Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Masterprogram i studier kring Förintelsen och folkmord

A later update of this programme syllabus has been published.

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: HFF2M
  • Established: 2010-10-12
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Arts
  • Revised: 2013-01-22
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Arts
  • Reg. no: HISTFILFAK 2013/10
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2014
  • Responsible faculty: Faculty of Arts
  • Responsible department: Department of History

Entry Requirements

General entrance requirements for Master programmes or B.A. in the Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences. Proof of skills in English to a level corresponding to English B in the Swedish secondary school. This is normally attested by means of an internationally recognised test with the following minimum scores:


  • 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

Decisions and Guidelines

A Master’s Programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies has been established at the Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University. The teaching is based at the Hugo Valentin Centre in collaboration with other departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The curriculum was approved by Uppsala’s History and Philosophy Faculty on 2010-10-12, and will take effect as of 2011-01-01.
Studies in the Master’s Programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies are on advanced level. The language of instruction is English.

Aim

The programme aims to provide students with the empirical and theoretical knowledge, as well as the methodological skills necessary for to independent and critical understanding and analysis of the history of the Holocaust and its historiography; genocide; and massive violence; as well as the background, character, and effects of such on individuals and society. These skills and knowledge provide a foundation for graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences (e.g. history, peace and conflict research, sociology, or cultural anthropology), as well as for the professional work in government, education/adult education, museums, journalism, or international organisations.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the Master's degree, the student is expected to be able to:

♦ independently identify and analyse problems that are of central importance to the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies;
♦ actively monitor and make use of research in this area;
♦ apply the theories underlying the research on the background, nature and consequences of genocide and massive violence;
♦ use the methodological skills that form the basis for the study of mass violence in a comparative perspective
♦ independently identify and demarcate a theoretically relevant research topic within the field;
♦ write an essay based on current method and theory as a contribution to research in this area;
♦ understand and critique the work of others;
♦ actively participate in discussions with well-grounded contributions;
♦ make summaries of current research, as well as of their own work;
♦ monitor developments in the field of research from an interdisciplinary approach;
♦ in the light of current knowledge of the effects of massive violence on individuals and society, identify relevant issues in specific areas of conflict.

Layout of the Programme

During the first semester students acquire basic empirical knowledge about the Holocaust and other cases of genocide and massive violence. This empirical knowledge is linked subsequently during the second semester to theoretical courses on the mechanisms of violence. Later during the second and third semesters the students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a special area by reading other courses given by the Hugo Valentin Centre or other departments. The students who take a one year Master's degree (60 credits) will take four compulsory empirical courses during the first semester; a theoretical course during the second semester, and write a 15 credit thesis at half-time. The students who take a two year Master's degree (120 credits) will take four compulsory empirical courses during the first semester, three compulsory theoretical courses during the second semester, and start writing a 45 credit thesis from the second half of the third semester, or alternatively write a 30 credit thesis in the fourth semester.

The following courses are included:

Semester 1 (Autumn, 30 credits)

Compulsory courses for all students:
♦ Genocide and Mass Violence I (7.5 credits). The goal is to provide students with basic knowledge of a number of cases of genocide/mass violence in a comparative perspective. The aim is to examine genocide and massive violence in different historical periods and differing political and social contexts.
♦ The Holocaust in European History (7.5 credits). This module aims to provide in-depth knowledge about the Holocaust. The course includes both the historical development in Germany and Europe until the Nazi seizure of power by the rise of fascism and development in the interwar period. After that special attention is paid to the Holocaust and the murder of European Jews during World War II.
♦ Genocide and Mass Violence II (7.5 credits). The goal is to give students a deeper understanding of genocide/mass violence by introducing a number of contemporary studies. In this way also a number of themes central to research on the Holocaust and genocide, relating to psychology, culture, history, politics, ideology, gender, identity, human rights, local justice, and international presence are discussed.
♦ The Holocaust in European Historiography (7.5 credits). This module aims to deepen students' knowledge of the methods, theories and results of historical research on the Holocaust and the murder of European Jews and other minorities during World War II. It also follows the development that the study of the Holocaust has undergone since its beginning seventy years ago.

Semester 2 (Spring, 30 credits)

Required course for all students:
♦ Theoretical Approaches to Genocide and Mass Violence (7.5 credits). The course aims to provide
students with basic knowledge of the theories of genocide/mass violence in a macro perspective.
The definitions of genocide and mass violence are discussed, as well as the tensions between
democracy, state-building, and large-scale violence. Various explanations are related to theories
of nationalism, ethnicity, and modernisation processes. Theories of psychology and the social mechanisms
of violence are also touched upon.


Required courses for the two-year Master's students / Elective courses for the one-year Master-s students:
♦ The Psychology of Violence (7.5 credits). The course aims to give students a deeper understanding of the psychological phenomena during and after genocide and mass violence. The focus is upon individual psychological background and the character of violence. In this perspective, the dynamics of the relationship and affects between victims and perpetrators, as well as behaviours and attitudes of bystanders and helpers are studied. Interactions between the individual, the group and leaders are also addressed, as well as the problems of trauma, transmission between generations, secondary victimisation, and the cultural manifestations of psychic phenomena.
♦ The Social Mechanisms of Violence (7.5 credits). The course studies the mechanisms of violence within a sociological and social-psychological perspective. The focus here is on the dynamics of violence, i.e. on the one hand the ways in which genocide and mass violence are shaped at the local level; and on the other hand what mechanisms lie behind single massacres and "spontaneous" violence during war or situations resembling pogroms. The course relates theoretical models to each other at different levels and discusses the implications of different theoretical perspectives for explaining large-scale violence.

