Comparative European History is an interdisciplinary Bachelor's programme that teaches history from a comparative and issue-driven perspective. The programme focuses on a series of fundamental socio-economic, demographic, political and cultural topics that are of great relevance for societies today. Examples of such topics are migration, identity, frontiers, inclusion and persecution of minorities, religious fundamentalism, cultural appropriation, failed versus successful cases of state building and societal responses to major crises such as disease control. The consistently comparative approach of this programme offers a valuable opportunity to study historical processes, both within Europe and beyond, that reveal both unique historical developments as well as general patterns of human behaviour and problem resolution.
Program aims and programme learning outcomes
The programme aims for students to obtain knowledge of and insight into historical processes, events, groups and individuals via an innovative issue-driven comparative approach to European history from Antiquity until the present. Students learn to identify research problems and formulate adequate research questions. Our skills training and knowledge building will help them to conduct proper historical research in order to answer their research questions. Students also learn to reflect on the historical discipline from an epistemological and philosophy of science perspective, to appraise interdisciplinary comparative approaches, and they are trained in a broad range of written and oral communication skills. The programme also aims to help students to apply their historical knowledge and awareness to modern-day society and in particular with regard to relevant career options.
Hence, the graduate:
- has knowledge of and insight into comparative European history from Antiquity until the present and is able to interpret and explain historical processes from political, socio-economic and cultural angles; Her/his analyses and argumentations will testify to their acquisition of a proper academic research attitude and of her/his methodical and critical assimilation of the fundamental skills and competences of the historical discipline;
- has knowledge of and insight into the most important scholarly developments within the academic historical discipline and the historiographic traditions thereof;
- knows to pinpoint the impact of past historical processes and to properly contextualize historically contemporary developments;
- is capable of investigating a historical question with adequate scholarly concepts and research methods; She/he can delineate and contextualize a viable historical issue with a research question of his/her own; She/he knows how to select, analyze and interpret relevant information;
- is able to present her/his research results both orally and in written form in a well-argued and properly developed academic manner;
- has the capacity to organize her/his academic activities, both individually and in team work situations; She/he knows how to evaluate these activities, also on the basis of feedback provided by others; She/he can signal lacunae in their own expertise and knows how to make informed and considered choices for subsequent MA trajectories;
- is adept at situating her/his own discipline in relation to adjacent disciplines; More in particular, he/she understands how this specific comparative European history programme opens up venues for interdisciplinary approaches to a wide range of relevant research questions.
Every student of Comparative European History can acquire a broad range of international learning experiences. While the programme itself is open to international students, thereby creating an international classroom, international colleagues from universities all over the world will also join several of our class sessions throughout the programme. Furthermore, we encourage each student to spend time abroad during the programme, either by studying a semester abroad, or by following a summer or winter school at other universities around the world. At the end of the programme, each student will have engaged with both academics and students from various countries and academic cultures. In this way, you will be prepared to find your way in a more international oriented job market.