Major: History

Minor: Geography

Summary of Courses

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History enlightens the students with a critical analysis through a better understanding of the past in order to understand the present in view of a better future. Students comprehend the situation of Rwanda, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. They are also able to make research and write a scientific work. In addition, they will be able to teach with mainly participatory approach. This subject develops students’ values such as efficiency, tolerance and mutual respect. It fits the needs of Rwanda such as poverty alleviation and especially the Rwandan Education System by training teachers of high calibre and the region in general


On completion of the programme, the student should be able to:

  1. Explain sources of the history of Rwanda and the components of the civilization of Ancient Rwanda
  2. Interpret correctly without bias important facts of Rwandan and African history in therelationship of the international and regional environment without bias;
  3. Explain the role of ancient civilizations and their contribution to the current world period
  4. Discuss main changes of the contemporary period to understand better the present situation
  5. Explain the political, social, economic and cultural changes in Rwanda and Africa during the 20th Century
  6. Teach accurately history courses of secondary schools;
  7. Carry out a scientific research
  8. Analyze critically written and oral documents;
  9. Explain some specialized topics in history such as education in Rwanda, art, religion and nonalignment
  10. Explain and compare the causes and consequences of Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi with other genocides;
  11. Chair a debate on unity among nations and contemporary issues as well;
  12. Explain or chair a debate on issues of international relations on a historical perspective.

Structure and Requirements for Graduation

In order for AUCA student to graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Education with History, he/she should complete the requirements as outlined in the table above and as described below.

General Education Courses

For the general education courses, check the section of general education requirements for more details.

Core (Professional) Courses

For the core (professional courses) in Education, check the section of core (professional) requirements for more details.

Major and Minor in History

For the Major (concentration) or Minor in History, check the following tables:

List of Major (Concentration) Courses in History

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List of Minor Courses in Geography for History Major students

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HIST 224 History of Africa in the 20th Century 2 credits

The course on the History of Africa in the 20th century analyzes the impact of colonial administration on African societies. It deals with the process of decolonization and the challenges of this continent after independence. An imposed partition of Africa; Colonial systems in Africa; Colonial impositions (taxes, labor); Reactions to colonial rule; Particular cases: South African Union, Algeria; Last conquests (Morocco and Libya); Independent African countries on the eve of World War I; African economic dependence (favorable market for the metropolis, exploitation of colonies, limited investments, exploitation of raw materials); World War and imperialistic rivalries in Africa (support and opposition to metropolis, eviction of Germany, strengthening of Union of South Africa, Portuguese concerns); Between two wars periods (American and Japanese penetration, German return, Italian war attitude, population growth); World War II ; Emancipation of Africa (strategies and role of different actors: political parties, unions); Challenges after independence (problem of national unity, economic dependency, fight against balkanization, efforts of regional integration, problem of debts, problem of aid, population growth, social problems, democratization of institutions, apartheid and its end, etc).

HIST 328 History of Religions 3 credits

This course aims at giving to the students, knowledge on the history of the religions of the Middle-East (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), East-Asiatic Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Shinto) and African traditional religions. A particular attention will be paid to the role of these religions in Africa; Origin or Phenomenology of Religion; Evolution and expansion of Eastern Asia religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto; Birth and Expansion of religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Conflicts between different religions; Evolution of mysticism; Traditional religions in Africa; Syncretism and the contemporary world; Development of new religions and its impact on the society.

SMTH 317 Special Methodology of Teaching History 2 credits

This course examines the various history teaching methods with particular attention to participatory approach and the teaching of controversial and sensitive topics in History. The student will also elaborate some lessons and teach them to his colleagues by respecting acquired guidelines. This course equips the students with qualities or ethics of an ideal teacher. It develops a sense of critical thinking to students while preparing their lessons. Critical attention will be given to the following topics: What is history; The aim and task of history teaching; How to prepare a history lesson; Strengths and weaknesses of different methods of teaching history (Text book method, Story telling method, Discussion method, Biographical method, Lecture method, Note dictation, Assignment method); Place of teaching aids in History; Notes as a learning aid in History; Use of primary sources; Use of electronic sources; Use of audio-visual in the teaching of History; Field work/tours; Creation of an historical atmosphere in class; Written work in History; Teaching controversial and sensitive topics in History; Teaching students sense of time; Evaluation in History; The position of history teacher.

