Despite the belief that you need to study STEM programs to land high-paying jobs, History departments in many universities continue to have the largest student population on campus. History is a fascinating subject, which is why many choose it to be their major.

Studying History involves exploring the past and understanding its impact on our present. Observing social patterns also allows us to peek into the future. As you repeatedly try to make sense of history books, you will practice thinking at very high levels. You will develop research & communication skills and learn to write with clarity. Employers value these skills, which is why graduates with a History degree have very high employment rates.

While most graduates opt to become professors or seek a Ph.D., you can also work as a writer, librarian, or museum conservator. Many have also found success in industries outside the arts, like business, finance, and government offices. Every organization needs a good researcher and communicator, after all.

Choosing a school where you can study History is a big investment, so make sure you pick the right one. Here are some of the best history schools in Europe.

Many people who study history choose to become historians, museum curators, archivists, teachers, or lawyers. Historians examine historical data to gain a better understanding of the past. Museum curators and archivists preserve historic relics and manuscripts for future generations. Teachers share their knowledge of history with learners of all ages, while lawyers with a background in history may specialize in fields such as constitutional law or intellectual property. To get you moving to your preferred career track, make sure to check our Open Courses Page. While history courses are not yet available, please check out other related courses, such as Law. You can also explore other programs offered in Europe for aspiring international students.

Top History Schools in Europe

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford in the UK is one of the most prominent educational institutions in the world. Since its founding, the university has upheld the highest academic standards. It continues to be a leader in providing quality education today and is consistently recognized in international rankings and award-giving bodies around the world.

Oxford University is among the best history schools in Europe, offering an inspiring learning environment for History students. Aside from the architectural beauty of its campuses, it also houses several libraries that have more than 12 million printed volumes and special collections you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Over 150 professional historians are also employed by the university to teach on-campus.

A 3-year BA in History is available for undergraduates, which aims to explore different places and periods. You will also study research methods and experience conducting original research as a junior historian. Postgraduates seeking a Master’s degree have a wide range of concentrations to choose from, including MSc in Economic & Social History, MSc in History of Science, and MPhil in Late Antique & Byzantine Studies, among others. Study durations range from 9 to 24 months.

2. University of Cambridge

Another prominent school based in the UK is the University of Cambridge. Because of its strong reputation for academic excellence, it is often compared to Ivy League schools in the US. The university welcomes more than 20,000 students from 150 countries every year.

The University of Cambridge is known for having the most distinguished History education in the world. It is cited as one of the largest history departments, and several faculty members have won prestigious awards for their work. The university also houses the Seeley Library, which contains 90,000 books, manuscripts, and artwork accumulated over 200 years.

Undergraduates can study the 3-year BA in History, a program that explores European history in great breadth and depth. For those at the Master’s level, the university offers eight specializations to choose from. The most popular options include American History, Early Modern History, and World History.

3. Free University of Berlin

The Free University of Berlin, also known as Freie Universität Berlin (FU), is the leading state-financed university in Germany. It specializes in political science and humanities education but offers several programs across many disciplines. Courses are conducted in English and German.

This excellent history school in Europe offers a 3-year BA in History. Students can combine this program with teacher education or general professional training. Both tracks provide specialized teaching to prepare you for your chosen career path.

The university also offers Master’s degree programs with three specializations to choose from, including Historical Studies, Global History, or Public History. These tracks are research-based, except for Public History, which is application-oriented.

4. King’s College London

King’s College London (KCL) is a research-intensive university that gained international recognition for providing high-quality education. It welcomes students across five campuses and continues to expand, with the goal of positive change in society at the heart of its operation.

Undergraduates may choose to study BA in History, which aims to develop critical thinking. However, KCL also offers specialized programs at the Bachelor’s level. You may choose to study History with a concentration on Modern Languages, Political Economy, International Relations, and War Studies. To help in your education, you may access KCL’s extensive collection of unique artifacts, rare books, and photographs collected over 500 years.

Students at the Master’s level may choose from seven specializations, including Ancient History, Contemporary British History, and World History & Cultures, among others. These programs have a study duration of 12 months. Your academic transcripts, references, and personal statement will be reviewed to see if you qualify for admission.

5. Leiden University

Leiden University (LEI) in the Netherlands is a public university that specializes in social sciences. It is the oldest and most prestigious university in the country. LEI values research and is constantly pushing to find solutions to pressing issues. Many graduates and academic researchers from the university have become Spinoza Prize laureates and Nobel laureates.

LEI is known to be among Europe’s best history schools and offers a Dutch-taught BA in History, which provides students with solid skills to become professional historians. Students will find LEI’s world-renowned university library helpful. It contains over 5.2 million books, journals, manuscripts, maps, and atlases.

Master’s programs are also available for those seeking higher degrees. The postgraduate offerings at LEI are unique because they are niche subject areas. Very few schools offer education on these disciplines. Available Master’s programs include Ancient History, Colonial & Global History, and Migration & Global Interdependence, among others. Within your specialization, you can also choose a concentration that could tailor the program to better fit your career goals. Available concentrations include Economic History, Heritage & Postcolonial Studies, Maritime History, and Governance of Migration.


I hope that you found this article on the best history schools in Europe informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

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