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Big History will help you understand how everything around you became the way it is, so you can develop a better understanding of the challenges facing our societies now.  

A variety of renowned experts, ranging from astrophysicists to social scientists and historians, will take you on a journey that covers all of history, from the Big Bang until today. During the first part of each seminar, they will briefly discuss their research and explain some of the major processes underlying big history. Afterwards, there will be room for discussion based on your questions. State-of-the-art readings will explain what drove this history.

In the final project, you will apply what you've learned throughout the course to one aspect - of your choice - of our current world and think about this in a creative and interdisciplinary way. And finally, you will get to present your final project to your peers and guest moderators during a student symposium. 


Esther Quaedackers MSc.


You can find the timetable on Datanose

Entry requirements

Open to second-year and third-year UvA Bachelor's students and other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other Dutch higher education institutions. Master's students can only participate if there are still spots available. High school students are also welcome, please contact if you are interested.


UvA Bachelor's students can register from 4 to 11 December 2023 in the GLASS registration rounds. Master’s students can send a short motivation to

Other interested parties such as ‘Bijvak’ students, contract students and Uva Staff members can register until two weeks prior to the start of the course, by completing the online registration form. High school students can register by emailing to

If you have any trouble while registering, please contact us at


Prices can be found on the IIS website.

Microcredentials for professionals 

Contract students and UvA staff who successfully participated in the course’s assessment will receive information to obtain a digital certificate in the form of a microcredential. Big History is part of the national microcredentials pilot, with which the higher education field is shaping a system for online certification of individual educational units. More information about the pilot can be found here.

SDGs in education

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in our elective courses, honours modules and degree programmes and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDGs website.

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