Divison of Humanities
Department of History
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History
Minor in History (with effect from AY2007-08)
Master of Arts by research
Ph.D. by research
What is it about
First-year history students are introduced to the discipline of history through modules that emphasize global and regional patterns. They learn how political and economic trends, geography, and other determinants have shaped the last few centuries of human civilization. Upper-level students take modules that cover aspects of the histories of specific regions or countries, or focus on specialized topics such as the rise and fall of empires; major developments in art, science, and technology; the formation of trans-regional and international networks of trade, culture, and communication; and the historical interaction of human societies with their fragile environments. Students engage such pressing issues as gender and racial relations, sustainable development, war and peace, and the social, political, and intellectual dimensions of humankind’s relationship to technology and to nature.
In keeping with the Department's overall focus, the Ph.D. scholars work on topics in Southeast and East Asian history, and the M.A. programme covers the same broad range of areas, themes and topics as the undergraduate curriculum. Graduate students are encouraged to participate fully in the academic and social life of the department, as teaching and research assistants, and in presenting conference papers and attending seminars.
The Raffles Chair in History
The Raffles Chair in History, last filled in 1983, has been reconstituted as the Raffles Visiting Professorship in History. Scholars invited to fill this position are distinguished figures in the field of Asian history, in keeping with the focus of the Department and in the spirit of the historical interests of Thomas Stamford Raffles. The first holder of the Raffles Visiting Professorship in History was Professor Anthony Milner of the Australian National University, who was attached to the Department from 1 July to 31 December 2002. Professor Peter Coclanis was appointed as Raffles Visiting Professor in History for a period of five months from 1 August 2005 to 31 December 2005. Professor Coclanis is Associate Provost for International Affairs and Albert R. Newsome Professor at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Few history graduates work in jobs where they call themselves historians, but the skills they acquire are of fundamental importance in many occupations, and people trained in history have found success in a wide variety of professions. Historians learn how to ask questions, locate and analyze information and develop answers, write effectively, formulate coherent arguments and make successful presentations.
People with a well-rounded education, who have wide-ranging general knowledge, experience in locating information, and the ability to think, reason and communicate effectively, are always in demand. These are precisely the skills that the study of history cultivates.
There are graduates of the Department working in information technology, business and finance, law and medicine, the civil service and the teaching profession.