Master in Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Ancient studies


Program Description

The Master's programme Ancient Studies is embedded in a long tradition of teaching and researching Greek and Roman Antiquity, as well as the wider cultural heritage of ancient societies.

The programme is designed as a multi-disciplinary programme, because hardly a single question on ancient culture or society can be solved if you limit the evidence to either written sources or archaeological material. Therefore, you will be combining historical, literary, and archaeological approaches.

Why study Ancient Studies 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.
  • You will have the possibility to choose from five different specializations, with the option to include an ancient language (Assyrian-Babylonian, Greek or Latin) in your programme.
  • Intensive classes consisting of small groups and direct personal contact with tutors.
  • The opportunity to study Ancient Studies 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
Obligatory for all students are two core courses and a Master’s thesis.

Programme structure
The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:
12 credits for Core courses
30 credits for Specialized courses and Electives
18 credits for a Master’s thesis

The core courses are two seminars, which both have an interdisciplinary angle:
- Rulers’ Ideology and Representation: compares the ways in which rulers from different parts of the ancient world and from a period stretching from 1000 BCE to Late Antiquity have represented their regimes.
- Great Debates: invites you to participate in some of the vehement discussions among historians and archaeologists about ancient cultures and societies and about the concepts and methods we use in attempting to understand them.

For the remaining 30 ECTS you follow one of these courses:

  • Archaeology, Museums, and the Public
  • From Christ to Constantine: Judaism and Christianity in their Graeco-Roman contexts
  • Greek Elite Culture in the Roman Empire
  • Language based course:
    • Akkadian
    • Greek
    • Latin

Each focus area includes one or two electives. An elective can be chosen from a wide range of courses, in related fields such as archaeology, heritage studies, history, ancient studies or classics.

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 Nov 2019

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 130 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. Read less