The aim of the bachelor’s study program History is primarily to teach students basic knowledge and skills leading to independent and critical knowledge of the past and to provide them at the bachelor’s level with knowledge of political, economic, social, and cultural development of human society in its entirety (from antiquity to the 20th century), ie to build a broad educational structure, and help them master practical and theoretical habits and skills. During the study, students will learn to work with sources, acquire a critical approach to the literature and creative thinking in the approach to historical facts and processes. They will also be prepared both for possible follow-up studies within the follow-up master’s study program and for professional activities in historical and cultural institutions in general. Attention is also paid to the language competence of students in the study program.
Graduate career options
The graduate of the bachelor’s study program History gained a basic factual overview of political, cultural, economic, and social development from antiquity to the 20th century (world history), resp. from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century (Czech and Czechoslovak history), about the development of the history of historiography from antiquity to the 20th century and learned the basics of professional historical work. During his studies, he also got acquainted with the necessary overlaps in selected scientific disciplines, which allow him important insight and broaden his potential horizons (philosophy, anthropology), or acquired practical skills needed for both potential follow-up study and practical life (Subject Practice), and also learned to communicate professionally in at least one foreign language.
The acquired knowledge and skills allow graduates a wide range of applications in a range of cultural institutions (libraries, archives, museums, galleries, etc.), in which they can perform qualified professional activities requiring special knowledge and skills of historical or related focus, such as cataloging, classification, heuristic activities, professional guide service, etc. Graduates will be prepared to continue in a follow-up master’s degree in history or a related specialization at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen or another university in the Czech Republic or abroad.
Terms of admission
The admissions procedure takes place in the form of a written test that contains fifty questions from Czech and world history, philosophy, the history of art, and of a general political and culturally historic nature.
Modern History (Mgr.)
The follow-up Modern History master’s degree program is focused on acquiring the essential knowledge and skills for independent research in the field, primarily within a specialization of the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. The degree program significantly deepens the student’s overview of modern history and teaches the student to perceive the principal trends of contemporary socio-political development at a contextual level and with a historical perspective. In terms of topics, the degree program mainly concentrates on explaining and interpreting modern European and world history while taking account of the general developmental context. From a methodological and methodical perspective, a wide range of research methods and procedures are applied during the study, which corresponds to current knowledge and research profiles of the figures teaching the subjects, while stress is also placed on ensuring a contemporary postmodern approach to historical and political issues of modern history, and an attempt is made to approach the key issues of the 19th and 20th centuries using a contemporaneous sociocultural lens to perceive the political and social events of the time. For the same reason, particular stress is placed on equipping the student with theoretical and methodological tools. The compulsory part of the degree program is divided into 3 interrelated themed blocks, which provide students with a thorough overview of selected issues in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, and of the issue of war and ethnic conflicts and the phenomenon of totalitarian and authoritarian movements in modern history, and which will bring students a methodology of the subject which will form an integral and vital element of the degree program in the follow-up master’s study.
Graduate career options
Graduates of the follow-up Modern History master’s degree program will acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the political, economic, social, and cultural course of the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, of wars, totalitarianism, and the clash of cultures and civilizations. They will leave with their competencies added to by a range of appropriate elective subjects which are divided up both geographically and thematically, again focused on modern history (19th and 20th centuries). Graduates are equipped with the necessary factual, methodological and methodical knowledge and skills (including the ability to acquire information electronically) to be able to interpret historical events independently and on the basis of historically relevant arguments, critically interpret historical sources and literature and independently process and solve problems regarding history. Graduates will also be ready to continue in doctorate studies of history or a related subject at the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň or another university in the Czech Republic or abroad.
Terms of admission
The admissions procedure takes place in the form of an oral interview to ascertain the candidate has a suitable background (current education, study results, language skills, etc.) and is motivated to study.
Modern History (Ph.D.)
The History doctoral degree program is focused on acquiring the essential knowledge and skills for independent expert and academic work while stressing interdisciplinarity and openness to the latest trends of contemporary global historiography, all while respecting the academic profile of the Department of History and its employees. The program uses a credit system that ensures not only that students have a clear set individual curriculum, but also that this is thoroughly studied. The curriculum is based on compulsory methodological and doctorial seminars in which students acquire the knowledge and skills essential for their own theoretical research and any empirical research in the studied field, and where they present the results of their own work. This compulsory part of the curriculum is then complemented by elective subjects which correspond to the specialization of the chosen doctoral thesis topic. Students must pass examinations in two world languages and also meet other obligations, in particular in terms of publishing (academic studies and reviews) and practice (e.g. leading seminars). An integral part of the doctoral degree program is student mobility, where Ph.D., students have the opportunity to undertake an international placement, either of a short-term (Free Movers) or more long-term (Erasmus) nature.
Graduate career options
In terms of the extent of their knowledge, graduates of the History doctoral degree program can fulfill the most demanding requirements placed on workers in humanities-focused faculties, research institutions, museums, and also educational institutions which emphasize the systematic deepening and broadening of its students’ or employees’ knowledge.
Graduates acquire the expertise to carry out a career in the following fields in particular (for example): teacher and researcher at a higher education institution domestically or internationally, a researcher at a research institution domestically (The Academy of Sciences of the CR, v. v. i.) or internationally, a career in journalism where graduates can exploit their knowledge of the historical roots and contexts of the contemporary world, a career in the diplomatic services upon acquisition of additional special skills.
Terms of admission
The admissions procedure takes place in the form of an oral interview to ascertain the candidate has a suitable background (current education, study results, language skills, etc.) and is motivated to study. The admissions procedure includes academic debate over the submitted future doctoral thesis project.
The Department of Historical Sciences at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the University of West Bohemia offers its students a wide selection of concluded Erasmus+ agreements (see below) which allow them to travel to Western, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Europe and help them gain the necessary expert and language competencies either for further study or for their own practice. Furthermore, undertaking a research and study placement abroad is essential these days for career progression, even in the private sector.
The wide selection of partner universities, minimum red tape and funding issues, the option of getting to know a foreign country and improve your language knowledge, and last but not least the opportunity to gain an advantage on the labor market, are the key and convincing arguments for leaving Plzeň for at least one semester and studying at an institution outside the Czech Republic. For those planning a career in the academic sphere, it is absolutely essential.