Social Sciences

Short Courses in History

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More information about the History discipline

History is the science concerned with finding, gathering, structuring and passing on facts about events in the past. It aims at objectively establishing a cause-effect explanation of events in a chronological, complete and truthful manner.

The study of history helps us understand why the human society is the way it is today, why there are differences between societies and how people and society have evolved over time. A good understanding of the past leads to better decisions in the present and better planning for the future. Although History is regarded as a descriptive science of the past, it has great impact on the present.

A student of this discipline will learn how to assess evidence of various types, how to interpret conflict in an objective, based manner and how to assess and explain past changes. This discipline of studies offers a broad perspective that offers flexibility, good analytical skills, good writing and speaking skills, capacity to identify, assess and explain trends and behaviours and great research skills. All these attributes are vital in a number of different occupations in the job market, so a graduate of history has a wide range of jobs that he or she could be fit for.

Suggested Study Programmes

  • Short Course in A History of European Art

    A History of European Art is your gateway to this visually stunning story. In 48 beautifully illustrated lectures you will encounter all the landmarks you would expect to find in a comprehensive survey of Western art since the Middle Ages. Works such as Giotto's Arena Chapel, Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece, Leonardo's The Last Supper, Michelangelo's David, Vermeer's View of Delft, Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Picasso's Guernica, and hundreds more.

  • Short Course in America and the World: A Diplomatic History

    t was a transformation unprecedented in global history. In barely more than two centuries, the United States evolved from a sparsely settled handful of colonies whose very survival was in grave doubt into the most powerful nation the world has ever known-militarily, economically, technologically, culturally, politically, and even ideologically.

  • Short Course in Thinking, Understanding, Interpreting China (17th-18th Century)

    It is these papers that we will study, in order to instruct a case: what are the images of China that Europe coins during the 17th and 18th centuries? Of what brightness China shines, and what shimmers are reflected on the European Enlightenment? What part of this light-game remains in the shadow? What was the reception of European Enlightenment by China? How did the patterns of clarification got woven and set apart?

  • Short Course in Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Historic Environment

    The Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Historic Environment is a part-time research-based course which offers students the opportunity to undertake supervised independent study over two academic years, culminating in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words. Students choose their own research topic and the research proposal is considered when they apply. The format of the course, requiring just seven visits to Cambridge over the two-year period of the course, makes it accessible to students from across the UK and beyond.

  • Short Course in Ethics of Aristotle

    What is happiness? What is moral excellence? How can you attain them? Can either be taught? For more than 2,000 years, thoughtful people have been turning to Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) to help them find answers to questions like these. In this meditation on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, an award-winning teacher shows you the clarity and ethical wisdom of one of humanity's greatest minds. Professor Joseph W. Koterski directs the M.A. program in Philosophical Resources at Fordham University. He is a recipient of both the Dean's Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and the Graduate Teacher of the Year Award.

  • Short Course in Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London

    Of all the world's great art museums, the National Gallery, London is the only place where you can truly grasp the breathtaking scope of European painting between 1200 and 1900. Established in 1824, the National Gallery was commissioned as the people's museum—a cultural institution meant to reflect the artistic legacy both of Great Britain and of the European continent. Inside its halls are more than 2,500 European paintings by some of Western civilization's greatest masters, including Titian, Rubens, and Rembrandt. Today, the National Gallery is one of the top five tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. Each year, more than 5 million people explore the gallery's impressive collections, including its renowned and respected holdings in Italian Renaissance art and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painting. To browse through the hallways and wings of the National Gallery is to witness the powerful evolution both of European painting and the European history that it represents.

  • Short Course in Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution

    While those words were written over 200 years ago, recent years have seen an explosion of interest in and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Its authority and stature are routinely invoked by voices from every point on the political spectrum who seek to defend their views on issues ranging from separation of powers to the proper role of the Supreme Court to legitimate interpretations of the Bill of Rights, with frequent references to the Founding Fathers and their true "intent."

  • Short Course in Europe and Western Civilization in the Modern Age

    Dr. Thomas Childers is Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been teaching for over 25 years. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.

  • Short Course in Understanding Greek and Roman Technology: From Catapult to the Pantheon

    Famed for great thinkers, poets, artists, and leaders, ancient Greece and Rome were also home to some of the most creative engineers who ever lived. Many of their feats have survived; others have disappeared into the mists of time. But modern research is shedding new light on these renowned wonders—impressive buildings, infrastructure systems, and machines that were profoundly important in their own day and have had a lasting impact on the development of civilization.

  • Short Course in The early Tudors, 1485-1558

    The Tudor dynasty, which ruled between 1485 and 1603, transformed England and monarchs such as Henry VIII are larger-than-life figures who are instantly recognizable. But where did the Tudors come from and why were they so successful? This online course will examine the first four Tudor monarchs, we will begin with Henry Tudor's victory at Bosworth, before moving on to examine the complex and often violent history of the English Reformation under Henry, Edward VI and Mary.

  • Short Course in Special Collection - The Joy of Ancient History

    For years, The Great Courses has taken lifelong learners on stirring explorations of our ancient roots; ones that bring you face to face with what history means, and how we use it to understand both the past and the present. So where's the best place to start? Right here with this eclectic and insightful collection of 36 lectures curated from our most popular ancient history courses.

  • Short Course in Masterpieces of Ancient Greek Literature

    All our lives, we've been taught the importance of the ancient Greeks to so much of the world that came after them, and particularly to our own way of living in and seeing that world. Mention politics, philosophy, law, medicine, history, even the visual arts, and we barely scratch the surface of what we owe this extraordinary culture. How can we best learn about these people who have given us so much; who have deepened and enriched our understanding of ourselves?



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