Elective course for all students:
♦ The Legacies of the Holocaust on the Development of Democracy in the EU (7.5 credits). The course addresses the different ways in which the Holocaust and its memory has been treated in different countries, as well as how it has affected the past and present. The course also discusses the impact of the Holocaust on European contemporary life and its importance for the democratic process.

Semester 3 (Autumn, 30 credits)

During this semester the students will also be able to choose between a range of Master's courses offered by other Master's programmes at the Uppsala University, depending on their interest and subject area, as well as two courses taught within the Master’s Programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies:
♦ Transitional Justice: Reconciliation, Retribution and Co-Existence (7.5 credits). The course has two parts. The first describes the developments in law enforcement with a special focus on international tribunals, national courts, and so-called "hybrid" courts. The second part deals with the relationship between "restorative" and "retributive justice”, with the emphasis on local contexts and alternative forms of justice, reconstruction, and reconciliation.
♦ Teaching about the Holocaust and Other Genocides (7.5 credits). The course is aimed primarily at those students who are interested in education and aims to highlight different aspects of pedagogy and didactics in the context of teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides.

Students can independently organise an internship at a workplace or organisation approved by the department, and it will be included as a 7.5 credits course during this semester. Students who choose to do so begin writing their 45 credt thesis in the second half of the semester.

Semester 4 (Spring, 30 credits)

During the fourth semester students continue to write their 45 credit thesis, or start writing a 30 credit thesis, in their respective subject. The tutorials are given by lecturers at the Hugo Valentin Centre, and to the extent it is necessary, by lecturers at other departments.

Schematically the course of studies looks as follows:

One Year Master's degree (60 credits)

Semester Period Course
1 Autumn
1a Genocide and Mass Violence I Oblig. 7,5
1b Genocide and Mass Violence II Oblig. 7,5
2a The Holocaust in European History
Oblig. 7,5
2b The Holocaust in European Historiography Oblig. 7,5
2 Spring 3
a Theoretical Approaches to Genocide
and Mass Violence Oblig. 7,5
3b Master’s Thesis Oblig. 7,5
4a The Social Mechanisms of Violence
Elect. 7,5
4b The Legacies of the Holocaust Elect. 7,5
4c Master’s Thesis Oblig. 7,5

Two Year Master’s degree (120 credits)

Semester Period Course
1 Autumn
1a Genocide and Mass Violence I Oblig. 7,5
1b Genocide and Mass Violence II Oblig. 7,5
2a The Holocaust in European History
Oblig. 7,5
2b The Holocaust in European
Historiography Oblig. 7,5
2 Spring 3
a Theoretical Approaches to Genocide and
Mass Violence Oblig. 7,5
3b The Psychology of Violence Oblig. 7,5
4a The Social Mechanisms of Violence
Oblig. 7,5
4b The Legacies of the Holocaust Elect. 7,5
3 Autumn
5a Transitional Justice: Reconciliation,
Retribution and Co-Existence Elect. 7,5
5b Teaching about the Holocaust and
Other Genocides Elect. 7,5
5c Internship Elect. 7,5
6 Course in how to write a Master’s Thesis
or Writing of the Master’s Theis Elect.
or oblig. 15
4 Spring
7-8 Master’s Thesis Oblig. 30

Instruction

The programme offers students an interdisciplinary education based on theoretical starting points in the disciplines of history, sociology, political science, peace and conflict research, cultural anthropology, history of ideas, and psychology. It consists of either two or four semesters of studies concerning various aspects of research on the Holocaust and genocide, in which special emphasis is placed on a comparative approach and the relationship between micro and macro levels.

After completing the Master's degree, the student is expected to be able to:
♦ independently identify and analyse problems that are of central importance to the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies;
♦ actively monitor and make use of research in this area;
♦ apply the theories underlying the research on the background, nature and consequences of genocide and massive violence;
♦ use the methodological skills that form the basis for the study of mass violence in a comparative perspective
♦ independently identify and demarcate a theoretically relevant research topic within the field;
♦ write an essay based on current method and theory as a contribution to research in this area;
♦ understand and critique the work of others;
♦ actively participate in discussions with well-grounded contributions;
♦ make summaries of current research, as well as of their own work;
♦ monitor developments in the field of research from an interdisciplinary approach;
♦ in the light of current knowledge of the effects of massive violence on individuals and society, identify relevant issues in specific areas of conflict.

Degree

After completing the one-year Master's programme the student receives a Master's degree (magisterexamen) in main field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. After completing the two-year Master's programme the student receives a Master's degree (masterexamen) in main field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Uppsala University.

Other Directives

The programme aims to provide students with the empirical and theoretical knowledge, as well as the methodological skills necessary for to independent and critical understanding and analysis of the history of the Holocaust and its historiography; genocide; and massive violence; as well as the background, character, and effects of such on individuals and society. These skills and knowledge provide a foundation for graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences (e.g. history, peace and conflict research, sociology, or cultural anthropology), as well as for the professional work in government, education/adult education, museums, journalism, or international organisations.