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Big History

How did the histories of the cosmos, life, earth and human societies influence each other and shape important aspects of the world together?


Big History will help you understand how everything around us became the way it is, so you can develop a better understanding of the challenges currently facing our societies.  

A variety of renowned experts, ranging from astrophysicists to social scientists, will take you on a journey from the Big Bang until today. Throughout the course, you are stimulated to consider the often unexplored connections between the various astrophysical, geological, biological and cultural aspects that created our world.        

In the final research assignment, you will apply what you’ve learned to one important aspect of society and think about this in a creative and interdisciplinary way. In doing so, you will also reflect on what big history might mean for your future. 


Ir. E. (Esther) Quaedackers MSc


You can find the timetable on Datanose
We now expect that all lectures can take place on-campus. However, if the regulations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are intensified, we may be forced to organise our education online. Course fees will remain unchanged for contract students. Before and during the course, you will be informed about the latest regulations.

As a contract student, please read the course-specific information carefully, since the courses vary in possibilities for contract students.

Entry requirements

Open to second-year and third-year Bachelor's students, Master's students and other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions. High school students are also welcome, click here for more information. 


Registration is open from 6 December until one week prior to the start of the course. UvA students can register in SIS (look for code: 5512BIHI6Y). Other interested parties can register by completing the online registration form. If you have any trouble while registering, please contact us at keuzeonderwijs-iis@uva.nl


Prices can be found on the IIS website.

More information

SDGs in education

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in our elective courses, honours modules and degree programmes and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDGs website.

Facts & Figures
Mode Short-term
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in February