MA in Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Classical Studies


Program Description

University of Groningen

The MA-track Classics offers education in a wide range of skills to the aspiring classicist: from in-depth analysis of all aspects of a Greek or Latin text to interdisciplinary and thematic studies of important facets of Classical Antiquity.

There are three different programs for those interested in Classics; the courses presented on this page are common to all three programs:

  • The one-year general MA-track, covered on this page;
  • The two-year Research Master CMEMS, with the option to specialize in Classics, for students wishing to pursue an academic career;
  • The two-year Educational Master, for students wishing to become a teacher in Classics; this MA combines the program covered here with the one-year Teacher Education program. This Dutch program is only open to students with sufficient Dutch language skills (NT2, program II).

In the one-year Master’s track, students acquire the knowledge and skills required of a professional classicist. The program in Groningen is known for its integration of classical languages and ancient cultural history. Students learn how to apply modern scholarly theories to ancient literary and material sources; they also hone their skills in the fields of philology, textual criticism and intertextuality by writing an academic commentary on a classical text. This master’s track offers flexibility in choosing between a more linguistic or a more cultural-historical approach; it is also possible to study epigraphy at another faculty within the Masterlanguage program or to include a work placement in the program.

Our alumni are skilled writers and have eye for detail but also for the bigger picture, which makes them sought-after employees in many fields, including (but not limited to) education, publishing, the cultural sector, journalism, and the government.

This Master’s track is also offered on a part-time basis.

NB The language of instruction is English; Dutch students (excepting those following the Research Master) are allowed, however, to write their papers and thesis in Dutch, since many will pursue a career in the Netherlands.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • A broad approach to Antiquity;
  • Integration of classical languages and ancient cultural history;
  • Strong expertise in Hellenistic literature, Greek linguistics, Greek religion, Latin poetry of the early Empire, commentaries, literature in its spatial and socio-cultural context;
  • Relatively small and friendly community;
  • Internationally orientated research climate;
  • Excellent teaching: two staff members elected Lecturer of the Year;
  • A vibrant university city with many international students.


Year 1

To discover the full breadth of education in Classics, all students in this track follow a commentary course, an interdisciplinary course, and a thematic course, and write a thesis on a subject related to Greek or Latin literature. In addition, they can choose from several other courses to create their own personalized program.

  • Commentary course: students are trained in the critical use of commentaries on Greek and Latin texts and learn how to write such a commentary themselves. In both 2018-19 and 2019-20, the subject is Didactic poetry.
  • Interdisciplinary course: students study a subject on the interface between classical languages and ancient history/archaeology. In 2019-20, the subject is Text, Language and Religion in the Ancient World, with attention to digital humanities. (2018-19: Landscape and Memory)
  • Thematic courses: in two thematic courses (one for each language), students study a specific theme in classical texts. For 2019-20, the titles are to be announced. (2018-19: Fate and Fortune in Classical Literature.)

In addition, students can partake in the Research Seminar of the Ancient History-track, do a work placement to get acquainted with a job sector, follow a course at the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome (, follow a course within the Masterlanguage programme (2019-20: Greek or Latin epigraphy) or choose one of the 11 interdisciplinary seminars offered by the Faculty.


  • Interdisciplinary course: Text, Language, and Religion in the Ancient World (5 EC)
  • Thematic course (Greek); title to be announced (5 EC)
  • Commentary course: Didactic Poetry (10 EC)
  • Greek Epigraphy (5 EC, optional)
  • Thematic course (Latin); title to be announced (5 EC)
  • Interdisciplinary research seminar (Faculty courses) (10 EC, optional)
  • Master's Thesis (20 EC)
  • Master's work placement (10 EC, optional)
  • Research Seminar Ancient History (10 EC, optional)


In addition to the range of course units provided by this track itself, students can also follow Masterlanguage courses. Master language is a national program that offers courses for students of European languages, but also of Greek and Latin. The courses are jointly organized by lecturers from Radboud University, the University of Groningen, Leiden University, Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
language test Extra taaleis Engels: een vwo-diploma of een certificaat vwo Engels (cijfer 6 of hoger), minimum TOEFL eis iBT 90 (met een minimum van 21 voor alle onderdelen), of IELTS 6.5 (met een minimum van 6 voor alle onderdelen). Talencentrum Engels test (LCET) niveau C1 (B2 voor niet meer dan 2 onderdelen). Als je een VWO diploma hebt, hoef je geen taaltoets te overleggen.

International diploma

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).

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

As a graduate, there are many career options open to you. If you wish to apply your knowledge of the ancient world and its research, you may work in an academic library or in museums.

Following this one-year also does not exclude the option of becoming a teacher of Classics in a secondary school; you can obtain a qualification by following the one-year postmaster LHVO at the college of education (NB this postmaster requires a minimum level of proficiency in Dutch: NT2 program II).

The skillset of a classicist is highly valued elsewhere, too. Typically, our graduates have a keen sense of language, good writing skills, a critical and analytical mind; having been trained to overview an ancient society in its many aspects, you will be able to reflect on culture and society. You can therefore also work in journalism, the cultural sector, publishing or the civil service. Other examples can be found on the website of the study association of Classics in Groningen, Boreas (in Dutch).

Job examples

  • Publisher
  • The staff member in a museum or (academic) library
  • Journalist
  • Communications consultant
  • Government employee


The expertise of the staff members of the Greek and Latin department in Groningen covers a wide range of subjects in the fields of Greek and Latin linguistics and literature, ancient philosophy, classical archaeology, and ancient history.

Specific research interests include Hellenistic literature; linguistics; Greek religion, festivals, and sport; Greek comedy; Latin poetry of the early Empire; Late antiquity; reception studies; narratology; literature in its social context; landscape in literature and archaeology.

The staff's research interests are reflected in our classes. Furthermore, students are encouraged to attend the CRASIS Ancient World Seminar, where internationally acclaimed scholars are invited to present papers and the students and staff from all Groningen departments with an interest in Antiquity meet and discuss their research. Every two years, our department hosts the international Groningen Workshop on Hellenistic poetry.

Current funded research programs for Classics and Ancient History in Groningen:

  • Anchoring the Fascist Revolution. The Classical Languages under Fascism – Bettina Reitz-Joosse, Nicolò Bettegazzi, Nelleke Koornstra
  • Landscapes of War, VENI-grant – Bettina-Reitz Joosse
  • Polytheism as language. A linguistic approach to divine plurality in the religious experience of Greek worshippers, VENI-grant – Saskia Peels
  • Connected Contests. Festival networks in the ancient world, Digital Humanities-grant University of Groningen, Onno van Nijf, Christina Williamson
  • Carving Communities in Stone: Inscriptions as a medium of Hellenistic globalization, Ph.D. project – Sjoukje Kamphorst
Last updated Feb 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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