About us / Schools

Historical and Contemporary Studies

Interior from Södertörn UniversityThe School of Historical and Contemporary Studies looks for links between the past and contemporary society.

The study of material remains, cultural phenomena, religious beliefs and practices, political ideas and historic events allows us to investigate how people have organised, and still organise, their communities, their conceptual worlds, their environments and their lives. How is our situation as cultural and social beings created, maintained and changed? The school conducts research and education in the subjects of Archaeology, Archive Studies, Ethnology, History, History of Ideas and the Study of Religions. It is also home to two research centres: MARIS, which explores the Baltic region's maritime artefacts, and the Institute of Contemporary History, which studies contemporary politics and processes using an interdisciplinary approach.

Historical and Contemporary Studies

The School of Historical and Contemporary Studies is a fascinating multidisciplinary environment for students, teachers and researchers, as well as for anyone with an interest in contemporary society and its historical roots. The school has a staff of around 100 whose work includes education, research and external relations.

Archaeology analyses and interprets material remains so that it is possible to decipher what they can tell us about social change over long periods of time. One specialisation at Södertörn University is marine archaeology, where the MARIS research group is a leader in research into the Baltic Sea region's maritime artefacts.

Archive Studies offers vocationally-linked education at the intersection between the humanities and IT. A modern archivist works in a field that combines the preservation of a cultural heritage with digital information management.

Ethnology conducts research and education in how people's normal lives interact with overarching social processes. How do we create and change our culture? Södertörn University places a special focus on issues of European cultural diversity.

History studies how mankind has built up and changed its communities and living conditions, over the centuries, through cultural, political, economic and social processes. What brought society to its current position?

The Institute of Contemporary History has an important role in considering these issues. It is a research centre that is tasked with increasing interest in citizen issues and modern political development. Researchers from many academic fields are active at the institute.

History of Ideas is a subject that is at the borders of both history and philosophy, with a focus on human thought and ideas, and our conceptual world. The subject attempts to understand how political beliefs, science, theories and ideologies have shaped mankind's understanding of its own world, as well as our ways of forming and organising it.

The Study of Religions examines the role of religion in modern, multifaith Europe. The subject studies religions and belief systems from history and from the contemporary world. Burning contemporary issues are approached from humanist/social science perspectives.

Courses and degrees

The School of Historical and Contemporary Studies offers all levels of higher education: Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral (first, second and third cycles). We also offer places on a number of freestanding courses as well as Bachelor’s degrees, e.g. the European Programme. In this multidisciplinary programme Europe is studied from different social science and humanist perspectives, and the students also choose one of four possible main subjects: ethnology, the study of religion, public law or political science. Within this programme it is also possible to spend a term at a university abroad or as a student on placement.

Our research area for doctoral studies, Historical Studies, offers Master's courses and multidisciplinary doctoral studies in Archaeology, Ethnology, History, History of Ideas and the Study of Religions. We work with the university's Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS) and the National Graduate School of History, as well as with a number of other higher education institutions in Sweden.