History Programme




The Programme

History was offered as a minor at NTU in 2006 and it has proven to be a popular programme pursued by students across the university. To advance NTU’s Five Peaks of Excellence and to provide students with solid training in one of the most fundamental subjects in the humanities and social sciences, the programme was established in 2012 at NTU. The programme currently offers a major and minor in History, the Master of Arts in Global and Interdisciplinary History and Doctor of Philosophy via research, and general elective courses to all university students.


Distinctive Features of the Programme

Awarded prestigious fellowships and grants by prominent private foundations and government agencies, the faculty members also aim to build the programme into one of the leading centres of historical scholarship on modern and contemporary Asia. The faculty’s research interests run the gamut from business, cultural, economic, gender, global, intellectual, international, labour, political, social, and transnational history to the interdisciplinary history of the environment, health, medicine, science, sustainability, and technology. Students wishing to read for undergraduate and advanced degrees at HSS’s History Programme will find themselves continually challenged and inspired to produce cutting-edge and groundbreaking research.

The History programme offers foundational courses such as historiography and the histories of particular continents and countries such as Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States. But its focus on two interconnected teaching and research areas make it unique among other History programmes in the Asia-Pacific, if not the world.

First, the programme was purposefully situated around the research and teaching of modern and contemporary Asian history in the global context. This will enable students to recognize and appreciate the region’s vibrant internal dynamisms, its longstanding and continuing interactions with the outside world, and its reception and transmission of the extensive flows of cultures, ideas, peoples, and capital from and to other parts of the globe.

The second is in the area of interdisciplinary history. Faculty members teach and conduct cutting-edge research on issues located at the interfaces between history and other disciplines such as science, technology, medicine, business, and environmental studies. Students will explore the ways in which scientific breakthroughs and medical knowledge were created, distributed, and accepted. They will also be equipped with the tools to understand the complex and multidimensional impacts that science, medicine, and technology have had on the economic, intellectual, political, and social development of contemporary societies, regions, and the world.

In all, the History programme is crafted specially to educate outstanding students who wish to develop well-rounded analytical, communication, and research skills. The products of the programme are well-educated T-shaped professionals who are able to apply historical knowledge and sound analytical tools to address contemporary issues relevant to the nation, the region, and the world. Technologically savvy and culturally attuned to changing national and regional developments and global concerns, they will thrive professionally and personally in today’s globalized world and knowledge-based economies.

Historical Discipline

Studying history is not about memorizing a body of specific facts and acquiring the capacity to regurgitate them when asked. History majors instead are trained to develop an eye for significant problems and issues throughout history, formulate penetrating research questions, identify and verify the authenticity of relevant sources, embark on the collection of historical information via appropriate quantitative or qualitative methods, analyze the data collected, and present their findings and conclusions in meaningful and persuasive ways through well-written narratives. Through this process, students acquire sound research skills, develop rigorous analytical capacities, cultivate powerful problem-solving skills, and obtain culturally sensitive and compelling communication skills to thrive in the globalized world as scholars, public servants, and private businesspeople. The faculty members at the History programme, who teach and write the modern and contemporary histories of Asia and the world as well as the histories of business, the environment, gender, medicine, science, and technology seek to train outstanding students to acquire those transferable and specialized skills.