Big History


mw. ir. E. Quadeackers

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 can register themself from 7 December 2017 (look for code 5512BGH12Y in SIS) until a week before the start of the course. If you have any trouble while registering please contact:

Other parties, such as contract students, students from other institutions or UvA employees, who are interested can register from November 2017 via the application form on Datanose.


Lecture dates and locations can also be found on 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

Exam dates

30 May, 18 July (resit)

Additional information

More information on the big history course can be found on

Kortlopend, open uva-college
12 EC, 16 weken

Gepubliceerd door  Instituut voor Interdisciplinaire Studies