Big History


mw. ir. E. Quadeackers

dr. F. Spier 

Learning goals

Students will learn to reflect on their own position in space and time, as seen from an unusually broad historical perspective.


Want to know how everything has become the way it is now? 

The English-language big history course for students from all departments offers a unique overview of the entire known history, from the beginning of the universe until life on Earth today. 

In 28 lectures, experts varying from astrophysicists to social scientists will jointly tell the exciting history of the universe, our solar system, Earth, life, and humanity, ending with a projection of what the future may bring. 

In addition, students will write their own little big history essay in Dutch or English about a topic of their choice. The required reading is the most advanced, yet easy to read, big history text available on the planet.  Students who successfully complete the course will earn 12 EC. 

More information on the big history course, including a detailed lecture schedule, can be found on


UvA students must register through SIS. The registration period starts 8 December 2016 until one week prior to the start of the course. The required study guide number is 5512BGH12Y.

Contract students and students from other institutions can enroll through the registration form. 


For the most up-to-date timetable visit datanose.

Course materials

Spier, Fred (2010). Big History and the Future of Humanity. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


See here.   

Number of participants



Multiple choice exam and essay

Additional information

More information on the big history course can be found on

Contract teaching
Conditions for admission
12 ECTS, 16 weeks
Language of instruction
Starts in

Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies