Archaeology of Northwestern Europe

From Roman villa landscapes in the southern Netherlands to the shipyards of the VOC
Programme ofArchaeology
TitleArchaeology of Northwestern Europe

In the Master’s degree programme Archaeology of Northwestern Europe, you will investigate over 3,000 years of European archaeology and focus on the cultural dynamics of one of these two key European eras: Late Iron Age and Roman Period or the Medieval and Early Modern Period.

The programme offers you the rare opportunity to explore European archaeology through the study of landscapes, material culture and documentary sources, but also through integration processes in the Roman Empire. Close links exist between the teaching subjects and the results of current fieldwork and other research projects.

Two European Eras
In this Master’s programme you can choose between two regional archaeological eras. The focus area Late Iron Age and Roman Period explores the integration of Celtic/Germanic societies of the Iron Age into the Roman Empire. The field of study Medieval and Early Modern Period focuses on the origins and developments of medieval trade and exchange, the growth of Amsterdam and the expansion of European capitalism with the colonisation of the New World.

As of the academic year 2020-2021, this specialization will no longer be offered. Check the webpage of the Master's degree programme Archaeology for the new study programme, with the specializations European Archaeology and Mediterranean Archaeology.

Why study Archaeology in Amsterdam?

  • This Master’s programme offers the opportunity to gain a world-class education in the archaeology of Europe and the adjacent Mediterranean area at a leading European university;
  • You will gain hands-on experience of working with archaeological material from sites across the Mediterranean and Europe;
  • 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 the UvA and VU Amsterdam;
  • Teaching takes place in small group classes with direct personal contact with tutors;
  • As a student, you will profit from the programme’s collaboration with institutions such as the municipal archaeological service and the Allard Pierson Museum;
  • Amsterdam is an international metropolis with a small-city feel. It is a welcoming place to live and study and English is widely spoken.

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.”

Nico Roymans

Professor in Northwest-European Archaeology


“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.”