Master’s studies

Master Programme in Early Modern History 2018/2019

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The Master Programme in Early Modern History will provide you with knowledge of, and insight into the Early Modern world ca. 1350-1850, with special focus on Europe but with some attention to other parts of the world. We offer a broad understanding of Early Modern times coupled with a strong emphasis on research skills. The place of instruction is the beautiful Swedish town of Uppsala, which boasts a mediaeval cathedral, a sixteenth-century castle, a university dating to the fifteenth century and the famous student nations. The programme stresses research skills and an independent thesis project. Since 2009 more than forty percent of the graduates with a Master’s degree in History from Uppsala University have been accepted into a PhD programme in Sweden or abroad. 

Why this programme?

The Master Programme in Early Modern History aims to provide students with a greater appreciation and understanding of the late Medieval and Early Modern world (roughly 1350-1850) along with the theoretical and research skills needed to conduct independent historical research. Looking back at this period there is much that can seem strange and repulsive to us: devastating witch crazes, judicial torture, spectacular manifestations of power and subordination, a massive expansion of slavery, ubiquitous religious fervour, war, riots and revolution. They all convey a sense of the past as a foreign country. At the same time, the Early Modern period presents phenomena and processes that look much more familiar: emerging bureaucratic states organised around the ability to tax citizens and wage war, new consumption patterns, new poor relief systems, the birth of public spheres, and an increasingly ‘global’ set of convergences that include intercontinental trade, exploration, conquest and the large scale movement of people around the globe. These developments helped form the basis of modern society, which is precisely why historians often label the period ‘Early Modern’.
While the main focus of the Master Programme in Early Modern History is European history, comparative approaches are encouraged. As part of the programme, you will gain broad knowledge of the Early Modern history of Europe and of political, economic, cultural and social developments in the region, along with some knowledge of developments in other parts of the globe. You will acquire skills in researching and writing, and learn to analyse a wide array of primary sources, including early handwritten materials material artefacts, and digital databases. You will be introduced to digital humanities approaches, and you will have access to a number of digital resources and databases, and to the rich Early Modern manuscript and book collections of the Uppsala University Library. You have the opportunity go through an internship at one of the Swedish museums or cultural institutions or to do a research internship working within a research project at the department. Finally, you will complete an original Master’s thesis based on original historical research. The Department of History holds a conference every year in which both Master’s students and international scholars participate, and at that time you will have an opportunity to present your work to experts in the field.


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with History as the main field of study. It is also possible to graduate after one academic year with a Master of Arts (60 credits) with History as the main field of study.


During the first semester, you will take two compulsory courses in Early Modern history, one course in historical theory and one course in historical methods. During the second semester, you will take three compulsory courses in Early Modern history and start working on your thesis. If you will end the programme after one year, then you will spend the entire second semester working on your thesis. During the third semester, you will take three elective courses and continue working on your thesis. The fourth semester consists entirely of thesis writing. During the course of the programme, you can also choose to do an internship or participate in a student exchange programme.

Courses within the programme

First semester
Introduction to Early Modern History 7.5 cr
Historical Theories 7.5 cr
Historical Methods 7.5 cr
War, Power, and Resistance 7.5 cr

Second semester
Consumption and Material Culture 7.5 cr
Early Modern Gunpowder Empires in Global Perspective 7.5 cr
Survival. Strategies and Institutions 7.5 cr
Thesis work 7.5 cr

Third semester
Three elective courses of 7.5 cr each
Thesis work 7.5 cr

Fourth semester
Thesis work 30 cr

Learning experience

The specific forms of teaching and assessment vary across courses within the Master Programme in Early Modern Studies. Generally, teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, and thesis supervision. Assessment is usually based on individual oral and written work. Requirements for class participation vary across courses. You are expected to take greater responsibility for your learning as the programme progresses and the thesis should reflect your ability to critically, independently, and creatively formulate and solve problems based on knowledge and skills acquired within the programme. In addition to interacting with other students in the programme you will have the opportunity to meet students enrolled in other Master’s programmes in history and in other disciplines. The language of instruction is English.


Graduates with a Master’s degree in histo­ry will be employable in a wide variety of occupations. It provides you with a good basis for advanced positions in secondary and higher education, civil service at local, regional and national levels, personnel management, journalism, international organisations, tourism, as well as in enhancing cultural herit­age in its various manifestations including archives, museums and libraries.

A Master’s degree in history is a prerequisite for a successful career in historical research. Since 2008 more than forty percent of the graduates with a Master’s degree in history from Uppsala University have been accepted into a PhD programme in Sweden or abroad at the universities of Alberta, Birkbeck, Budapest, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Göteborg, Linköping, Linnaeus University, Lund, Mid Sweden University, Oxford, Queen Mary, Seoul, Sheffield, Stockholm, Turku, Umeå, Uppsala and Virginia.


Master Programme in Early Modern History

120 credits

Autumn 2018 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2018-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M5027 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the humanities or social sciences.
Also required is 60 credits in historical studies.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200000

Contact and further resources

Department of History

Engelska parken, Thunbergsv 3 A

Box 628, 751 26 UPPSALA

Telephone: 018-471 1526

Fax: 018-471 1528


Erik Lindberg

Patrik Winton

Telephone: +46 18 471 15 34