Master's Programme in Early Modern History

120 credits

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. At the same time, this is when many developments that helped form the basis of modern society started to emerge.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

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 trading, 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. It has a 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 do a research internship working on a research project,
  • gain access to the rich Early Modern manuscript and book collections of the Uppsala University Library and several digital resources and databases.

The programme culminates in writing a thesis based on your own research. At the end of the spring semester each year, the department hosts a conference with invited participants where you will present your research.

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 highly motivated and have confidence in your 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 into 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 narration. During the second semester, you will take two compulsory courses in Early Modern History and one course in digital 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 elective courses, one course in historical methods and continue working on your thesis. You can also do an internship or participate in a student exchange programme. The fourth semester consists entirely of thesis writing.

Courses within the programme

For courses within the programme, see the programme outline.

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. 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 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, The National Swedish Museums of Military History, and The Swedish National Heritage Board. Job titles include editor, programme coordinator and administrator.

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.