Master in Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History


Program Description

Application deadline update

  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19)
  • EU/EEA students and students who do not need a study visa/residence permit through VU Amsterdam*: 1 June (the original deadline of 1 May has been extended due to COVID-19)

The Master's programme Ancient History offers you a stimulating environment in which you can study a broad range of historical issues focusing on the ancient world. You can choose your own personal study programme and will be able to further develop your own interest in the field of Greek and Roman antiquity.

Why study Ancient History in Amsterdam?

  • This Master’s degree programme is offered by two universities. The University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam combined their expertise on the field of ancient history and archaeology in the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). This merging of specialists from various academic disciplines creates a stimulating environment for collaboration and study.
  • The only Dutch universities offering the possibility to study the interaction between the Graeco-Roman world and the Ancient Near East.
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of the political, social, cultural and religious history of the ancient Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds.
  • Intensive classes consisting of small groups and direct personal contact with tutors.
  • The opportunity to study Ancient History in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, one of the most vibrant cultural and cosmopolitan cities of the world.
  • Amsterdam has its own antiquities museum, The Allard Pierson Museum, which is closely involved in the programme. The museum houses a large collection of ceramics, glass and bronzes from Greek and Roman Antiquity, as well as one of the most important collections of works of Classical Antiquity in the Netherlands and the wider European region.

This is what you will be doing
Throughout the programme you will come to grips with the main methodical and theoretical issues, as well as with the difficulties of interpreting different types of source material.

You will be thoroughly trained in analysing complicated historical issues using divergent source material, as well as developing reporting skills (both orally and in writing) on historical debates in Greek and Roman history.

Programme structure
The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:
42 credits for Core courses
18 credits for a Master’s thesis

Core Courses
First semester (Periods 1-3):
- Great Debates
- Interdisciplinary Seminar
- MA Course City and Empire: War, Memory and Civic Identity in Republican Rome

Second semester (Periods 4-6):
- City Life in the Roman Empire

You will choose for a tutorial between Greek Elite Culture in the Roman Empire and Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture.

An important part of the programme, the Master’s thesis enables you to conduct original research under the supervision of one of the staff members. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,00 ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less