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About History

In the history programme at Aarhus University we study the past to understand the present. A thorough knowledge of the past is an important tool for understanding ourselves and the world that we live in. Knowledge of the past provides depth and breadth; it allows us to look beyond the current agenda and put the world in perspective. Studying history does not provide definitive answers to contemporary dilemmas, but it does offer us the opportunity to engage in a continuous dialogue about how the world obtained its present shape, and how we have become who we are.

The academic environment

The Department of History and Classical Studies at Aarhus University employs about 20 tenured full and associate professors in the field of history, plus post-doctoral researchers and a cohort of approximately 10 PhD students. The department admits approximately 90 students to its BA programme every year.

The Department of History has clusters of expertise in the following areas: cultural history; urban history; digital history; public history; political and international history. Much of the Department’s research and teaching is concerned with the history of what is now Denmark since the early medieval period, understood within its broader transnational (Nordic, European and global) contexts. The history community at Aarhus University covers the period from ancient Greece in collaboration with our colleagues in Classical studies, and themes in the history of European and non-European societies in collaboration with our colleagues in the Department of Global Studies. Our research profile is continuously developing, supported by the History Research Programme and the seminars and other events it organises. We host a number of collaborative and externally funded research projects: see here

The BA programme in history offers a broad introduction to the subject of history, its theory and methodology. Students are introduced to major developments in and interpretations of the past, and to the analysis of historical sources using analogue and digital methods. See more at http://bachelor.au.dk/en/history/ 

Our two-year MA programme aims to consolidate students’ theoretical and methodological competences and stimulate independent academic work, preparing them for various labour markets in Denmark and abroad. We also teach history in combination with a minor subject, which qualifies students for teaching in Danish upper secondary schools. See more at http://kandidat.au.dk/en/history/.

The Department is home to the leading online resource danmarkshistorien.dk. The website includes free-to-access articles, original sources, films, quizzes and much more on all aspects of Danish history. In 2021 danmarkshistorien.dk received 5.6 million visits, including to the online open access course in Danish history, launched in 2020. The English-language website nordics.info is also hosted in the department, with articles, films and podcasts on topics in modern and contemporary Nordic history, society, politics and culture.