To really understand the world in which we live, work, love and die, we need to know how our world has been shaped by developments and events in both the recent and distant pasts. Rural & Environmental History is responsible for the courses and programmes in history at Wageningen University & Research.

We offer courses, free subjects and thesis-subjects. The history courses taught in Wageningen provide insights into the origins of the global gap between rich and poor, the causes of societal resilience and collapse, the role gender, culture and class play in various societies, the relations between our individual diet choices and collective food provision and the emergence of sustainable societies. 

History courses offer even more than that. Our courses question aspects of the deep roots of human development by focussing on long-term processes of change. History reminds us that ‘development’ is a process, rather than a condition. And even though the future is in many ways unpredictable, knowledge of history aids to create a better understanding of the dynamics of change. This understanding is a potentially valuable part of your intellectual development and once appreciated, it will improve your capacity to make decisions in and contribute to your future academic and professional life.

Courses History

Theses and Internships

  • Thesis International Development Studies
  • Thesis Politics and Governance of Development
  • Thesis Economics and Governance
  • MSc Internship Rural and Environmental History

For more information about theses, go to the Theses page or send an e-mail to

More courses

Overview of courses in which Rural & Environmental History participates.

  • Analysis of a Problem Situationl YSS-10906
  • European Union Institutions and Policies PAP-21806
  • History of food production FPH-21306
  • Sustainability Transitions: Concepts, Issues and Indicators ENP-23806
  • Theories on Politics and Governance ENP-30506
  • Biosystems Engineering and Society RSO-12306
  • Politics, Policy Making and Accountability in International Arenas for Development PAP-31306
  • Orientation Course BSc Honours Programme YPH-11303
  • Demography and global population issues CHL-23806
  • Politics of Development: State, Property and Resistance SDC-35806
  • Global Food Security PPS-31306

    Open History courses

    We offer open history courses of 1, 3, 4, and 6 credits. The size of the paper and the amount of literature that the student has to read depends on the number of credits. The courses have no fixed themes and the content will be established by the lecturer and the individual student.

    Students may want to extend on themes from RHI courses, or may want to add a historical dimension to themes they came across in other courses and may even decide to bring in an entirely new theme. The open course of 6 credits could also be a good way to complete a history-minor.