Colonial and Global History (research)

Choose a research master’s specialisation that offers the most in-depth and complete study of the history of European expansion and globalisation currently available in Europe. During your MA History specialisation in Colonial and Global History (Research) at Leiden University you will explore how worldwide political, economic, cultural and religious contacts shaped processes that led to the development of regional identities and the formation of states – all in a highly stimulating and international academic environment.

Choose Colonial and Global History (research) at Leiden University:

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of a comparative and connective perspective for understanding transnational processes such as imperialism, colonialism, islamisation, modernisation and globalisation.
  • Learn through intensive practical and in-depth training how to examine and analyse primary sources with the help of Leiden University’s world-class academics.
  • Join an international cohort of students and researchers who have chosen Leiden University and the Colonial and Global History Research programme on the basis of the department’s internationally acclaimed research and its Cosmopolis scholarship programme.

Massive archival collections

Besides, Leiden University is the perfect place to study Colonial and Global History on the basis of the massive archival collections of its East and West India Company (VOC and WIC) in the National Archives and the Royal Library in The Hague (15 minutes from Leiden). The programme offers tailor-made methodological and practical courses to access and optimally use these unexplored materials to open a truly unique window on early modern Asian, African and American societies.

Language courses

To achieve the appropriate level (B2) for reading Dutch primary sources, the Leiden Academic Language Centre offers three intensive language courses (4 lessons a week; approximately 8 ecs per course). These extra-curricular courses start every year in September, January, and April to finish in June. If you would start with the summer school, though, you may even finish before April. For more details, see the Academic Language Centre’s website. For a suitable integration of these courses into the Research Master Programme, please contact the co-ordinator Colonial and Global History.

Maritime History

You can also focus on Maritime History. Maritime history covers the history of shipping across the early-modern, modern and present time in the Netherlands and in other countries with a sea-faring tradition. Leiden University is the only university within the Netherlands with its own chair in Maritime History. Or you can create a combination of topics that include those from the specialisation Archival Studies.

Check out the programme in Colonial and Global History

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: History (research)
  • Degree Master of Arts in History (research)
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English. Classes for which reading knowledge of Dutch is required may be taught in Dutch.
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60139

Prof.dr. Judith Pollmann

Judith Pollmann

“I am involving students in the development of new research projects. It’s really exciting to trial new ideas with the students, and I think we all get a lot out of it.”

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