MA in Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History


Program Description

University of Groningen

What are the classical roots of modern politics? How did religious landscapes interact with political networks? What made the Roman Empire so successful? Why was the sport so important to the Greeks?

These are some of the many questions that you can study in Groningen. In Groningen, we offer Ancient History as a one-year Master's track -in English- with a full-time and a part-time tangent. While we cover the whole of antiquity, from archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire, our focus lies on the political, cultural, and religious connectivities of the Mediterranean world. Ancient History in Groningen is interdisciplinary in character and interacts with religious studies, material culture studies, but also with other historical periods. In Groningen, you will become familiar with various theoretical approaches and methodologies, and digital humanities play a strong role in our teaching and research. Our topics range from elite culture to daily life using a wide variety of data – besides literary sources, you will explore ways that inscriptions, papyri, and material culture cast a radically different light on the ancient world.

Ancient History is a track within the Master's degree program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. Within this track, we offer three specializations:

  • Ancient History and Culture
  • Ancient History and Religious Studies
  • Ancient History and Premodern History


Year 1


  • Landscape and Memory (5 EC)
  • 2 Research Seminar. Exploring Late Antiquity (10 EC)
  • Elective Greek epigraphy: Essay (5 EC, optional)
  • Elective Greek epigraphy: pensum (5 EC, optional)
  • GLTC Commentaarcollege Grieks en Latijn (10 EC, optional)
  • Track Ancient History and Culture (20 EC, optional)
  • Track Ancient History and Premodern Studies (20 EC, optional)
  • Track Ancient History and Religious Studies (20 EC, optional)
  • Master stage Oudheidsstudies (10 EC, optional)
  • 2 Research Seminar: Athletes and Oracles - Festival, sport, and encounter in Ancient Greece (10 EC)
  • Ma-thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations (20 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
language test Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components).
previous education Bachelor's degree in Classics, History, Archaeology or another relevant program.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 January 2020

15 August 2020

01 February 2020

01 September 2020

EU/EEA students

15 October 2019

01 May 2020

15 October 2020

01 February 2020

01 September 2020

01 February 2021

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2019

01 May 2020

15 October 2020

01 February 2020

01 September 2020

01 February 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 2083 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 12500 full-time
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time

Job prospects

Job examples

  • Historical Researcher
  • Policy Officer
  • Educator


University of Groningen's research on Ancient History covers a wide range, from the Greek Classical period up to and including the Late Roman Empire, and from religion and political representation to network theory.

We are part of the large History department, which provides us with many opportunities for comparative teaching and research. In addition, we enjoy the full advantages of the diverse Groningen expertise in Classical Studies: a thriving Classical Studies department, a good Mediterranean Archaeology department, and a prominent Faculty of Theology. We collaborate intensively with all of these departments in our teaching and research.

Our permanent staff is all active and internationally published researchers with research experience abroad and many international contacts. Our research projects are organized under the title Political Culture, Religion and Identities from the Hellenistic Period to Late Antiquity. Our research takes place under OIKOS, the National Research School in Classical Studies, and is locally subsumed under ICOG, the Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture, and CRASIS, Culture, Religion, and Society in the Ancient World. We are partners in Anchoring Innovation, the research initiative of the research school OIKOS which was awarded a gravitation grant that will allow us to initiate exciting new research projects.

Prof van Nijf and Dr. Williamson were recently awarded a 4-year grant for their project Connecting the Greeks that investigates the development of festival networks in the Hellenistic world; this project continues to expand the project Connected Contests, the online database of athletes in the ancient world.

Dr. Jan Willem Drijvers has been the recipient for numerous grants and fellowships for his work on Late Antiquity, among others from the National Humanities Center and Dumbarton Oaks in the USA, in Oxford, Göttingen, Yale, Jerusalem, and Sydney.

Dr. Jeremia Pelgrom has co-directed two projects from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) that focus on mapping the Via Appia and landscapes of early colonization in Italy in the mid-Republican period.

Our teaching and research are characterized by a focus on interdisciplinary approaches. In our research projects, we work together with archaeologists, classical studies experts, and religious studies experts, and most of our Ph.D. students are supervised in collaboration with experts from these disciplines. We are also involved in supervising Ph.D. students from other departments.

There is an active group of Ph.D. students at the Ancient History department and neighboring departments. Recent and current Ph.D. projects include the following:

  • Inscriptions as a medium of Hellenistic globalization
  • Finding the Present in the Distant Past: The Cultural Meaning of Antiquarianism in Late Antiquity
  • Patronage and social hierarchies in Rome
  • Cultural identities in the Latin colonies of Central Italy
  • Emperors and decurions in Italy (27 BC-AD 68)
  • City and sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor
  • Societal Changes reflected in material culture: the Greek agora in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
  • Citizens, elites, and benefactors: The politics of generosity in Roman Asia Minor

Our Ph.D. and Research MA students are involved in the CRASIS Ancient World Seminar.

Last updated Oct 2019

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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