History (BA)

What is the degree programme about?

Dates and names are an important part of historical knowledge but there is far more to the subject than this. In the History degree programme you will learn techniques and methods which you can use to understand historical issues in context, and evaluate historical processes and decisions. These aspects of history are also considered in relation to the present day and the current situation in economics, art and culture. You can learn about various periods and regions in the range of specialisations on offer, from ancient history, to eastern European history, to regional Franconian history.

You will usually be taught the basics of each topic in lectures and then develop this knowledge in more depth in seminars. Here you will discuss a diverse range of topics with other students, from the empire created by Charlemagne to West Germany's reintegration after the Second World War. You will analyse the causes and effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union and investigate how the idea of the Reformation led by Martin Luther was expressed not only through flyers and sermons but also through rituals and symbols.

What can I do with this degree?

As a history student you will learn how to analyse complex historical circumstances and make use of sources and research literature. The various approaches to history and related methodology will prepare you for independent historical research but will also help you develop key skills, such as the abilities to deal with large amounts of unstructured data and information, think critically and analytically to solve problems, conduct research, give presentations, and communicate effectively.

The possibilities mentioned below are just a small selection of the many areas where historians may pursue careers. They include:

  • archives and libraries
  • collections, exhibitions and museums
  • publishing
  • adult education and cultural education
  • journalism and communication
  • services and administration
  • public relations at public and private institutions, associations or companies
  • history-based marketing
  • research and teaching
  • consultancy
What qualities and skills do I need?
  • an interest in the historical and cultural foundations of our society
  • a passion for reading (academic texts and sources) and willingness to write your own texts
  • proficiency in a foreign language or a desire to learn new languages (ideally two modern foreign languages plus Latin; it is possible for languages to be studied during the degree programme to make up for lack of previous knowledge)
  • excellent proficiency in written and spoken German and strong comprehension skills
  • the ability to work independently
  • an interest in working analytically and methodically in historical contexts
Good reasons for choosing to study at FAU
  • At FAU there are a wide range of lectures and seminars on offer in the following sub-disciplines: ancient history, medieval history and ancillary sciences, modern history, contemporary history, Bavarian and Franconian regional history, and eastern European history. This gives you the opportunity to discover and develop your own interests.
  • Our researchers have a wide variety of research interests, giving you the opportunity to learn about many different topics.
  • History is brought to life in regular excursions.
  • Class sizes are small and you will receive personal support from lecturers.
  • A wide range of subjects can be combined with history for a two-subject Bachelor's degree.
  • There are a several options for further study (MA History, MA Medieval and Renaissance Studies).
Potential challenges
  • Languages are very important in history. Literature used in historical research is sometimes in English, as well as other languages such as French, Spanish or Italian, and source texts are often in Latin.
  • Proficiency in Latin is required for the History degree programme at FAU and must be acquired by the end of the degree programme. If you do not already have sufficient knowledge of Latin when you start you must complete a Latin course lasting at least one semester at the University in order to take elementary seminars in ancient and medieval history (first to fourth semester).
  • History is not about right or wrong but the right way of dealing with sources, literature and hypotheses from a critical perspective. For this reason, a large proportion of the degree programme is devoted to reading sources and secondary literature.
Can I study abroad

As a history student at FAU you have the opportunity to spend one or two semesters abroad at a partner university. We currently have partnerships with universities in Italy, France, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

Combinable degree programs

Can be combined*

Archaeological Sciences (BA), Book Studies (BA), English and American Studies (BA), French Studies (BA), German Language and Literature (BA), Greek Philology (BA), Hispanic Studies (BA), Islamic-Religious Studies (BA), Italian Studies (BA), Cultural History of Christianity (BA), Art History (BA), Latin Philology (BA), Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (BA), Oriental Studies (BA), Education (BA), Political Science (BA), Chinese Studies (BA), Scandinavian Studies (BA), Sociology (BA), Theatre and Media Studies (BA)

*These courses are scheduled in such a way that the subjects can usually be combined without overlapping.

Can be combined after consulting a study advisor*

Computational Linguistics (BA), Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (BA), Cultural Geography (BA), Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (BA), Japanese Studies (BA), Business and Economics (BA), Philosophy (BA)

As it is not guaranteed that there will be no overlap between teaching times in this combination, you will be required to submit proof of consultation with a study advisor when enrolling. Please contact the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) or the Student Service Centre of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology.

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Degree program start date and application deadlines

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Start date of degree program: Winter Term

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Degree type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Type of study: Two subject Bachelor's degree programme
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 6 Semester
Start date of degree program: Winter Term
Size: (currently 50-150 Students)
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions