Filozofická Fakulta

Ústav světových dějin FF UK v Praze  

Ústav světových dějin

Master’s programme History

General information and course structure

Disciplines in history studies belong among the oldest and traditional fields of study at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. The beginning of the study of historical disciplines lies in the 18th century when the study of history in the narrowest sense emerged (first at the Faculty of Law in 1741, later at the Faculty of Arts in 1774). Auxiliary Historical Sciences, and later Archive Studies, were naturally connected to the study of history. 

In the course of historical development, new fields of study were established. It is possible to find the roots of prehistoric archeology in the mid-19th century (J. E. Vocel; 1850); classical archeology was born at the beginning of the 20th century (H. Vysoký; 1905); the roots of fields as for example ethnology and ethnography can be already found in the older Slavonic studies, however, the beginnings of these disciplines as such are closely connected to K. Chotek (1912). Byzantine Studies were founded in the 1880s (K. Jireček). Ibero-American Studies then, for instance, were founded in the mid-20th century. Nowadays, the history courses that are taught at Charles University in Prague represent a combination of modern Czech sciences of the early 19th century and of the newest developments in the field. They also reflect the developments of the study of history in Europe and in the U.S.       

As a result of the Bologna process, the structure of university studies changed profoundly. Instead of the former five-year master’s programmes there is a three-year bachelor’s programme and a two-year master’s programme. The change, quite understandingly, requires a different time arrangement on the side of the academic staff. At the same time several other issues need to be bore in mind and settled – most importantly postgraduate doctoral studies and the question of future employment of the bachelor’s and master’s programmes’ graduates. This does not include only employment in academic institutions (research and academic institutes and archives for example) but it also includes a wide range of different working positions – for instance in the cultural sphere or in the sphere tourism, etc. Moreover, it became obvious that new emphasis must be put on interdisciplinary approaches and methods when researching a particular problem in history.

The aim of the master’s programme History is to deepen the students’ knowledge and skills so needed for their own independent research into particular historical problems. In addition, the master’s programme also intends to prepare the students for further, doctoral, studies. Therefore, it is not only important to broaden the set of skills essential for any researcher in the field of history but also to specialize in a specific area of professional interest.

The programme encompasses a wide range of subjects – for instance general world history, social and economic history, Czech history from the early Middle Ages to the present day. However, it must be mentioned, that Czech history does not solely concentrate on the national viewpoint of history. It is more understood as the history of the society of the Czech lands. Moreover, great emphasis is put on methodological and theoretical questions. Lecturers and professional historians working at Charles University are erudite in the field of historical methods and methodologies. Therefore, students are expected to familiarize themselves with the methods, methodologies and theoretical approaches of the discipline in concern. For this reason, students are asked to attend various specialized seminars dealing with the problem.   

The master’s programme History is based on cooperation of three specialized history departments – i.e. the Institute of World History, the Institute of Czech History and the Institute of Economic and Social History (founded in 1990). In addition, other research and pedagogical departments and institutes of the Faculty of Arts take part in the lecturing. It is possible to mention a few, for example the Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies, the Institute of Prehistoric Times Studies, the Institute of Greek and Latin studies, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and the Institute for Classical Archeology.

Prague Papers

Prague Papers on the History of International Relations 2011/1Prague Papers on the History of International Relations 2011/2




Dvacáté století

Obálka 2006Obálka 2006


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