Master's Programme in Modern History

Academic year 2023/2024

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The Master's Programme in Modern History is committed to the belief that a greater appreciation and understanding of European history is critical for understanding today's social and political problems. You will gain a broad familiarity with some of the main political, social, economic and cultural processes characteristic of the past 100-200 years. We offer a broad understanding of modern times with a strong emphasis on research skills.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Modern History will provide you with knowledge of, and insight into, the modern world. The programme will give special consideration to the 20th century up until today, but also provide some background from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The focus is on Europe but the programme also pays attention to the main political, social, economic and cultural developments and processes in other parts of the world.

These processes include state and nation building; the struggle between democracy and dictatorship; European imperialism and anti-imperial movements; the rise of identity-based social and political movements; political extremism and how governments have responded to it; and changing policies on migration out of and into Europe.

You will acquire skills in doing research and writing, and learn to analyse a wide array of sources, including handwritten materials, images and material artefacts, and online databases. You will be introduced to digital humanities approaches, and you will have access to a number of digital resources and databases and the rich collections in the Uppsala University Library.

During this programme, you can expect to

  • Gain the theoretical and research skills you need to conduct your own independent research.
  • Have access to a number of digital resources and databases and the rich collections in the Uppsala University Library.
  • Present your original Master's thesis to experts in the field.
  • Have the opportunity to apply for an internship at a cultural or governmental institution, or do a research internship within one of the research projects at the department.

Student profile

You have a broad interest in the humanities or social sciences and have studied a good amount of history during your Bachelor's programme. Having an interest in current issues in society and some social engagement will probably also help during your Master's studies. You are extremely motivated and have confidence in your ability and knowledge. You enjoy opportunities to study primary sources and discuss them with your peers. You are comfortable talking and writing in English.

You expect to contribute as much to the educational experience of others as you expect to learn from their previous experiences and knowledge. A future PhD education is a distinct possibility, but starting to work right after graduation is also something you are considering.


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).

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Read the interview
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Name: Corey Klinge
From: United States

How did you choose your programme?
– I studied as an exchange student in Uppsala in 2017/2018 and saw the opportunity to return. Modern History has long fascinated me and the History department in Uppsala left me very interested when I studied during my exchange.

What is it like to be an international student?
– Uppsala does a very good job of ensuring international students are welcome. I met a lot of friends the last time I was here early on and spent much of my time within the international bubble. Participating at Smålands nation let me meet more Swedish students as well. This time around I had some old friends that I was able to reconnect with and the Master’s programme group is great.

What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
– It is a university that I believe works very well with international students, which makes the studies a lot smoother. I also really enjoy how close the buildings (at least for the history programme) are. It makes going back and forth an easier process.

Do you remember your first impression of Uppsala? Please tell us!
– I had some trouble with luggage when I got to Sweden for the first time, so when I got to Flogsta I felt very lost. But a group from the state church were holding a BBQ down in the park. It is where I met most of my friends for the year, a truly fun few days and made me feel very welcome.

What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
– I wish to gain better understanding of indigenous populations. And to be able to contribute to the situations in the United States and Sweden. My goal is to go into a PhD programme further working on the hydroelectric dams.

Describe the student life / What is your best experience so far?
– The student life can be almost overwhelming, it is easy to get involved in the student nation one chooses to join. I really enjoyed the student nations and always felt like a part of Smålands (one of the nations). I am a bit older so I have steadily moved away from them, but nonetheless, especially in 2017/2018 it was a blast, an exhausting blast. Working at Smålands nation as a club worker was a crazy experience that I will never forget.

Three quick questions:
What is your favourite place in Uppsala?
– Walking the river away from town, it is beautiful and peaceful.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
– Working with what I love in Sweden.

Where is the best place to study?
– I tend to like Carolina Rediviva because it’s so quiet, but Ekonomikums study room is truly amazing.

Spring 2023.

Register your interest


During the first semester, you will take two compulsory courses in modern history, one course in historical theory and one course in historical methods.

During the second semester, you will take three compulsory courses in modern history and start working on your Master's thesis. If you graduate from the programme after one year, you will spend the entire second semester working on your thesis.

During the third semester, you will take one compulsory course, two elective courses and continue working on your thesis.

The fourth semester consists entirely of thesis writing.

During the programme, you can also choose to do an internship or participate in a student exchange programme.

Courses within the programme

One-Year Master's Degree, 60 credits

Semester 1

Introduction to Modern History, 7.5 credits

Political Extremism in Historical Perspective, 7.5 credits

Historical Theory, 7.5 credits

Historical Methods, 7.5 credits

Semester 2

Master's Thesis in History (Degree of Master (One Year)), 30 credits

Two-Year Master's Degree, 120 credits

Semester 1

Introduction to Modern History, 7.5 credits

Political Extremism in Historical Perspective, 7.5 credits

Historical Theory, 7.5 credits

Historical Methods, 7.5 credits

Semester 2

Refugees and Migrants in Global Historical Perspective, 7.5 credits

The Rise and Fall of the Welfare State, 7.5 credits

Popular Culture as History, 7.5 credits

Master's Thesis in History (Degree of Master (Two Years)), 7.5 credits

Semester 3

Ethnicity and Politics: Theories of Nationalism and Ethnic Conflicts 7,5 credits

Two elective courses of 7.5 credits each (including potential internship)

Master's Thesis in History (Degree of Master (Two Years)), 7.5 credits

Semester 4

Master's Thesis in History (Degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits

Learning experience

The specific forms of teaching and assessment vary across courses within the programme. 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, and also for employment within:

  • civil service at local, regional and national levels
  • personnel management
  • journalism
  • international organisations
  • tourism
  • 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.

Many graduates with a Master's degree in history from Uppsala University have been admitted by a PhD programme in Sweden or abroad. This includes the universities of Alberta, Budapest, Cambridge, Lund, Seoul, Sheffield, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Uppsala University. Other graduates work at, for example, Radio Free Europe, International IDEA and SIDA. Job titles include editor, programme officer and policy specialist, etc.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose (1 page).

Master's Programme in Modern History

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M5070 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

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


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 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

Contact and further resources


For programme-related information, please contact the Director of Studies

+46 18 471 15 59

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of History

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 A

P.O. Box 628, SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden

Last modified: 2022-10-27