Master in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Our Research Master’s program in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies focuses on interdisciplinary study of the material, social, and intellectual developments in Europe (including the Mediterranean region) from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Within this long period, you can focus on your academic interests by choosing one of the following tracks:

  • Ancient Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Early Medieval Insular Languages and Cultures
  • Renaissance Studies

Within each track, you will work with source materials in their original languages, including in manuscript form. The Ancient Studies track has a keen interest in cultural interactions within and between ancient civilizations and includes a variety of research methods, such as archaeology and epigraphy, to the study of the ancient world. The Medieval Studies and Renaissance Studies tracks go beyond a solely historical approach by including courses in literature, linguistics, art history, musicology, and history. In the Medieval Studies track, you may specialize in either Medieval History, Medieval Art History, Medieval Literature, or Medieval Musicology. Medieval Celtic Studies combines literary studies with historical linguistics. Read more about the tracks.

The program is enhanced with research conducted by lecturers who are internationally renowned in their fields of expertise. You are encouraged to work alongside these lecturers on research projects, and you can spend a semester abroad at one of the many universities with which we have research links. After graduation, approximately 50% of graduates go on to undertake a Ph.D., either in the Netherlands or abroad.

For those with ambitions outside research, courses are being developed on ‘Heritage and Cultural Transfer’ (including an internship in material culture, e.g. on written texts as objects), and on the uses of the ancient and medieval languages.

International Community

The program attracts students from the Netherlands and abroad. International students find an internationally unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of pre-modern civilizations. They quickly feel welcome in the community of teachers and students and fully participate in the program’s scholarly life.

Read more about our teaching and research environment, including our teaching staff.

After Graduation

This Research Master’s program will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to gain admission to Ph.D. programs in your chosen specialization; you can also conduct independent research and complete your doctoral dissertation. The program will give you the skills needed for your future career, including pursuing scholarly research to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Our program also prepares you for careers outside academia in management, politics, or the arts. The program is both academically and socially relevant; by developing your professional skills and your ability to work independently, you will be well prepared for the challenges of the modern employment market. Read more about possible career prospects.

Career Prospects

The Research Master’s program is designed for students with the ability and ambition to pursue an academic career. As of June 2014, 50% of graduates had started a Ph.D. program in the Netherlands or abroad. Others remained in the academic sphere with careers in secondary and higher education, museums, archives, publishing, translation, etc. Still, others have found jobs in management, politics and the arts. Almost all graduates found a job within two years of graduating.


To assist you in preparing for life after university as a scholar of Antiquity, the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, we offer three courses on ‘cultural transfer’ in the second year. In these courses, you become acquainted with ‘Premodern sources in modern contexts’, ‘tangible and intangible heritage’, and ‘theory and practice in archaeology and monument preservation’. You are also eligible for a work placement in ancient, medieval and renaissance studies.


Graduates of this program have received Ph.D. offers from (amongst others):

  • University of Wales
  • University of Princeton
  • Ghent University
  • University of Antwerp
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leeds
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • University of Vienna
  • Aberystwyth University

Alumnus Roy van Wijk is Junior Lecturer at Utrecht University. Alumna Nike Stam is a Ph.D. Candidate at Utrecht University.


You can also pursue a professional career in the field.

  • Historian Marc van Hasselt works as Event Manager at Archeon
  • Sales Representative at Broadview Press
  • Museum Guide at Sonnenborgh Museum

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less