MA in Archaeology (research)


Program Description

University of Groningen

Are you interested in archaeology and want to pursue a research career? Do you want a graduate program that combines intensive training and a flexible structure? Then this is the program for you!

The aim of the two-year Research Master in Archaeology is to provide you with the theoretical abilities and methodological skills which will enable you to become a successful researcher. You will develop a thorough understanding of key debates in archaeology, develop a critical attitude and acquire essential organizational, networking and teaching skills. Most importantly, you can tailor the program to your needs and special interests. The Research Master in Archaeology has a broad geographical and chronological coverage – from the Arctic and North-western Europe to the Mediterranean and the Near East, from the Mesolithic to historical archaeology.

In addition, the program will increase your chances in the job market: You can do an internship, or become a research assistant; you will also be trained in writing peer-reviewed articles, grant applications, and a Ph.D. proposal.

In the first year, you will attend three compulsory courses but can choose two courses yourself.

In the second year, you will once more attend two compulsory courses and one elective. You will complete the program by writing a thesis on a topic of your choice.

Why study this program in Groningen?

The REMA Archaeology has been designated a Top-Rated Program, the best graduate program in Archaeology in the Netherlands, for two years in a row. The program offers:

  • Challenging multidisciplinary approach
  • A combination of taught courses and (a broad range of) elective components
  • Intensive supervision by high-quality researchers in small groups
  • Close monitoring of progress


Year 1


  • Anthropocene: Humans Shaping the Earth (10 EC)
  • Current Issues in Archaeological Theory (10 EC)
  • Flexible Component (10 EC)
  • National Research School Courses (10 EC)
  • Death as a Mirror of Life (10 EC)
  • Flexible Component (10 EC)

Year 2


  • Flexible Component (10 EC)
  • Scientific approaches to Material Culture (10 EC)
  • The Archaeology of the Settled Landscape (10 EC)
  • Research Master's Thesis in Archaeology (30 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional


Throughout their study, students can build up their own program by choosing elective courses ('Flexible Component') from MA or REMA courses in Groningen or in other Dutch Universities, or opting for tutorials supervised by a member of staff – always in consultation with the Director of Studies. Students are expected to attend research seminars, which they can also help organize. They can also participate in courses on offer by the National Research School of Archaeology Archon, or in works, too.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
grade list Excellent academic record.
language test Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 100 (with a minimum of 25 on writing skills), or IELTS 7 (with a minimum of 6.5 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1
previous education BA in Archaeology
reference letter

Two letters of recommendation from relevant experts.

other admission requirements

Furthermore, the selection procedure is also based on an evaluation of degree certificates, individual results, and the thesis or paper.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 13500 full-time

Job prospects

The degree is excellent preparation for a research career in archaeology. While many of our graduates are successful in capturing a Ph.D. position in the Netherlands or abroad, they also have the possibility of obtaining other research-oriented positions (f.i. in museums, heritage institutions, and research institutes).

Job examples

  • Research-oriented career
  • Ph.D. research
  • Position in research institutes
  • Position in museum
  • Position in heritage institutions


The Research Master in Archaeology is offered by the Graduate School for the Humanities, which offers also courses for Research Master students. The program has close links with excellent national and international research schools and institutes, research projects, museums, laboratories, and cultural heritage services. The University of Groningen is well known for its superior laboratory facilities, excellent reference collections, and technical support which support archaeological research.

Research takes place in different institutes and centers at the University of Groningen.


The Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) is a research institute within the Faculty of Arts, responsible for all archaeological research within the University of Groningen.

Arctic Center

The Arctic Center functions as an information center for polar research in the Netherlands. Part of this research is carried out at the center itself, by the archaeologists, biologists, ecologists, geographers, and historians participating in the center in close co-operation.


CRASIS is an interfaculty research institute at the University of Groningen, dedicated to the study of the ancient world. Their aim is to advance the interdisciplinary study of the interplay between culture, religion, and society. They run monthly seminars and a very successful annual meeting, followed by a Masterclass.

Center for Isotope Research (CIO)

The Centre for Isotope Research operates under the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) and the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG). The Centre specializes in radiocarbon and stable isotope analysis and collaborates closely with the Groningen Institute of Archaeology.

Research Schools

It is possible for research master students to participate in seminars, courses and summer schools organized by the Dutch national research schools, such as OIKOS and ARCHON. These 'schools' are organized for the training of Ph.D. students, but some activities are open to or specially set up for you as a research master student. These events give you the opportunity to deepen your disciplinary profile and to become acquainted with top researchers in your field.

Research Institutes abroad

Check the websites of the Dutch Institutes in Rome (KNIR), Athens (NIA), Istanbul (NIT) for exciting courses on archaeology, heritage, history and the role of archaeology in the modern world – but also for language courses.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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