General History – Field of study catalogue MU
Students of the doctoral degree study programme in Czech/general history will acquire a thorough knowledge of Czech/general history and become experts in their specialist subjects. They will acquire an appropriate and systematic knowledge of historiography and the philosophy of history and will have an active grasp of at least one world language and, depending on their specialization, will also understand source languages (Latin, Old German). They will apply their knowledge to their own academic research, which will rely on sophisticated heuristics, including independent archive research, and will lead to new academic findings and results which will be presented in the form of academic studies and publications in specialist journals. They will be prepared for a lifetime of acquiring new specialist knowledge and the methodology whereby it can be critically evaluated.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- demonstrate a knowledge of the key developmental trends and issues in Czech and general history from the Middle Ages to the present day and of the basic academic literature, with an emphasis on the epochs and periods to which the doctoral thesis relates
- demonstrate familiarity with the latest results from Czech and international research on selected historical issues
- master and apply theoretical and methodological approaches towards the analysis of historical phenomena and processes
- demonstrate familiarity with the main historiographical schools of thought
Graduates of the doctoral history programme will be fully prepared to work as specialists, primarily in the field of historical research but also in other areas and disciplines which require an education in the humanities.
In addition to their specialized knowledge, they will also be capable of independent thought and action, critical and rational thinking, and systematic work with information. They will be able to work in universities, academic institutions and museums, in the translation and publication of academic literature, in the media and in the private sector.
The basis of the doctoral programme at the Department of History is independent, systematic preparation for producing a specialized piece of academic writing under the guidance of a supervisor, and with the specialist and organizational support of the department and the relevant boards and committees. It is also possible to consult with other specialized institutions or carry out part of the doctoral work abroad. The supervisor will provide the doctoral student with methodological assistance in heuristics, finding their way around the most recent literature, establishing the basic concept and method for their thesis topic, and searching for the best solution to specific research problems, as well as overseeing the implementation of the study plan.
The doctoral programme can be completed in an internal or combined form, with admission to the course being determined by an interview at which students present their research project and the methodology required to carry it out.
The study plan includes compulsory modules which, in addition to the rudiments of philosophy and methodology, a world language and the history of historiography, involve: a/ guest lectures, b/ doctoral readings in the form of seminars, c/seminars focusing on students’ own heuristic work and interpretations of their results. Students are expected to spend time studying abroad and to actively publish work.
At the end of the course, students take the final doctoral exam and defend their doctoral thesis.
The final exam is held in front of a panel consisting of experts from the particular specialization. The exam takes the form of a discussion aimed at testing students’ knowledge of the key developmental trends and issues in history and the basic academic literature related to them, with an emphasis on epochs and periods which are connected to the topic of the thesis. It also tests students’ familiarity with the main historiographical schools of thought and their ability to understand the latest results of Czech and international research on selected historical issues.
The Faculty of Arts regulations stipulate that the minimum length of a doctoral thesis should be 180,000 characters. The defence takes place in public in front of a panel made up of the chairperson, the supervisor, and specialists in the subject area. The defence typically consists of the presentation of the doctoral candidate by the supervisor, the presentation of the main points of the thesis by the candidate, the presentation of the assessments, the response to the assessments, and a discussion. Following the discussion, the panel votes and awards a grade.