History – History as Culture of Knowledge M.A.


Key Info

Basic Information

Master of Arts
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester, Summer Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
4 semesters
ECTS Credits:
120Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.


Admission Requirements

  • First university degree, required qualifications according to the examination regulations Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    A first recognized university degree, through which the necessary education background for the Master course of study can be proven. The necessary knowledge needed in order for studies to be successful is determined in the respective exam regulations (PO).


  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester


Admission to Higher Semesters


Language Requirements

  • See Course of Study Description

Dates and Deadlines


History as a culture of knowledge addresses the past from the perspective of a interpretation of the world supported by knowledge. Originally a narrative of the history of the discipline and advancements, the history of science today views itself as a history of the development of cultures of knowledge. The history of knowledge and science doesn't just inquire after content and people but also after institutions, facilitation processes, forms of application, and social contexts and effects of taught and scientific knowledge. Modern history of knowledge and science thematizes the social and cultural conditions under which science takes place.

Students in the Master's course of study "History – History as a Culture of Knowledge" learn about such different cultures of knowledge, meaning, they deal with very different forms of the production of knowledge and handling knowledge. Above all this includes: history of science as a specific approach to knowledge, systematic subject-oriented access to knowledge, epochal and cultural regional differences in handling knowledge, and dynamics of obtaining knowledge. Students will understand the context restriction – namely the historicity and cultural relativity – of knowledge, science, and innovation. With this methodological approach – that is not defined by a single object, epoch, or space – the course of study allows for an discussion spanning epochs of topics related to cultures of knowledge at different levels. It doesn't just allow such a discussion but rather promotes them even.

Characteristics of the RWTH Course of Study

The Aachen Master's course of study "History – History as a Culture of Knowledge“ distinguishes itself from courses of study with similar names at other universities in that it simultaneously concentrates on "knowledge in history" and its research and reconstruction.

On the one hand it addresses the important demands of our postindustrial society of knowledge and on the other hand it thematizes classic and current research questions in historiography. It thus offers an indispensable and nearly canonized teaching content from the history of knowledge discipline as well as an intensive glance at current research questions.

In the past, the Aachen Department of History always placed well with regards to its mentorship for students. The Master's History as a Culture of Knowledge reflects the attempt to bundle one's own skills and actively include students in research.


Degree Content

The course of study consists of two types of modules, the special modules and the general modules. Students take one module from each group each semester. Each of these modules is made up of a lecture, a tutorial, and a seminar.

Special Modules:

  • Methods I: Tapping into Knowledge
  • Methods II: Reflecting on the History of Science
  • Methods III: Facilitating Knowledge

General Modules:

In contrast to the special modules, which are set up to span epochs, the general modules move along the four epochs Antiquity, Middle Ages, Early Modern Age, and the Modern Era.

The four professorships and other lecturer positions at the RWTH Institute of History each shape an aspect of the course of study. Ancient History is predestined for the analysis of the origin of scripturality; it explores the cultural georgraphic foundation of knowledge, whereby the use of modern techniques to expore ancient cultures plays an important role. History of the Middle Ages investigates the social, organizational, and habitual prerequistes of medieval cultures of knowledge; furthermore, the professorship possesses the best skills for teaching historical studies in the computer age and via the corresponding networks in the community. The Early Modern Age addresses the typical cross-linkages of knowledge for the epoch and the results forms and content of the description of knowledge and the gender dimension of cultures of knowledge resulting from scientific practices. In accordance with the technical development in modernity, the Modern Era takes mediality and technology as a condition and factor of historical studies into account and addresses the emergence and structure of modern technology cultures; the history of technology is constantly viewed as the history of society.

Programs Abroad

The course of study enables students to complete stays abroad, preferably in a country with a foreign language, to give them the opportunity to learn about other cultures of knowledge from their own perspective early on. However, we recommend completing the stay abroad during Bachelor studies.



Admissions Requirement

A requirement for beginning studies is an initial university degree that documents the necessary background knowledge defined in the exam regulations. The examination board determines whether or not the admissions requirements have been met.

Language Requirements

Since comprehension of different cultures of knowledge is linked to language skills, the acquistion of such language skills, especially Latin and English and another modern language, before beginning studies is highly recommended. Language skills can also be acquired during studies.


Career Prospects

Two basic but primary career prospects for graduates result from the technical and generic skills and abilities the course of study teaches:

1. The methodological orientation of the course of study particularly enables graduates to scientifically work at a high niveau and, particularly through doctoral studies, to futher scientifically qualify themselves.

2. Graduates, who do not pursue doctoral studies, acquire the professionalism necessary for careers in historical studies outside of universities and research institutions in media, cultural and resarch organizations, public relations work, political parties and associations, documentation, museums, and adult education. The acquisition of founded expertise in a selected focus area of the course of study is fundamental for this work.


Module Handbook and Examination Regulations

The module handbook provides a description of all modules of a degree program and offers a comprehensive insight into the program contents.

The examination regulations are comprised of legally binding provisions on learning objectives, prerequisites for study, the course structure and processes, and examination procedures.

Regulations that generally apply to all Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, including information on language proficiency requirements, can be found in RWTH's General Examination Regulations. These general regulations are further specified and complemented by the subject-specific examination regulations.

If two examination regulations are valid for a degree program during a transition phase, the most current version shall apply to students enrolling in the program for the first time.

Please note that only the German examination regulations are legally binding.

Module Handbook
Subject-Specific Examination Regulations
RWTH's General Examination Regulations



The Master's course of study in Historical Studies - History as a Culture of Knowledge is offered by the Institute of History in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.