Archaeology: of North Western Europe

From Roman villa landscapes in the southern Netherlands to the shipyards of the VOC
Programme ofArchaeology
TitleMA Archaeology
TrackArchaeology of Northwest Europe
Specialisation
•    Globalisation and interconnectivity in late prehistoric and Roman Europe
•    The Medieval and Early Modern world

The Master’s programme ‘Archaeology of North-Western Europe’ covers the period from the Iron Age until the Early Modern period. Within the program, there are two specialisations:
- Globalisation and interconnectivity in late prehistoric and Roman Europe
- The Medieval and Early Modern world

ACASA students benefit from the expertise of two universities. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a leading position in research and teaching in the field of the Iron Age and the Roman era in Europe. Archaeology of the Middle Ages and of the early modern period is a specialism of the University of Amsterdam. Thus, the two universities together cover 3000 years of European archaeology.
The particular interest of this specialisation lies with settlement archaeology, the archaeology of ritual, integration processes in the Roman Empire, material culture studies, and conflict archaeology. Close links exist between the teaching subjects and the results of current fieldwork and other research projects, from GIS-based modelling of Roman rural landscapes in the Netherlands to the study of the material evidence of Iron Age warfare.

Exploring the depths of theory while firmly anchored in material evidence

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam are offering a joint Master’s programme in Archaeology within the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA), which also offers a range of other Master’s programmes in the field of Ancient Studies. Thanks to this joint venture you can choose from a wide range of courses, interest fields and specialisms. The track Archaeology of North-Western Europe has theoretical depth, while it is at the same time firmly rooted in material culture. The Humanities perspective is cherished in the context of the VU department of Art and Culture, History and Antiquities (AHA), which opens windows to challenging related academic fields such as environmental or digital humanities and cultural heritage studies.

3000 Years of Western European Archaeology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a leading position in research and teaching in the field of late prehistory and the Roman era in NW Europe. Archaeology of the Middle Ages and of the early modern period is a specialism of the University of Amsterdam. Thus, the two universities together cover 3000 years of NW-European archaeology. The particular interest of this programme lies with settlement archaeology, the archaeology of ritual, integration processes in the Roman Empire and studies of city centres, material culture studies and conflict archaeology. Close links exist between the teaching subjects and the results of current fieldwork and other research projects, from the Roman villa landscapes in the southern Netherlands to the shipyards of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in the heart of Amsterdam.

Specializations

Master's Students in Archaeology of North Western Europe can choose one of the following specializations:

  • Globalisation and interconnectivity in late prehistoric and Roman Europe

This specialisation explores the integration of Celtic/Germanic societies of the Iron Age into the Roman Empire. Archaeological analyses of results from recent fieldwork and material culture studies are combined with current debates about integration processes, regionality, globalisation and interconnectivity.

  • Medieval and Early Modern Archaeology

This specialisation focuses on the study of the origins and developments of cities (especially Amsterdam) in conjunction with developments in landscape, as well as the settlement and agrarian strategies in various Dutch landscapes.

Structure

The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:

  • 42 credits for core courses
  • 18 credits for a thesis

programme_archaeology_of_north-western-europe_170215 

programme_archaeology_of_north-western-europe_Medieval_and_Early_Modern_world_170215

Students are allowed to compose a programme with a deviant selection of courses. Their proposal needs approval of the ACASA examination board. A wide range of electives can be chosen from the master’s programmes of archaeology, landscape and heritage, and history.

Field work

You learn the skills you need for doing fieldwork. Apart from analysing, reporting and presenting field data, these skills also include managing and conducting fieldwork, e.g. making reasoned choices, adhering to deadlines, delegating tasks and working within a group. You will learn these skills in a practical setting at one of ACASA's current research locations in the Netherlands and in the Mediterranean.

As a Master’s student you can also do a protocol internship in the field, followed by the writing of a protocol book (maximum of 12 ECTS).

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 programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

Archaeology of North Western-Europe courses in study guide.

An excellent preparation for the job market

When you hold a master's degree (MA) in the Archaeology of Northwest Europe, you are very well prepared for a professional career in archaeology. You will be fully qualified to work in Dutch commercial archaeology, and to eventually supervise your own archaeological fieldwork projects. You can also work with archaeological companies in other countries in Northwest Europe. Furthermore, you can find jobs in local, national or international heritage management institutions and public services, and in education, publishing and tourism.

A passion for research?

If you are passionate about archaeological research and you show exceptional promise in your bachelor’s degree programme in Archaeology, you can apply for two exciting two-year Research Master’s programs: 

These programs are the perfect preparation for a further career in academia.

