History Introduction

History is one of the most fundamental disciplines in the liberal arts curriculum. Those with historical training have traditionally taken top honours in journalism, government, the law, and other fields that require good writing and reading skills, the ability to synthesize disparate information, and a deep knowledge of the human condition. In an age of increasing over-specialization, history keeps a window open on a broad and vibrant global landscape, a perspective with colour and depth as well as scale. It informs each of the other arts disciplines while fostering skills and viewpoints uniquely its own.

Historical training at National University of Singapore is not about memorizing facts and dates, nor is it about living in the past. Mastering the discipline means understanding changing historical patterns and networks that explain the present shape of the world.

Past and present are a continuum, and each remains vague without an understanding of the other. History attracts students who seek answers to broad and important questions, want to approach issues critically rather than conventionally, and want to master written and oral communication.

As a programme, History seeks to provide students with a good overview of the development of the modern world with a particular emphasis on Asia’s part therein. We provide a broad foundation module at Level 1000 and then a series of geographical and thematic modules at Level 2000 that lead to more specifically focussed modules at Levels 3000 and 4000. Our curriculum offers students an array of choices, with clear paths of study, which develop from foundation levels of knowledge to professional training in the construction of historical knowledge. Students are encouraged to make their own choices and construct their own understandings of history, knowledge, and the world.

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