Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Early Modern History

Masterprogram i tidigmodern tid

A later update of this programme syllabus has been published.

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: HTM2M
  • Established: 2016-05-02
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Arts
  • Reg. no: HISTFILFAK 2016/42
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2017
  • Responsible faculty: Faculty of Arts
  • Responsible department: Department of History

Entry Requirements

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


A goal of the Master's programme is that students should acquire knowledge and understanding of how Northern Europe developed socially, politically, economically and culturally in the early modern period (c. 1450–1850). The program lays heavy stress upon comparative perspectives and methods. The geographical areas of Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Poland and the German-speaking lands provide the initial basis for questions about similarities and differences. These are then set in a Europe-wide and global context. All of Northern Europe changed drastically in the period, not least because of its many contacts with other parts of the world. A focus on Northern Europe will help you develop a sense of the complexity of regional and global change.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the programme, a student will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • survey and summarise Northern European early modern history and describe the implications of this history for the world today
  • reflect critically and comparatively on ways the region developed politically, economically, socially and culturally.
  • situate Northern Europe in a global historical context
Skills and abilities
  • independently identify and formulate relevant questions on various aspects of early modern Europe
  • independently plan, manage and carry out advanced and complex research within a given scope and timeframe
  • use theories and methods currently accepted within the discipline that are relevant to the research question at hand and apply them to the analysis of primary source material
  • systematically examine and interrogate historical source material in terms of plausibility and evidentiary value and also analyse this material in light of relevant historical context
  • independently describe and discuss, in keeping with current academic standards, research findings including clear justification of topical and methodological choices and concluding argumentation
Assessment ability and attitude
  • use a critical approach in working with historical sources and historical accounts

Layout of the Programme

The Master’s Programme comprises 120 credits (hp), distributed equally between a thesis and courses. Most of the courses are offered by the Department of History. The program consists of five parts:

Part 1. Introductory course, 7.5 credits
Part 2. Five thematic courses (each 7.5 credits), 37.5 credits
Part 3. Final workshop, 7.5 credits
Part 4. Thesis, 60 credits
Part 5. One elective course 7.5 credits

The programme is structured so that course work and thesis preparation run in parallel, but the distribution between the two varies each term. Year one foregrounds course work through the introductory course and thematic courses. Year two foregrounds work on the thesis, including the final thesis workshop. Students choose when to take the elective course. In consultation with the programme director or director of studies, each student prepares an individual study plan outlining the distribution of work for each term. This plan is revised annually or as needed.


The specific forms of teaching and assessment vary across courses within the programme. Generally teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual or group tutorials. Assessment is usually carried out on the basis of individual oral and written work. Requirements for class participation vary across courses. The language of instruction is English. Grades are set after completion of a course on the following scale: Pass with distinction, Pass and Fail.

Through various exchange programmes, students have an opportunity to spend some time at one of the history department’s many partner universities. This allows students to take advantage not only of Uppsala University’s excellence in the field but also the expertise available in other countries.

Each student is assigned a supervisor in consultation with the director of studies or the programme director. The student’s right to thesis supervision is restricted to the normal duration of the programme (two academic years).


Upon successful completion of the programme, students receive a degree in Master of Arts (120 credits) with a major in History.