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Uncover the ancient world

The one-year Classics and Ancient Civilizations Master's programme allows you to explore the theoretical frameworks and methodologies currently used in Classics or Ancient Studies. You will gain a thorough knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages or of themes in the field of Ancient Studies, such as Urban History, Politics and Society as well as Religions.

Students are considered to be partners in research, and teaching is strongly related to the research expertise of the staff. The programme also provides training in interdisciplinary thinking for which there is an increasing demand on the job market.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Facts and figures

The Study Programme

The Master's programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations comprises 60 EC:

  • 18 EC for interdisciplinary courses and associated self-study
  • 12 EC for specialization courses
  • 12 EC for research projects or electives
  • 18 EC for a Master’s thesis

The interdisciplinary courses aim at training your disciplinary reading skills whilst at the same time sparking a cross-disciplinary dialogue between literary and historical approaches to texts (period 1). They also teach you how to apply modern theories from the social sciences for a better understanding of ancient textual or material sources (period 2).

The objectives of the two modules within the specialization Classics are to deepen the understanding of modern literary and linguistic theory in Classics, post-classical Greek and Medieval Latin. The two modules of the specialization Ancient Studies intend to deepen the understanding of concepts and methods in ancient history and ancient studies with literary, epigraphic, and iconographical sources.

In the second semester, you will participate in small groups in two Research Projects which are closely associated with research by faculty staff or, alternatively, you will take electives, which include the courses of the national Master Language programme, such as Greek epigraphy in Athens and Latin epigraphy in Rome. For Ancient Studies it is possible to take electives from the Archaeology Programme in ACASA.

Finally, you will write your Master’s thesis on your own area of research. The writing of your Master’s thesis is an important part of the programme, enabling 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 you and your academic supervisor. A Master’s thesis seminar is offered to prepare you for the assignment. Thanks to the cooperation between the two universities a wide array of topics is open for supervision.


  • Block 1: Story vs. History: Rhetoric & Propaganda (interdisciplinary course)
  • Block 2: The Ancient World & Modern Theory: The Female Perspective (interdisciplinary course)
  • Block 1: The Language of Literature: How to Make a Myth? (specialization course Classics)
  • Block 2: Echoing Texts and Themes: Medea, Intertextual Heroine (specialization course Classics)
  • Block 1: Politics and Society: Republican Rome and the Creation of Empire (specialization course Ancient Studies)
  • Block 2: Religion and Society: From Constantine to Muhammad (specialization course Ancient Studies)

What alumni say

What alumni say

"The programme has generally exceeded my expectations. Teaching is almost always of an excellent standard and students feel enthusiastic about taking part in class discussions. Whilst the workload can be challenging, this helps to assure students that they have been admitted to a prestigious and competitive programme at an excellent institution." - Lily Fell, Ancient Studies student

Why study Classics and Ancient Civilizations in Amsterdam?

  • You will receive excellent training in either classical linguistics, intertextuality, narratology, and post-classical Greek and Latin or gain an in-depth understanding of the social, cultural and religious history of Ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East;
  • You will be able to follow and develop your personal interests, among others by tapping into the wide array of expertise of eminent scholars at UvA and VU;
  • Amsterdam is an international metropolis with a small-city feel. It is a welcoming place to live and study and English is widely spoken.

Student association

Synkratos is an association for students who study Classics or Ancient Studies. Established in 1988, we welcome everyone who is interested in the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. Each year, we offer a variety of social and cultural activities, including lectures, evenings with board games, visits to museums and sporting activities. We also offer a cultural trip once a year to an appealing destination linked to the ancient world.

Classics and Ancient Civilizations in part-time mode

At the UvA, the programme is also offered in part-time study mode, in which case it takes two years. You can obtain a maximum of 30 EC per year (12-18 EC per semester). As a part-time student you will follow the programme with full-time students.

Switching to a Research Master’s programme

Students who show exceptional potential during the regular Master’s programme are encouraged to continue their studies in one of our selective Research Master’s programmes. If you decide to switch programmes and are admitted before the start of the second semester, you will be able to transfer all credits earned in the first semester to your Research Master’s degree. If you decide to join later, the Examinations Board will determine which courses qualify for the Research Master’s programme.

Within ACASA, there are two Research Master’s programmes that are suitable for continuing your studies:

  • Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Research (VU) and
  • Archaeology (UvA)

Change your future with the Classics and Ancient Civilizations programme

Change your future with the Classics and Ancient Civilizations programme

After this master’s, you can follow an Educational Master’s programme and become a fully qualified secondary school teacher, you can join one of our ACASA two-years research master programmes and prepare yourself for a PhD position, or you can start working, for instance, in the broader cultural sector.

Explore your future prospects
 Woman walks around archaeological site

Questions about the programme?

Please contact the programme coordinator