1. Globalisation and interconnectivity in late prehistoric and Roman Europe
This specialisation explores the Celtic/Germanic societies of North-Western Europe during the Iron Age, and their integration into the Roman Empire. Archaeological analyses of results from recent fieldwork and material culture studies are combined with theoretical concepts and ideas about integration processes and their variation in space and time within the Roman Empire. Tutorials can be chosen from a wide range of subjects that offer the opportunity to participate in current research projects of our staff members.

2. The Medieval and Early Modern world
This specialisation a) focuses on the study of the origins and developments of cities in conjunction with developments in landscape, b) closely interlinks with current research in the Netherlands in general and the city of Amsterdam in particular.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a leading position in research and teaching in the field of the Iron Age and the Roman era in Europe and also has a strong focus on conflict archaeology, geo-archaeology and GIS-based landscape modelling.
The particular interest of this specialisation lies with settlement archaeology, the archaeology of ritual, integration processes in the Roman Empire, material culture studies, and conflict archaeology. Close links exist between the teaching subjects and the results of current fieldwork and other research projects.

Andrea Ward

Student

Andrea

“Studying a Master’s degree in Archaeology at the VU is an excellent experience that exposes the student to an international learning environment. The dedicated academic staff are very approachable and their expertise allows for a variety of master classes that broaden your knowledge and skills with both theory and practice. The archaeology master’s program provides further opportunities to expand my learning experience with seminars and special lectures on different topics of research from all over Europe.” 

Overview Archaeology: of North Western Europe

Language of instruction

English

Duration

1 year

Tuition fee

Application deadline

15 July. For (non-) EU/EEA students with an international degree 1 April. EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through VU Amsterdam can still apply until 1 June.

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Specializations

1. Late Iron Age and Roman archaeology of Northwestern Europe
2. Medieval and early modern archaeology

Field of Interest

Art, Culture and History

Ernst Maas

Student

Ernst

“Following an Archaeology master programme at the VU Amsterdam allows me to expand my knowledge about specific topics in Archaeology. Besides the possibility to improve my fieldwork skills, I am also challenged to think critically about relevant issues in Archaeology. The frequent fruitful discussions during lectures make me even more enthusiastic about my Master within Archaeology.”

Nico Roymans

Professor in Northwest-European Archaeology

roymans_n

“A fascinating topic of archaeology is the connectivity between the Celtic/Germanic world  and the Roman Empire. I invite you to participate in the development of new narratives of this past and to make them relevant for our own society.”

Dutch students

Students with a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology are eligible for admission to the Master’s programme in Archaeology. Admission on the basis of other related Bachelor’s degrees is at the discretion of the Examination Board. They determine which modules, if any, you need to make up. If these amount to more than 60 credits, you will have to take a (short-track) Bachelor’s degree programme in Archaeology before you can start on the Master’s. If the deficit amounts to 60 credits or less, you will have to take a pre-Master’s Archaeology course tailored to your requirements by the Examination Board, after completion of which you will be admitted to the Master’s programme.


Application for Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree

Students who wish to be admitted to the Master’s programme in Archaeology must register via Studielink for the degree course in Archaeology (60 ECTS credits) before 1 June. (Please note that the deadline for the application for Dutch students has been extended to July 15 2017).

After you have applied for the master in Studielink, you will receive two emails with your login details for VUnet (VU studentportal). Please complete your application in VUnet . Don’t forget to fill in your specialization on VUnet : Archaeology of North Western Europe.

Next to this, you'll need to provide all the documents containing the information we need to decide whether you are admissible. The following required documents should be send to: toelating.fgw@vu.nl

  • application form (Dutch)
  • transcript of records (scan of original)
  • motivation letter
  • curriculum vitae
Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink.

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Candidates with an HBO (higher professional education) qualification

Students with a higher professional education qualification in archaeology have the possibility to directly proceed to the ACASA Master’s programme in Archaeology.

Study coordinators
The study coordinators for the Master’s programme in Archaeology are:

Contact details of University of Amsterdam
Click here for contact details of University of Amsterdam.

ACASA (Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology
Visit the ACASA website.

Information days
Meet us in Amsterdam!

International Students

Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. 

In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.

Specific admission requirements for the Master’s Programme Archaeology, specialization in Archaeology of North Western Europe

Students with a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology are eligible for admission.

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a full high school/International Baccalaureate in English or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. You can already apply online without having the test results. In case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

TOEFL score (score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests). IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
Cambridge English : Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C.

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online

Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education
  • A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!


Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at VU Amsterdam!

Further information about;
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees


Study coordinators
The study coordinator for the Master’s programme in Archaeology is:

Contact details of University of Amsterdam
Click here for contact details of University of Amsterdam.

ACASA (Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology
Visit the ACASA website.

International students:
For practical questions regarding your application please contact:  
Irena Bunic
International Student Advisor
admissionsfh@vu.nl
t +31 (20) 59 85252

Information days
Meet us in Amsterdam!