More than anything else, studying History at Bielefeld University means to question conventional perspectives, to transcend the limitations imposed on our thinking by traditional epochs, and to reflect on the contemporary relevance of the past and how we model it. The Bielefeld profile is characterized by an orientation towards theory and methods, comparisons between Premodernity and Modernity, and a subject-specific teaching of career-related competencies and professional skills.
Teaching and research at the Department of History are defined by close cooperation between all work fields, a lively culture of discourse, and close relations between dedicated teachers and students. Currently, about 1,500 students are working on their degrees in the three-cycle study programme. This consists of a Bachelor with either a research-focused or educational profile (in three specific variations according to the type of school, see Three-cycle study programme, a Master of Arts or Education, and a PhD.
In addition, the Department offers dual French-German study programmes in cooperation with Université Paris 7 - Denis Diderot. Students spend part of their time in Bielefeld and in Paris and graduate with both French and German BA and MA degrees. A further feature is two specialized interdisciplinary Master programmes History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science (HPSS) and InterAmerican Studies (IAS).
With its Department of History, Bielefeld University hosts a leading research institute with an international reputation. Students can profit from excellent conditions for research-oriented studies and from an exceptionally broad range of courses. A total of 15 professors and 45 teaching staff members represent all epochs as well as several thematic areas (e.g. Gender History, Economic History, Iberian and Latin American History, East European History, History of Science). For a complete list, click here.
Partnerships with numerous leading universities worldwide offer opportunities for students to carry out part of their studies abroad. Research colloquia, study groups, a Collaborative Research Centre, and a Graduate School all create an inspiring study environment. Graduate students are integrated into academic discourse at an early stage of their careers, and the International PhD Study Programme of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology provides them with effective support on their way towards a doctorate.
The main goal of the BA study programme is to promote the development of the necessary skills and competencies to comprehend and analyse historical and cultural contexts. Students are taught how to communicate their historical insights in both written and oral presentations. Training in all these skills is integrated into the entire history degree programme. Students develop a career orientation in the "History as Profession" work field that provides opportunities to make contact with museums, archives, institutions, and the media. Prospective teachers benefit from established cooperations with local schools offering not only internships but also opportunities to carry out practical projects.