Archaeology: Mediterranean Archaeology

Material culture and cultural interconnections in the Mediterranean
Programme ofArchaeology
TitleMA Archaeology
TrackMediterranean Archaeology

A rich research tradition
The Master specialization in Mediterranean archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is offered in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, in the context of the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA).
The Master's programme Mediterranean Archaeology is based on the long, yet innovative, disciplinary traditions of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam that has a strong focus on objects but also creators and users, and the many ways people, goods and ideas interconnect. A shared strength of both universities is the field research in the Mediterranean area through several projects in Italy, Greece and Turkey. There also is a strong connection with the Allard Pierson Museum, expressed in joint exhibition and research projects in which  students can participate

Reading the landscape from past to present: creating new sustainable futures for archaeological heritage

Also the teaching of Master specialization in Mediterranean archaeology is offered in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, in the context of the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). Thanks to this joint venture you can choose from a wide range of subjects which allows you to develop yourself as a Mediterranean archaeologist according to your own interests, strength and career prospects. The Humanities perspective is embedded in 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.

The Master's programme Mediterranean Archaeology focuses on two general themes:
•    Mediterranean Interconnections
•    the interaction of objects and peoples

The programme links up with current debates about interconnections and cultural exchanges within the Mediterranean from 2000 B.C. onwards, while also different aspects of material culture are taken into account: from technique and style to the social role of, for instance, objects and architecture. The in-depth analysis of different facets of pottery, material from burials and sanctuaries, or the exchange of ideas and images count as an introduction for learning more about humans in the past. Furthermore, the program includes aspects from material culture studies, material sciences and museum archaeology. Special attention is paid to recent cutting edge research in archaeology and to the place of archaeology in contemporary society.

A number of courses  are closely interlinked with the fieldwork that the VU and UvA carry out in Italy, Greece and Turkey. Next to that our staff seeks to connect teaching to ongoing research projects on, for instance, the archaeology of exchanges, uses and meaning of pottery, elite cultures, interaction between Greek colonists and the indigenous population in Italy, and integration processes within the Roman Empire. Results from fieldwork, but also from our own laboratory research and more theoretical projects are in this manner integrated in the modules.

Field archaeology
In our master programme there is ample room for improving your skills for doing fieldwork. Training takes place in a practical setting at one of ACASA’s current research and field work projects in Italy, Greece and Turkey. Apart from practical training in analysing, reporting and presenting field data, you will develop and use such transferable skills as managing and conducting specific tasks, making reasoned choices, adhering to deadlines, delegating tasks and working within a group.
Archaeological fieldwork is conducted in close cooperation with the local archaeological services and consists of excavations, field surveys, remote sensing and landscape analysis. This forms a perfect training ground for students with different academic levels and interests.
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).

Programme structure 

The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:

  • 42 credits for core courses
  • 18 credits for a Master’s 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.

Detailed course information

Archaeology: Mediterrranean Archaeology courses in study guide.

Well prepared for the job market

Archaeologists with a Master's in Mediterranean Archaeology are exceptionally suited to follow a professional career in archaeology. They will have knowledge of and experience in international archaeological fieldwork, which makes them suitable to work in archaeological services and institutions of (international) heritage management. In addition, their understanding of the material culture of the Mediterranean makes them qualified for museums and educational institutions. Moreover, their wide knowledge of many different Mediterranean cultures is suitable for a career in sectors such as journalism, tourism and publishing. Finally, an ACASA Master's in Mediterranean Archeology prepares students very well for additional education on the Master or PhD level.

ACASA offers an excellent research and teaching environment in the field of Mediterranean archaeology. Our staff works closely together with colleagues from Ancient Studies, History, Classics and Heritage studies. We combine a research interest in Mediterranean interconnectivity with a strong tradition in regional archaeology.

Both disciplinary and interdisciplinary curricula can be selected; students can either specialise in a particular field of archaeology or broaden their interest from a Humanities-wide perspective. The Humanities perspective is embedded in 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.

Andrea Ward



“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: Mediterranean Archaeology

Language of instruction



1 year

Tuition fee

Application deadline

1 June

Start date

1 September

Study type



Field of Interest

Art, Culture and History

Ernst Maas



“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.”

Jan Paul Crielaard

Professor in Mediterranean Archaeology


“One of the strengths of the Amsterdam Mediterranean Archaeology programme is the combination of theory and practice which challenges students with various kinds of academic interests and practical skills.”

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 Admission 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 Admission Board, after completion of which you will be admitted to the Master’s programme.

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.

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.

After registration in Studielink you will receive an e-mail giving your log-in code for VUnet, the student portal of VU Amsterdam. You can complete your registration and upload your passport photo in VUnet. Fill in Mediterranean archaeology as your specialization.

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

In addition, you must e-mail the following documents to

  • 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 Admission Board.

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 Mediterranean Archaeology

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;
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.

For practical questions regarding your application, please contact:  
Irena Bunic
International Student Advisor
t +31 (20) 59 85252

Information days
Meet us in Amsterdam!