HIST 314 History of Political Thoughts 2 credits

This course seeks to ensure that students have a clear understanding of political thoughts during ancient, middle, modern and contemporary periods. It enables students to critically appreciate political themes that emerged and are emerging throughout the history. A particular attention will also be paid to African case. Definition of key-concepts (State, political ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, fascism, political systems: sovereign power, democracy, totalitarianism democracy Types of States: monarchy and republic, constitution; democratic systems, etc.). Social and Political Thoughts in Ancient Times and Middle Ages (Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Niccolo Machiavelli). Social and Political Thoughts in Modern Times (Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart, Thomas Hobbes, etc.); Social Political Thoughts during Contemporary period (John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Hanah Arendt, Alexis Tocqueville, Edmund Burke, Karl Marx, Pierre Proudhon, etc); Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa (African identity, birth and evolution of panafricanism and African integration).

HIST 316 Critique and Research Method in History 3 credits

This course will familiarize the students with some key rules, which will help them to understand and analyze history sources. It helps the learners to be more critical not only in learning process but also in any other environment. Main skills for doing a scientific study in history are also acquired through this course; History and Facts; General Historiography; Understanding a critic of History; Sources of History; Nature of History (varieties of historical literature, major problems in historical thinking, history and other disciplines); Historical evidence; Using evidence: Internal criticism (literal meaning and real meaning, other sources of error in internal criticism, checklist of internal criticism, corroboration, contradiction and measurement); Using evidence: External criticism (its aim and auxiliary disciplines); Data collection, analysis and synthesis; Quantitative and qualitative methods; Use of references.

HIST 326 Third World and Policy of Nonalignment 2 credits

This course explores the problems of Third World Countries. Their importance both politically and geographically will be established. In this perspective, the presentation of the Third World will broadly demonstrate the political awakening of the colonized countries after 1945 and the repercussions of the Cold War on the Third World. Definition of concepts such as Panafricanism, Panasianism, nonalignment, neo-colonialism; Decolonization of Third World Countries; Third World, the Cold War and Nonalignment; South-South relations; North-South cooperation; Main challenges of Third World countries.

HIST 228 Art History 3 credits

This course familiarizes the students with the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and look. This includes the “major” arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture as well as the “minor” arts of ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects. The contents also discuss the definitions (aesthetic, art history); Ancient art; Medieval art; Modern and contemporary art.

HIST 415 History of Education in Rwanda 2 credits

The History of Education in Rwanda helps the students to understand the historical evolution of formal education in Rwanda, different educational reforms and their objectives and impact on Rwandan society from the colonial period up to now. The contents of the course includes the following: Traditional education; Philosophy/Ideologies of education from pre-colonial period up to now; Role of Churches and colonial administration; Imported programmes: transfer of North-African programmes, influence of Jesse Jones report on education in Belgian Congo and in Ruanda-Urundi and institution of Afro-American system; Image and role of educated people; Importance of educating women; Use of Afro-American system; Reform of 1948 and its implications; Towards adoption of metropolitan programmes; Mains reforms after independence (1960-64, 1978, etc); Policy of quotas in education; Late introduction of Tertiary education; Main changes after 1994.

HIST 418 Colonial Systems and Facts 2 credits

This module aims at familiarizing the student with the facts and colonial systems. In this perspective, the aim of the module is to enlighten the ideology that underlies the colonization in general and Africa in particular (its political, economic, cultural and psychological consequences). Development of colonization; Slavery; European expansion; Partition of the world; Reactions to European occupation; Different colonial systems; Colonial economy; Education of the elites; Colonization and Christianity.

HIST 419 Gender History 2 credits

The course on Gender History helps the students to understand the causes and goals of feminist movements and thinkers to obtain women’s rights. It deals with not only feminist movements’ waves in Europe and their evolution in other parts of the world but also with the fight for equal opportunities for men and women. Definitions: gender, feminism, masculinity; The history of feminist, masculine theories; The role of thinkers during the Enlightenment in the promotion of women’ rights: Jeremy Bentham, Marquis de Condorcet, Wollstonecraft and A Vindication and other important writers); Educational reform, women’s campaign in the 19th century; Waves of feminism; Local histories of feminism.

