The History of Educational Systems

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 4PE121

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sociology of Education A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 27 October 2020
Responsible department
Department of Education

General provisions

The course is part of the Master's Programme in Sociology of Education.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree including at least 90 credits from a discipline pertaining to the social sciences or the humanities.

Learning outcomes

A student who successfully completed the course will be able to:

  • Summarise and analyse the general development of educational systems since the 19th century.
  • Explain how political and social struggles have shaped educational systems.
  • Summarise and critically value different theories and perspectives used to explain and investigate mass education and educational systems.


The course deals with the establishment and development of different educational systems since the 19th century. It treats the rise of mass education, as well as the later evolution of primary education, and the attempts to explain this development from different theoretical perspectives. It addresses different conditions that have influenced the evolution of educational systems and also highlights the functions and aims assigned to education in different political systems. One central feature of the course is thus the relationship between political aims and struggles and the design of the educational system as such.


The course will consist of lectures and seminars


Examination will include active participation at course sessions and oral and/or written exams

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.