Master programme in History
History has never been more relevant. We are surrounded by fake news and a multitude of media outlets that engage in the contemporary trend of using historical perspectives to legitimise everything from genocide and insurrection to the crafting of individual identities. The need for historical knowledge and the ability to critically evaluate sources will likely increase in several professions.
To study history is to go on an intellectual adventure. The History department at Kau is home to diverse competence within use of history and cultural heritage issues, and master's students will be part of the subject's research environment. To become part of the active research environment, you are encouraged to attend seminars and join the mentorship programme, which are not formally part of the master programme. The master's thesis that concludes the programme goes through final review at the History research seminar.
Master-level studies offer a high degree of independent work. The need for on-campus attendance is subsequently lower than at the bachelor level. In both on-campus and distance courses, our ambition is to help students who do not live in Karlstad complete the master programme. Many programme courses are also offered as freestanding courses, providing more opportunity to connect with fellow students.
Bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS credits with a major in history, history of ideas, cultural studies, religion, ethnology, archaeology, sociology, human geography, or equivalent, or equivalent. Upper secondary level Swedish 3 or B and English 6 or A, or equivalent.
EducationThe programme includes compulsory and optional courses. Semester 3 consists entirely of optional courses, allowing you to choose courses that complement your profile. Below are examples of optional courses at Kau. Optional courses may also be taken at a different university. A master's degree may include no more than 30 ECTS credits at the bachelor level.
HISTORY WITH A SPECIALISATION IN USE OF HISTORY AND CULTURAL HERITAGEThe master programme allows you to study history with a specialisation in use of history and cultural heritage.
The specialisation provides in-depth theoretical and methodological knowledge in cultural history and studies an international and ever-changing multidisciplinary area of knowledge, in which individual and collective forms of action and conceptions provide further perspectives on identity and interculturality. The studies enhance the understanding of how historical perspectives interact with our interpretation of the contemporary world and our collective horizons of expectation. There is strong emphasis on practical placements, project work and mentorship focused on the use of history and cultural heritage field. This opens the door to a range of professional paths in an expansive area where issues of identity and intercultural perspectives are key. There is emphasis on critical analysis and judgement as well as the independent planning, execution and presentation of an academic project that is firmly rooted in the discipline's theory and methodology.
Form of InstructionInstruction complies with the course syllabus of each individual course. Most courses are at 50% pace, which means that students take two courses simultaneously for full-time studies. That means you can easily study at 50% pace if you so choose. The programme offers two possible outcomes. The student can pursue a Degree of Master (60 ECTS credits), or a Degree of Master (120 ECTS credits). Some courses are also offered as freestanding distance learning courses. This and the fact that master-level studies generally require less on-campus attendance increases the possibility to complete the programme even if you do not live in Karlstad.
Since the programme structure is flexible, students have to plan their study paths carefully, preferably in consultation with the programme's study counsellor.
ExaminationExaminations and forms of examination are listed in the individual course syllabuses. As a whole, the programme includes various types of oral, written and sometimes presentation-based forms of examinations that all help you develop different skills and prepare you for master's thesis, which is the final examination.
Study AbroadThe programme offers the chance to study abroad. Semester 3 is a free semester where all courses are optional. This gives you the opportunity to plan a longer stay abroad to study relevant subjects that are eligible for inclusion in a master's degree.
Professional ContactThe programme offers several clear opportunities for in-depth professional contact, practical placement, mentorship, and one-on-one career coaching.
Semester 3 includes the option of a practical placement module of 15 ECTS credits. The placement structure is based on the needs and possibilities of the employer and the student, and the student has every opportunity to influence where to have their placement. Another option is to select an area for the final thesis based on experiences gained and work done in the placement course.
As a student in this programme, you are also eligible for the Karlstad University mentorship programme where you will be matched with a mentor in your field. The one-year mentorship starts in February each year. https://www.kau.se/mentorskap/
The aim of a mentorship is to support a less experienced mentoree in their personal development. The mentor helps the mentoree find answers and make choices that form a path forward in their career and life. Mentors also share their own experiences, knowledge and stories.
You will also be offered one-on-one career coaching between your first and second year.
Course of study
|Semester 1||ECTS credits|
|Introduction to historical studies (Obligatory)||7.5|
|Use of history (Obligatory)||7.5|
|Historical methods (Obligatory)||7.5|
|Cultural policy in a historical perspective (Obligatory)||7.5|
|Semester 2||ECTS credits|
|The Multifaceted Cultural Heritage (Obligatory)||15|
|The New Political History (Obligatory)||7.5|
|Research methods in cultural history (Obligatory)||7.5|
|Independent Project in History I (Elective)||15|
|Semester 3||ECTS credits|
|Practical Placement 1 History (Optional)||15|
|History as Social Therapy and Trauma Recovery (Optional)||7.5|
|Historical inquiry, problems and questions (Optional)||7.5|
|Cultural heritage: Transnational perspectives (Optional)||7.5|
|Scandinavian history (Optional)||7.5|
|Semester 4||ECTS credits|
|Master Thesis in History (Obligatory)||30|
*Full-time study always equals 30 ECTS credits per semester (20 weeks).
Elective course: Students are free to choose among certain alternative courses, often depending on their choice of specialisation.
Optional course: Students are free to choose any course offered at Karlstad University or at other universities. Courses listed are examples of recommended or frequently chosen courses for a specific programme.
Läsårs- och programvärderingar
Employment MarketA master's degree in History increases your appeal to employers, albeit not always as clearly defined as in the other social sciences. In-depth knowledge of cultural history and a well-developed ability to manage, analyse and prioritise in large datasets make it possible for the students to pursue many different professions in a broad range of careers. Any sector that strongly values independence and the ability for critical analysis is a potential employment market for degree-holding historians. Examples include work within sectors such as education, media, library and archives, politics, and public management at municipal, regional and national levels, or the traditionally identified sectors for historians that do not work as teachers, namely the culture and cultural heritage sector (e.g. museums, exhibitions, and information). As the level of education rises steadily across all sectors, the employment market for students with a master-level degree will be more favourable. The programme also makes you eligible for doctoral studies to earn a PhD.
Conquering knowledge of history breeds humility and empathy. The more you know, the less likely you are to be arrogant in your statements. With in-depth knowledge comes the ability to distinguish nuances and grasp how things are connected. We need more historians in today's society.