|Programme of||Classics and Ancient Civilizations|
|Title||MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations|
The Master of Classics offers the following seven courses:
All courses comprise six credits.
For those who wish to follow the Educational Master Greek and Latin (Lerarenopleiding Griekse en Latijnse taal en cultuur) after obtaining their master’s degree in Classics it is obligatory to follow courses 1, 3, 4 and 6. In addition, they are required to follow either course 2 or course 5. Those who do not wish to follow the Educational Master are required to follow courses 1 and 2 and to select two courses from courses 3, 6 and 7.
In addition to the obligatory courses you can choose ACASA courses or tutorials in the fields of language, ancient history, archaeology, philosophy and theology.
Your masters programme is concluded with the master’s thesis worth/of 18 credits. The master’s thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of an academic staff member involved in the Classics programme. The subject of the thesis is mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.
The course “Methodology” aims at giving a thorough introduction to two specific aspects of the study of classical literature. The part on intertextuality deals with the way in which authors overtly and/or covertly refer to previous texts. The part on Classical Storytelling is devoted to various aspects of narratology, such as focalisation, characterisation by speech and so on.
The subject of the interdisciplinary seminar is emperor Augustus. This course examines Augustus’ presence in art, politics and literature from an interdisciplinary perspective, with contributions by archaeologists, historians, philologists and cultural historians.
The module “Greek and Latin Linguistics” will introduce you to current views on pragmatics and stylistics, and on the relationship between these two approaches. You will be trained in those forms of close reading that elucidate the structure (and meaning) of complex sentences and texts. In the seminar “Greek literature” you will read large extracts of both Iliad and Odyssey (in Greek) and discuss, on the basis of secondary literature, important aspects of and approaches to these texts: 1) the meaning of words; 2) oral theory; 3) epithets; 4) similes; 5) narratology; 6) intertextuality; 7) historical background; 8) relation with Near Eastern literature (Gilgamesj); 9) depiction in art (vase paintings).
The course “Reception of Classical literature” will introduce you to reception theory in general and give you insight in the function of the classics in the cultural history of the later 18th, the 19th and the early 20th century, such as the reception of the classics by De Tachtigers and Dutch Symbolist and Modernist poetry.
The course “Latin literature” will be devoted to the Flavian poet Silius Italicus and his epic Punica on the war of the Romans against Hannibal. The Punica, which is currently experiencing a major revival, well illustrates a defining feature of Flavian poetry: its pervasive interaction with the literary tradition. You will study the subtle ways in which meaning is created or altered through allusive interplay.
The module “Late Greek and late Latin”, finally, will offer you the possibility to get acquainted with texts which do not belong to the standard canon. For Greek you will follow courses on authors of late Antiquity or the Byzantine period. For Latin you will read texts written in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Outside the field of Classics in the strict sense you can also choose various optional modules from ACASA generous offer to enrich your study plan. These include language modules and modules or tutorials in the field of ancient history, archaeology, philosophy and theology. The module focusing on teaching applications (annually changing themes, approached from interdisciplinary perspectives), will be of special interest to students who are thinking of making a career in teaching.
If you want to become a fully qualified teacher of Classics at secondary school level in The Netherlands you can follow the one-year Educational Master (Lerarenopleiding Griekse en Latijnse taal en cultuur) after completing your Masters programme in Classics.
The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:
After having obtained your Masters degree in Classics you can opt for several types of employment which are specifically related to your academic training. The most obvious are the positions of Classics teacher at a secondary school or researcher at a university.
Masters in Classics also find employment in cultural and educational institutes, such as libraries, publishing houses, and museums. Others enter professions where the general academic skills of a Master of Classics are highly appreciated. Because a Master of Classics has proved to be able to successfully complete a intellectually demanding study and because he/she is excellently versed in the use of language in all its aspects, he/she is qualified to become a highly valued employee in many different fields such as business, information technology, advertising and administration.
Examples of professions entered by classicists:
• Arts Management
• Information Officer
• Information Technology
• Museum Work
• Policy Officer
If you want to become a fully qualified teacher of Classics at secondary school level in the Netherlands you can follow the one-year Educational Master (Lerarenopleiding Griekse en Latijnse taal en cultuur) after completing your masters programme in Classics.
The Classics Department at VU Amsterdam is a friendly community and a stimulating intellectual environment in which students, teachers and researchers work closely together. The expertise of the faculty covers a wide range of areas within classical studies such as Greek and Latin literature, ancient Christianity, Byzantinology, ancient philosophy, intertextuality and narratology. Special strengths of Classics at VU Amsterdam are Greek and Latin linguistics, intertextuality and reception studies and textual criticism.
If you want to deepen your knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages and literatures even further, you can participate in the Classics Summer School, which takes place in Amsterdam in August. At the Summer School, advanced courses are offered on a rich array of topics such as Greek and Latin grammar, Aeschylus, Erasmus, Homer, Lucian, Theocritus, Thucydides and Vergil. There are also lectures by prominent classicists and various social events.
VU Amsterdam is located in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, one of the most vibrant cultural and cosmopolitan cities of the world.
Koinon is an association for students who study Classics or Ancient Studies. Ancient Studies established in 1988, we welcome everyone who is interested in the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world or who is just looking to socialize. Each year we offer a variety of social and cultural activities, varying from 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. Usually, we can be found in the main building of the VU, but you can also contact us through Facebook or by sending a mail to email@example.com.
Language of instruction
1 jaar (voltijd)
Linguistics and Narratology; Intertextuality and Reception
Field of Interest
Art, Culture and History
Students with a Bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin Language and Culture can be admitted to the Master’s programme in Classics. Admission on the basis of other related Bachelor’s degrees is at the discretion of the Admission Board.
Candidates with an HBO (higher professional education) qualification
Students with a higher professional education qualification cannot proceed directly to the Master’s degree programme in Classics. They will have to complete a Bachelor’s degree programme (or a short-track Bachelor’s programme) first.
Application for students with a Dutch degree
If you wish to be admitted to the Master’s programme in Classics, you are required to register via Studielink for the Master's programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations (60 ECTS credits) before 1 June.
After registration in Studielink you will receive an e-mail containing 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 Classics as your specialization.
Not a student of the Faculty of Humanities at VU Amsterdam.
In addition, you must e-mail the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org:
If you took your bachelor's degree at another Dutch university than VU Amsterdam you are required to send the following documents by e-mail to email@example.com
As soon as the decision concerning admission has been issued, you will be informed via Studielink. The notice of admission is issued by the Admission Board.
More information about admission and registration (Dutch) is available here.
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. If you have read the admission criteria below 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.
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;
Contact for International Degree Students
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office: