Studies in the department are divided into five periods:
- The biblical period
- The period of the Second Temple, the Mishnah and the Talmud
- The Middle Ages
- The Early Modern Era
- The Late Modern Era and the State of Israel
The MA programme seeks to train students to conduct historical research, to acquire a deeper understanding of their area of specialisation, and to broaden their knowledge of the discipline of history and of Jewish history.
The MA programme offers two tracks: research and non-research. The culmination of the research track is the MA thesis—an independent research project, relatively limited in scope, in which students strive to create their own historical research, usually for the first time. The non-research track also trains students to work as historians. Both tracks include MA seminars, in which source materials are studied, and in which students learn how to draw conclusions from historical information. The experience of discovery and innovation is central to both tracks.