HIST 415 Comparative History of Genocides 2 credits

The teaching of Genocides helps students move from thought to judgment to participation as they confront the moral questions inherent in a study of violence, racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry. It reveals the universal connections of history through a rigorous examination of a particular history. It seeks to further a commitment to adolescents as the moral philosophers of our society and help them build a “civil society” through an understanding that turning neighbor against neighbor leads to violence (FHAO). The students have to learn this course without prejudices, but with objectivity and critical thinking. The course describes the definitions of key concepts (crime against humanity, massacres, holocaust, shoah, genocide, memory, denial/negation, revisionism); some massacres from Ancient Times (Peloponnesian War, Mongols, massacres of Indians in America, Christianity and its expansion in the world, Wars of Chaka, colonial expansion, Vendee, repressions in China (Taiping, Tibet), Herero, partition of India and its aftermath, massacres of communists in Indonesia, Sudan, Indian of Paraguay (Ache), Kurdish case, etc.; Identity and the society; Race and science; Stereotyping/hatred propaganda; Obeying orders/accomplices; Bystanders; Genocides of the 20th century (Armenian, Jewish, Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi): causes, phases and consequences; The role of international community and the right of interference/intervention; Prevention of genocide (the principle of tolerance, education and memory, memorials, acknowledging the past, education and the future, role of models in a democracy, social justice, etc.).

HIST 416 History of International Relations 2 credits

This course discusses main issues, which led to the organization of current world and institutions. The students will understand the factors, which influence relationship between countries and the role of political leaders in the shaping of international relations. Factors influencing international relations; Philosophy of International Relations; Birth of modern states; Vienna congress and its international effects; European expansion and domination of other continents; The role of alliances in international relations: German unification and Bismarck’s foreign policy; The formation of blocs and the Balkan Problem; The Peace treaty and the interwar period; The bipolarization of the world and its aftermath; New international issues; The role of international institutions.

EDRE 421 Research Project (Memoire) 6 credits

This course deals with a research problem that a student develops while taking classes at AUCA. The problem is approved by the Faculty of Education. After approval, the student writes the introduction, reviews the literature related to the topic, writes the methodology in which the student shows how the data will be collected, collects the data, analyzes and interprets results and then gives appropriate conclusions and recommendations. This course is taken towards the end of the study.

HIST 212 History of Rwanda 3 credits

This module seeks to familiarize the students with the sources of history of Rwanda. It analyses the birth and expansion of Rwanda. It describes the main components of traditional institutions. Moreover, it deals with the colonial impact on Rwandan society. Finally, the role of first and second republics in different domains is discussed. Having successfully completed this module, the students should demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of, the different types of the sources of History of Rwanda, the settlement of the population in Rwanda, the birth and expansion of Rwanda, the socio-political institutions in traditional Rwanda, the effects of colonial domination on Rwandan society, the first and second republics.

HIST 127 Panorama of History I 3 credits

This module familiarizes the student with the facts of ancient, medieval and modern history. It looks very briefly at Moslem civilization in the intellectual, artistic, economic and political domains to the modern times. The students will understand the influence of these periods on the contemporary societies. Having successfully completed this module, the students should demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of, birth and development of classic civilizations, role of Islam and Christianity in Europe, Medieval society, Asian, American and Australian societies, Renaissance, Enlightenment period, American and French Revolutions.

HIST 127 Panorama of History II 3 credits

This module aims at defining main concepts of contemporary period and it explains the context in which they appeared and evolved. The World War I and the problems; which occurred before it are clearly analyzed. The module analyzes how political failures facilitated the development of fascist regimes and serious economic problem faced by liberal societies. It aims also at enlightening the evolution of the world after the Second World Conflict and current main issues. Having successfully completed this module, the students should demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of: the definition of contemporary history and problems of chronology, economic depression, fascist regimes, World War I and II and their effects, current main issues in international relations.