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Turn the past into your future

Bring the past to life

Are you intrigued by digging deep into the past? Do you like reading, and enjoy rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty? Are you interested in issues related to archaeological heritage

During the Bachelor’s Archaeology, you dive deep into the past and spend a lot of time outside doing fieldwork.

Expanding cities, making roads, laying railway tracks: construction projects abound in Europe. But before construction starts, archaeological research needs to be done. This means there is an enduring demand for archaeologists who can lead excavations and analyse the findings. Ultimately, archaeology is not only about the past, but also about the present. By thinking critically about the role of archaeological heritage in contemporary society. 

The Bachelor’s pays attention to the study of earthenware, glass, metal and other materials, the relationship between people and the landscape and the presentation of research results in various media. The programme is unique in the Netherlands for its focus on the whole of Europe: both the Mediterranean area and Central and Western Europe, including naturally, the Netherlands and Amsterdam.

You acquire a strong foundation of knowledge about archaeology in Europe, then zoom in on the historical periods and geographical areas that interest you most. You take courses and work together with students from the other ACASA programmes: Ancient Studies and Greek & Latin Language & Culture. You also do fieldwork placements in the Netherlands, Italy and Greece. 

The Archaeology programme is offered in collaboration between the two Amsterdam universities, VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). All lectures are delivered on the UvA campus in the city centre, next to the Allard Pierson Museum. 

Excursions, for example to Sicily, are also part of this programma.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Facts and Figures

First year

You acquire a solid foundation of historical knowledge and are introduced to different archaeological methods and techniques. The programme is structured in such a way that you can increasingly focus on your own interests. Because the Archaeology programme works closely with the Bachelor’s programmes in Ancient Studies and in Greek & Latin Language & Culture, the first year is broad in scope. You study the field of archaeology and learn about contemporary societies in Europe. You also delve into cultural history and sources since antiquity, in connection with the natural landscape. This year concludes with fieldwork, during which you are familiarised with excavation techniques. Read the complete course overview in the Study guide.

Subjects

  • A Cultural History of the Ancient World 1: The Near East and the Greek World
  • English Language Test
  • What is Archaeology?
  • A Cultural History of the Ancient World 2: The Hellenistic World, Italy and Rome
  • Landscape, Food Economy and Nature
  • Dealing with Sources and Resources for the Past
  • Archaeology of Prehistoric and Roman Europe
  • Dealing with the Material Record of the Past
  • Archaeology and Society
  • Archaeology of Medieval Europe and the Early Modern World
  • Field School 1

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Second year

The second year deepens your knowledge of archaeology, focusing on the themes of urban culture, rituals, religions and heritage. You study a range of archaeological artefacts and learn different academic and digital research methods. You also go on an excursion, and end the year with an internship or fieldwork. Read the complete course overview in the Study guide.

Subjects

  • Archaeology and the City 
  • Science in Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Cult
  • Philosophy of the Humanities (ACASA)
  • Digital Archaeology 
  • Past and Present: Critical Approaches to Antiquity and Archaeological Heritage
  • Theory in Archaeology
  • ACASA Excursion 
  • Archaeological Materials in Context
  • Field School 2

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Third year

In the third year, you can follow a minor to either explore a different field of study or dive deeper into a specific subject. You also take two courses focused on developing your research skills: Death and Commemoration, on how people have historically dealt with death, and Lieux de Mémoire, on historical and contemporary spaces used for the purposes of commemoration. Finally, you write your Bachelor’s thesis on a topic of your own choosing within the field of archaeology. Read the complete course overview in the Study guide.

Subjects

  • Bachelor Thesis Archaeology 
  • From Excavation to Publication
  • Lieux de mémoire 
  • Death and Commemoration

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 1st year

    First year

    You acquire a solid foundation of historical knowledge and are introduced to different archaeological methods and techniques. The programme is structured in such a way that you can increasingly focus on your own interests. Because the Archaeology programme works closely with the Bachelor’s programmes in Ancient Studies and in Greek & Latin Language & Culture, the first year is broad in scope. You study the field of archaeology and learn about contemporary societies in Europe. You also delve into cultural history and sources since antiquity, in connection with the natural landscape. This year concludes with fieldwork, during which you are familiarised with excavation techniques. Read the complete course overview in the Study guide.

    Subjects

    • A Cultural History of the Ancient World 1: The Near East and the Greek World
    • English Language Test
    • What is Archaeology?
    • A Cultural History of the Ancient World 2: The Hellenistic World, Italy and Rome
    • Landscape, Food Economy and Nature
    • Dealing with Sources and Resources for the Past
    • Archaeology of Prehistoric and Roman Europe
    • Dealing with the Material Record of the Past
    • Archaeology and Society
    • Archaeology of Medieval Europe and the Early Modern World
    • Field School 1

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 2nd year

    Second year

    The second year deepens your knowledge of archaeology, focusing on the themes of urban culture, rituals, religions and heritage. You study a range of archaeological artefacts and learn different academic and digital research methods. You also go on an excursion, and end the year with an internship or fieldwork. Read the complete course overview in the Study guide.

    Subjects

    • Archaeology and the City 
    • Science in Archaeology
    • Archaeology of Cult
    • Philosophy of the Humanities (ACASA)
    • Digital Archaeology 
    • Past and Present: Critical Approaches to Antiquity and Archaeological Heritage
    • Theory in Archaeology
    • ACASA Excursion 
    • Archaeological Materials in Context
    • Field School 2

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 3rd year

    Third year

    In the third year, you can follow a minor to either explore a different field of study or dive deeper into a specific subject. You also take two courses focused on developing your research skills: Death and Commemoration, on how people have historically dealt with death, and Lieux de Mémoire, on historical and contemporary spaces used for the purposes of commemoration. Finally, you write your Bachelor’s thesis on a topic of your own choosing within the field of archaeology. Read the complete course overview in the Study guide.

    Subjects

    • Bachelor Thesis Archaeology 
    • From Excavation to Publication
    • Lieux de mémoire 
    • Death and Commemoration

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Change your future with the Archaeology programme

Change your future with the Archaeology programme

After the Bachelor’s you can specialise further by following a Master’s programme. As a graduate of Archaeology, you could work at many different companies, city councils, museums and heritage institutions or at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. You can also opt to continue your studies.

Explore your future prospects
Student at the window, in the background office buildings of the Zuidas