University of Valencia logo Logo Master's Degree in History and Identities in the Western Mediterranean (15th to 19th C.) Logo del portal

General Background

Throughout history, the Mediterranean has been a space for intense encounters between societies and civilisations: exchanges and conflicts; trade and wars; cultural creativity and irreconcilable intolerance. Between the 15th and the 19th centuries, when modern European society was born, the Mediterranean underwent a deep transformation that defined the new framework for political and economic relations, as well as new cultural horizons. However, the creation of empires, monarchies and states frequently resulted in armed conflicts; emerging humanist and scientific studies had to exist alongside superstition, ignorance and intolerance; and the construction of a global economy redefined the dimension of the Mediterranean space. Besides their irrefutable intrinsic attraction, a study of these processes provides the clues to understanding the world of today.


The objective of the Master's Degree in History and Hispanic Identities in the Western Mediterranean (15th–19th Centuries) is to train specialists in the historical development and configuration of the identities of the societies of the Western Mediterranean during the Modern Age. It offers an overview of the history in that period, as well as the skills for examining it and setting up research projects. It also provides perspectives for a better historical understanding of the problems faced by the process of the political construction of the European Union today, such as the reciprocal sovereignty limits between its members, the harmonisation of entities with different cultural and historical traditions and the need to look for a common ideological foundation that respects the identities of its constituent parts.


The knowledge covered by this master's degree is the result of closely studying the complex historical processes that took place in the Mediterranean in the Modern Age from various perspectives and focusing on the different historical approaches and work with sources. The course covers one academic year. In the first semester, students begin to study the historiography and the sources, and the political, social, cultural and economic aspects of the Western Mediterranean in the Modern Age. In the second semester, students are introduced to areas of specialisation, in which (depending on the subjects offered that year) they can choose subjects in different fields, such as the Mediterranean as a space for exchange, the influence of the environment on societies, war or spirituality and the control of conscience.  Finally, students must produce a dissertation (master’s thesis) showing the competences and abilities they have acquired during the semester. They have to defend their work in public before an examination panel.


The master's degree is mainly aimed at research and doctoral studies, but it is also intended for professionals in fields such as education, archival science, museography, publishing, and the management of cultural and intercultural processes. The last of these now has a significant presence in the context of relations between the European Union, the Mediterranean area and the Maghreb.


The master's degree is taught jointly by the universities of Barcelona (UB), Valencia (UVEG), Alicante (UA) and the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló (UJI). Students can follow the entire master's programme in any of those centres, without the need to travel, as it includes face-to-face and online classes with lecturers from the four universities, who move between the four sites. The lecturers, who are well-known experts and scholars, have vast experience in education and research on the Mediterranean from the 15th to the 19th century. This is partly because this master's degree is the result of an adaptation of the Interuniversity Master's Degree in History and Hispanic Identities in the Western Mediterranean that was taught in the UVEG, the UA and the UJI for six years and which passed the appropriate assessments.