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Honoursmodule: Big History

How has everything around us become the way it is today? How have the histories of the cosmos, life, Earth and human societies influenced each other? How have they jointly shaped  the world we live in now? And can you use that knowledge to develop a better understanding of aspects of the world around you that you think are particularly important, now and for the future?

Would you like to know how everything around you has become the way it is today? How the histories of the cosmos, life, Earth and human societies have influenced each other and have jointly shaped important aspects of the world you live in now? And would you like to use that knowledge to develop a better understanding of the world around you, including the challenges our societies are currently facing? If you do, then the big history honours course is right for you.
In this course, online seminars will guide you on a journey that covers all of history, from the Big Bang until today. During these seminars, you will also reflect on the often-unexplored connections between the various astrophysical, geological, biological and cultural aspects that shaped our world. Seminars will be based on podcasts that have been designed and recorded especially for this course and on state-of-the-art reading that explains what drove big history. Seminars will be followed by online ‘little big history’ assignments that encourage you to apply the knowledge you gained during the course to a process that is important in our current world and think about this in a creative and interdisciplinary way. While doing so, you will also reflect on what big history might mean for your future.


All lectures will take place on-campus and we assume you can be physically present during the scheduled hours. You can find the timetable on Datanose.


Registration is possible for first or higher year students participating in an Honours programme. Registration for the Honours courses will start on December 1, 10 am -  December 5, 11 pmYou can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS(registration is NOT through SIS or GLASS).

Please note: There is no guarantee for placement if you register after 5 December, so make sure you register on time. You will hear which course(s) you are registered for before 20 december. For questions about registration, please contact us at Honours-iis@uva.nl.

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