Pre-University Honours Programme: History and Culture

History and culture are pervasive. Everywhere we turn, every day, we are confronted by a variety of cultural narratives that shape the world around us, and our experience of it. Making decisions on a daily basis - whether as an individual, state, or organisation - is the creation of history. But how does these historical and cultural narratives affect us, what do they overlook, and do they accomplish?

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 7 July - 18 July 2019*
Housing dates: 6 July - 19 July 2019*
Academic fee: € 1200
Housing fee: € 350 and € 75 deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
Who is this programme for? For current high school students (must be 16-18 during the programme) interested in urban studies, and the social and behavioural sciences.
Academic director: Benjamin Roberts
Early application deadline: 10 January 2019
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2019


* These dates are tentative and subject to minor change: final changes will be anounced by 1 December.

Programme description

This course uses Amsterdam and its immense material and intellectual history to investigate the linkages between this city and the rest of the world by focusing on a series of historical moments that have direct impact and relevance to living in the present. What worldview is embedded in a 16th Century Dutch map of the East Indies? What insights can we gain about daily life in Amsterdam by visiting Rembrandt’s The Night Watch? Participants will examine history and cultural narratives in Amsterdam from local and global perspectives, linking specific locations in Amsterdam to the world, and tracing global ideas back to Amsterdam.

This interdisciplinary programme will ask essential questions: what does it mean to be a global citizen, and when and where did our concept of the global arise? How are various elements of history and culture (economics, art, trade, design) intimately interconnected in our experience of the present? What parts of history and culture do we celebrate, and what parts do we disguise, hide, or purposely forget, and to what ends?

Through a combination of academic lectures, site visits, and city excursions, participants will leave the UvA with an understanding of important periods in Amsterdam’s history and culture, taking information back to their home contexts to unravel both local and global questions arising from this interdisciplinary cultural study.

This programme is designed for high school students to experience studying in an international environment at the Graduate School of Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. The lectures and all course materials are in English. Participants in the course will develop study skills and become acquainted with learning methods that will give them an advantage as they continue their education at university.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Friday includes:

  • Morning lecture (2.5 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  
  • Afternoon workshop (2.5 hours; includes film screenings, debates, and city excursions).

On Fridays, participants will have either an excursion to another city, or the final presentations for their programme.


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Juni, juli

Gepubliceerd door  GSSS Summer Programmes Office