Master's Programme in Early Modern History 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in Early Modern History will increase your appreciation and understanding of the late Medieval and Early Modern world (roughly 1350-1850) and give you the theoretical and research skills needed to conduct independent historical research. In this period there is much that seems strange and repulsive to us but, at the same time, this is when many developments that helped form the basis of modern society started to emerge.

Why this programme?

In the late Medieval and Early Modern World there is much that is foreign 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. At the same time, this period experienced phenomena that helped form the basis of modern history; emerging bureaucratic states organised around the ability to tax citizens and wage war, new consumption patterns, intercontinental trader, and the large scale movement of people around the globe.

The Master's 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.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • gain a broad understanding of Early Modern history coupled with a strong emphasis on your research skills
  • analyse a wide array of primary sources, including early handwritten materials material artefacts, and digital databases
  • undertake an internship at a Swedish museum or cultural institution or to do a research internship working within a research project
  • gain access to the rich Early Modern manuscript and book collections of the Uppsala University Library and a number of digital resources and databases.
Student profile
You have a background in history and now want to dig deeper into this field. If you also enjoy spending time in archives studying primary sources, including very early handwritten material, you will likely enjoy this study opportunity. You are extremely motivated and have confidence in your own ability and knowledge. You enjoy reading, reflecting on what you have read and sharing your thoughts with others.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value an educational experience that gets you in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in Uppsala and all across the world.


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 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 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 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

One-year Master's degree, 60 credits
Semester 1
Introduction to Early Modern History, 7.5 credits
Historical Theory, 7.5 credits
War, Power, and Resistance, 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 Early Modern History, 7.5 credits
Historical Theory, 7.5 credits
War, Power, and Resistance, 7.5 credits
Historical Methods, 7.5 credits

Semester 2
Consumption and Material Culture, 7.5 credits
Early Modern Gunpowder Empires in Global Perspective, 7.5 credits
Survival. Strategies and Institutions, 7.5 credits
Master's Thesis in History (Degree of Master (Two Years)), 7.5 credits

Semester 3
Three elective courses of 7.5 credits each (including 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 Master's Programme in Early Modern History. 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 also 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 study alongside students enrolled in other Master's programmes in history and in other disciplines.

The programme is taught in Uppsala, which boasts a mediaeval cathedral, a sixteenth-century castle, a university dating to the fifteenth century and the famous student nations.

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 40% of the 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.

Other graduates work at, for example at Radio Free Europe, The National Swedish Museums of Military History, and The Swedish National Heritage Board. Job titles include editor, programme coordinator, and administrator, etc.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. 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 Early Modern History

120 credits

Autumn 2021 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2021-01-15

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; 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 50000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200000

Contact and further resources


Roland Kostic, director of studies

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

Student portal

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