Master in Ancient studies

The Master’s program Ancient Studies does not adhere to disciplinary boundaries. There is almost not a single question which can be answered solely from an archaeological or literary vantage point. At Ancient Studies you learn to use that which is necessary, be it Ancient History, Archaeology, Ancient Languages or Philosophy. An ideal situation if you consider yourself both an historian and archaeologist, and want to view literature as a product of society.

Questions you come across are, for example: Rome was an ethnic melting pot during imperial times. How did classical poets react to this, and can traces of this ethnic intermingling be found in studies of living conditions and artistic expressions? There are a lot of texts about dreams originating from the classical world (from Mesopotamia to Rome and Byzantium). Can we learn more about the people of antiquity by studying these dreams? And what is the influence of Latin literature on Dutch literature? Or: For once don’t compare Homer with Virgil, but with the Gilgamesh epic.

Core module

The core module of this degree program is "Great Debates in Ancient Historical Studies". In this module, lecturers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam deal with a number of key themes from the field of Ancient studies that have been the subject of heated debates. You will write a paper on one of these debates. Depending on your background, you will specialize further in Ancient history and Archaeology, Latin language and culture, Greek language and culture or Mesopotamian language and culture of the first millennium B.C.

The program in a nutshell

You can tailor your Master’s program in Ancient studies to suit your own particular interests by appropriate choice of the available options. You can choose between the following specializations:

  • Archaeology and ancient history
  • Ancient Thought: from Plato to Augustine
  • Ancient Studies + ancient Greek
  • Ancient Studies + Latin
  • Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian

Career prospects

Graduates of the MA in Ancient Studies can be employed in positions requiring an in-depth knowledge of antiquity. There are some specifically antiquarian-related jobs such as lecturer or museum employee. There are, however, also jobs that require academic skills such as conducting independent and critical research and then reporting on said research in a coherent, concise and clear manner. Some of the positions in which alumni of the MA in Ancient Studies have been employed include:

  • profession educational (hbo) lecturer in ancient history;
  • pre-university education (vwo) lecturer in Latin;
  • pre-university education (vwo) lecturer in History;
  • librarian/subject librarian university library;
  • editor of an ancient studies magazine;
  • editor at a publishing house;
  • staff member at a museum (e.g. Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam, the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Archeon in Alphen aan den Rijn);
  • organiser of cultural tours to the Mediterranean;
  • staff member at an academic bookshop;
  • staff member at Dutch institutes in Rome, Istanbul and Damascus;
  • staff member at various cultural institutions and services such as the Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundige Bodemonderzoek;
  • cultural attaché at an embassy in the Mediterranean;
  • information officer at a university, faculty, applied sciences university, council.

Finally, an ACASA master's program in Ancient Studies prepares students very well for additional education on the Master or, eventually, PhD level.

Admission requirements

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

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

Not a student of the Faculty of Arts of VU Amsterdam?

  • 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.

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Last updated October 26, 2018
This course is Campus based
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1 year
2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €14.600 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
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