Master's Programme in Modern History

Academic year 2022/2023

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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 the some of the main political, social, economic and cultural developments and processes characteristic of the past 100 to 200 years. We offer a broad understanding of modern times coupled 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 providing 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 governments' responses to it; and changing policies on migration out of and into Europe.

You will acquire skills in researching 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 to 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 to 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 own 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).


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 course of 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.

Since 2008 more than 40 per cent of the graduates with a Master's degree in history from Uppsala University have been admitted by a PhD programme in Sweden or abroad. Graduates have done their PhDs at the universities of Alberta, Budapest, Cambridge, Lund, Seoul, Sheffield, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Uppsala, etc.

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 the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.

Master's Programme in Modern History

120 credits

Autumn 2022, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 17 January 2022

Application code: UU-M5028 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 (1 page).
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 director of studies

+46 18 471 1559

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

Programme start and registration

Once you are admitted to your programme, you must register in order to begin your studies. To do so, please contact five days before the start of the first course. Also, make sure to activate your student account.

If you have been admitted conditionally, you will have to prove that you meet the admission requirements before registering. To that end, make sure you have your university diploma with you upon your arrival to Uppsala. Also, contact no later than five days before the programme's start to make sure you keep your place.

If you are placed on the waiting list, you will be contacted by email if a place can be offered to you. An acceptance of a place will have to reach us within the stipulated time-frame.

The programme starts with an introductory session on 29 August. You will receive more information about the start of the programme in the letter from the programme coordinator.

Last modified: 2022-05-13