Baltic History

Graduate (Master Degree) study programme in the Baltic History

Contents of the Programme

The purpose of graduate studies at Klaipėda University is to enhance the knowledge of students obtained during the undergraduate studies, to improve skills and capacities, and develop their professional competences taking into account the labour market needs.  These studies, in addition to being oriented towards comprehensive training of a student for professional scientific research work, place much emphasis on the training of basic skills indispensable for solution of scientific and applied problems. In the course of graduate studies, theoretical and methodological qualifications of students are improved, abilities to analyze, systemize, evaluate, interpret, argue in current issues pertaining to political, social and cultural aspects of the past and the present. These studies provide for comprehensive research skills indispensible for collection of information, its competent analysis, systemization and evaluation. Upon completion of graduate studies for a Master’s Degree in history, graduates have the capacity to identify the key processes of the past of Lithuania and the countries of the Baltic region, and their interaction, they also acquire excellent skills of interpretation. At the same time, they get motivation to continuously refresh and deepen their knowledge after having acquired wide-profile specialization and competences, which they are able to use working not only in the institutions engaged in research of the past, but also in allied areas of activities, such as heritage preservation, archaeology, archival management, museology, teaching, communications, tourism, cultural management, in non-governmental institutions and for-profit organizations, which may require application of the skills of information acquisition and collection, its critical processing, interpretation and presentment, as well as the skills of solution of scientific and applied problems, analytical thinking, and knowledge of foreign languages. Besides, graduates, who completed graduate (Master’s Degree) studies, possess comprehensive training for an independent research work; therefore, they are in the position to continue learning under the third level study programmes (postgraduate or doctoral studies) at Klaipėda University or other Lithuanian and foreign universities.

The study programme offered by the Department of History of Klaipėda University differs from graduate (Master Degree) study programmes in the field of history available in other universities of Lithuania in placing emphasis on the issues of the regional history studies. The lectures are focused on the analysis of historical issues pertaining to Lithuania and the Baltic Sea region in the Early Modern (16th to 18th  centuries) and Modern (19th to 20th centuries) periods, and especially to the transformations of identities that occurred in the region in the epochs of confessionalization and nationalism. Fundamentals of cultural anthropology, demonstrating the variety of possibilities in interpreting various cultural phenomena (including cultural landscape), are examined during the first term. In 2006, after resumption of graduate study programme in the Baltic History*, students for master’s degree have an opportunity to choose innovative study courses, which extend the topical and problem scope of speciality subjects, as well as optional courses that develop their competence and create better perspectives for choosing the sphere of professional activities, closely related to the profession of historian, taking into account the needs of labour market.

Lectures account for a small share of the graduate (Master Degree) study programme in the field of history. The remaining share (¾ of hourly workload) is intended for self-study and independent work of students, which efficacy and quality essentially determine the skills and competences acquired by them. Independent work of students includes preparation for classes and seminars, self-study of literature, writing papers and essays. Yet, the key task is preparing for an independently performed research for the Master’s thesis. Under the guidance of a research supervisor, this work proceeds over the entire period of graduate studies, and its progress is controlled by means of intermediary reporting done on the half-year basis. Master’s theses are defended publicly, they are assessed by two official opponents and the committee composed of the Department’s lecturers.

The overall scope of the study programme is 120 credits.

* The study programme was resumed after obtaining funding from the structural funds of the European Union under the Single Programming Document of Lithuania for 2004-2006, measure 2.5 “Improvement of Human Resources Quality in Scientific Research and Innovations.” At the time of resumption of the study programme, seven new interdisciplinary modules were developed: Archaeology and history of cultural landscape, Visualization of cultural heritage, Media archaeology, Regeneration of historical buildings and structures, Cultural heritage management, Cultural anthropology, Innovation strategies. Furthermore, six modules were revised and updated, and interactive educational material was developed for these modules.