will become familiar with the contemporary topics of historical debate, and with the major theoretical developments that currently make up the foundation of the field.

What is the program all about?

The Master of Arts in History is a one-year program with a broad international outlook. You will learn the ropes of scientific research, acquire in-depth knowledge on a variety of subjects, and extensively discuss and reconcile diverging views. As a result of this critical method, you will gain unmatched competence in processing and analyzing information and developing an innovative synthesis of the parts. You are offered the choice to specialize in a historical period or to focus on particular historical themes: media, books, religion, protest movements, sexuality, post-colonialism, prostitution, science, migration, agriculture,  politics.

This research-based master will enable you to break away from national paradigms to engage with large-scale theoretical and methodological perspectives on the past. It consists of three parts: a core module, a methodological module, and a series of comprehensive elective courses. Throughout the degree, you are also expected to work towards a master thesis, the high point of our program, where you have the opportunity to write an extensive and original historical study using the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired throughout the course. 

You can also take part in our internship programs, as part of your degree, and in doing so develop essential skills in a variety of sectors: heritage and culture, media, government, and the political sector, as well as private research. 


  • You can design and fine-tune your own course, thanks to the flexible program.
  • You will gain valuable skills in a variety of sectors through the internship program.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to earn from international authorities on a diverse range of historical subjects.

Is this the right program for me?

  • You enjoy conducting independent historical research from the planning stage, you are good at communicating your findings, and you can deliver them effectively.
  • You want to deepen your knowledge and understanding of past events and practice new historical research methods.
  • You wish to be immersed in cutting edge historical research in a wide array of languages.

All applicants must show sufficient abilities in both oral and written English. 


Master of History: Learning Outcomes

On graduating from the Master of History students:

  1.  Have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of one or more historical periods and/or historical methodology.
  2.  Can reflect critically on the complexities of historical research and are aware that every view on the past is location and time-specific, and never value-free.
  3.  Are able to independently formulate an original research question on the basis of the existing historiography and by finding relevant sources, and to write a thesis based on a critical analysis of these materials.
  4.  Follow the ethics of the profession in the use and description of sources, and through the accurate citation of existing scholarship.
  5.  Can write and present their work in a scholarly style, and in good academic English.
  6.  Can actively participate in debates about history and the role of the past in contemporary society.

Career opportunities

A Master of Arts in History will equip you with extensive experience in the field and a variety of transferable skills. Through different modes of study, you will learn to think, analyze, offer criticism, interpret, debate, draw conclusions and express them clearly in writing. You will become familiar with the basic tenets of many other important disciplines, such as law, political science, and economics. 

The Master of History at KU Leuven will also prepare you with the knowledge and competencies needed to explore a wider range of career opportunities in a variety of sectors, including government and politics, media and communications, heritage and cultural organizations, and a broad range of private companies. It will also provide excellent training for those who wish to pursue a Ph.D. or further advanced education.

Start your career, during your studies

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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