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Content and curriculum

History is omnipresent - it can be found in politics, in the media, in museums and exhibitions, memorial sites, in companies or in computer games, movies or graphic novels. Anniversaries and memorial days become more important and by the time develop into historical events themselves. History nowadays is perceived in new dimensions, especially through arising popular forms of re-enactments, living history or history theatre in Germany. These appropriations of "authentic" history change our society, challenge the science of history and are therefor subject to the new research field of Public History.

Subject of study

1. A consolidation of the subject's scientific basis combined with the consideration of new approaches to public history.

2. Research on different forms and media of public history and their impact on society.

3. Practical experiences in fields of public history and project activities.


Scientific work methods pertain to the core qualification of all public historians. For this reason, elemental historical skills are strengthened and further developed within the program. Moreover, particular attention is payed to theoretical approaches to public history and their consequences for the students' own future working practice. This includes studying concepts of historical learning and analyzing examples of best practice of their transmission.

Practical experience

While studying public history at the University of Cologne, students benefit from our excellent network to local and regional institutions of public history, among them museums, memorial sites, archives, TV channels and various associations, introducing their field of expertise to our students through various forms of teaching.

In an integrated internship of three months length, sudents experience the use of history in public and in the course of lectures, subsequently learn to practice, to analyze and interpret their experiences.


For further information take a look at the Modulhandbuch (only available in German).

Public History abroad

As students you have the opportunity to study abroad with the programs of Erasmus. Further information you can find here.

You can study Public History at many different universities in Europe. We are in close contact with the following universities:

Leuven - Belgium

Gent - Belgium

Rotterdam - Netherlands

Luzern - Switzerland

Wroclaw - Poland