Master in Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Program Description

Master in Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Master in Ancient History

The Master's program Ancient History provides two specializations. Each specialization comprises two core modules that introduce you to a number of important debates in the field in question("Great Debates in Ancient Historical Studies"). There is also considerable emphasis on interdisciplinary research.

  • East-West Confrontations:
    There has always been a greater or lesser degree of mutual cultural interaction between the Near East and the Greek world. This applies to religious and artistic motifs, science, writing systems and public administration. The expertise of the teaching staff is concentrated mainly on the Hellenistic era (Alexander the Great in Mesopotamia), though earlier and later periods are also covered.

  • Religion and Culture:
    one of the core themes covered in this specialization is the culture of the Greek elite in the eastern half of the Roman Empire.

As part of these specializations, you can choose various modules such as ‘Confrontation between Greek and Mesopotamian cultures’, ‘Greek elites during imperial times’ (both VU), ‘The rise of Christianity’ and ‘The Roman city’ (UvA). These lectures perfectly convey the expertise of the academic staff.

Program structure

The program comprises 60 ECTS credits:

  • 42 credits for core courses
  • 18 credits for a Master’s thesis


The Master’s thesis (18 ECTS) reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of two academic staff members involved in the program. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

Career prospects

Graduates of the MA in Ancient History can find employment in sectors where knowledge of ancient culture and history is important such as history magazines, publishers, cultural travel organizations, and museums. Because of your broad background, you will also be a sought-after candidate for positions requiring one to critically assess esoteric data and then coherently report on said data in a clear and concise manner.

Furthermore, graduates of the MA in Ancient History can also enroll for a teaching qualification (first-level) in history.

After obtaining an MA in Ancient History you will also be able to do Ph.D. research at universities or research institutes. Both at VU and UvA Universities several new Ph.D. positions become available to Master’s graduates. You can also do a Ph.D. research project in your own time (external Ph.D. researcher) if you are able to find a qualified person to act as your Ph.D. thesis supervisor. However, if you’re seriously focused on an academic career, it is best to enroll for the two-year research Master’s in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. This Master’s program specifically trains you to become a (university) researcher.

Admission requirements

The Master’s program Ancient History is open to students with a Bachelor’s degree from the UvA or the VU, or with a Bachelor’s degree or a recognized equivalent from another accredited university, in:

  • Ancient Studies
  • Archaeology*
  • Greek and Latin Language and Culture*
  • History*

*Provided that Ancient History has been adequately covered in your Bachelor’s program. In addition to assessing the content of your Bachelor’s, the Examinations Board will also take into consideration your study results and your motivation.

Other Bachelor’s diplomas

Prospective students with Bachelor’s degrees (university) other than those mentioned above, can nonetheless apply for admission to the program. In such cases the Examinations Board will take a look at the content of the prospective student’s Bachelor program, the study results obtained and general motivation.

Not a VU university student

  • application form (Dutch)
  • transcript of records (scan of original)
  • motivation letter
  • curriculum vitae

As soon as the notice of admission has been issued, you will be informed of this via Studielink. The notice of admission is issued by the Examination Board of the Graduate School.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 26, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 year
Full time
2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €14.600 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
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deadline for international students
Netherlands - Amsterdam, North Holland
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
deadline for international students
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Amsterdam, North Holland
Application deadline Request Info
deadline for international students
End date Request Info