Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History

The Mediterranean and West Asian worlds during antiquity
Programme of Classics and Ancient Civilizations
TitleAncient History

The Master's programme Ancient History offers you a stimulating environment in which you can study a broad range of historical issues focusing on the ancient world. You can choose your own personal study programme and will be able to further develop your own interest in the field of Greek and Roman antiquity.

Why study Ancient History in Amsterdam?

  • This Master’s degree programme is offered by two universities. The University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam combined their expertise on the field of ancient history and archaeology in the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). This merging of specialists from various academic disciplines creates a stimulating environment for collaboration and study.
  • The only Dutch universities offering the possibility to study the interaction between the Graeco-Roman world and the Ancient Near East.
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of the political, social, cultural and religious history of the ancient Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds.
  • Intensive classes consisting of small groups and direct personal contact with tutors.
  • The opportunity to study Ancient History in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, one of the most vibrant cultural and cosmopolitan cities of the world.
  • Amsterdam has its own antiquities museum, The Allard Pierson Museum, which is closely involved in the programme. The museum houses a large collection of ceramics, glass and bronzes from Greek and Roman Antiquity, as well as one of the most important collections of works of Classical Antiquity in the Netherlands and the wider European region.

Programme overview
Throughout the programme you will come to grips with the main methodical and theoretical issues, as well as with the difficulties of interpreting different types of source material.

You will be thoroughly trained in analysing complicated historical issues using divergent source material, as well as developing reporting skills (both orally and in writing) on historical debates in Greek and Roman history.

Programme structure
The programme comprises 60 ECTS credits:
42 credits for Core courses
18 credits for a Master’s thesis

Core Courses
First semester (Periods 1-3):
- Great Debates
- Interdisciplinary Seminar
- MA Course City and Empire: War, Memory and Civic Identity in Republican Rome

Second semester (Periods 4-6):
- City Life in the Roman Empire

Tutorial
You will choose for a tutorial between Greek Elite Culture in the Roman Empire and Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture.

Thesis
An important part of the programme, the Master’s thesis enables 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 the student and the academic adviser.

Classics & Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History courses in study guide.

Students who show exceptional promise during a Master’s programme are encouraged to continue their studies in one of our 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 programme. In case you join later, the Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for the Research Master’s programme.

Within ACASA, there are two Research Master’s programmes, which would be suitable for a continuation of your studies:

Once you enrol at VU Amsterdam, you will also automatically be enrolled as an guest student at the UvA. You will receive a diploma from VU Amsterdam once all of the course components have been successfully completed. If you enrolled at the UvA, the exact opposite applies. You will therefore receive one diploma from the university at which you originally enrolled.

Ancient History is an accredited degree programme of Classics and Ancient Civilizations. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Classics and Ancient Civilizations and the title Master of Arts (MA).

The Master's programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History prepares you for a broad range of career opportunities.

The Job Market
Students graduating with a Master’s degree in Classics and Ancient Civilizations can be employed in positions requiring in-depth knowledge of ancient history. They also find their way into other jobs requiring a range of academic skills. Examples of sectors in which students who have followed this programme have found positions include:

  • commercial ancient research
  • teaching and academia
  • the broad cultural heritage sector including:
    • museums
    • archives
    • journalism
    • cultural tourism

An Academic Career
Graduates can also continue to do a PhD programme at VU Amsterdam, another Dutch university or a university abroad. When pursuing an academic career, it is advisable to discuss the possibility of joining a two-year Research Master's programme.

Synkratos is an association for students who study Archaeology, Classics or Ancient Studies. Since we were 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 a beautiful destination with a focus on 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 synkratos.fgw@vu.nl.

Tania Patel

Student

Tania_Patel“Ancient History was one of the most challenging, eye-opening and beautiful experiences of my life. I learned more than I thought was possible in a year and I developed intellectually as well as personally.
What really made this programme unique, were the teachers: we were taught by some of the leading professors in the field and they gave us all the supervision we needed to grow academically.”

Dutch Students

The Master’s programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History is open to students with a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following programmes from the UvA or VU Amsterdam, or a recognized equivalent from another accredited university:

  • Bachelor’s degree in History, or a similar degree programme (with a demonstrable relationship to Ancient History);
  • Bachelor’s degree in Ancient Studies, or a similar degree programme;
  • Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology, or a similar degree programme (with a demonstrable relationship to Ancient History)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin language and culture, or a similar degree programme.

The Faculty’s Admission Board will review whether you meet the admission requirements.

All students applying for the Master’s programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History must register via Studielink before June 1st.

After you have applied for the Master’s programme in Studielink, you will receive two emails with your login details for VUnet (VU Amsterdam’s studentportal). Please complete your application in VUnet. Don’t forget to fill in the Master’s programme specialization: Ancient History.

Next to this, 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

On behalf of the Examinations Board, the Faculty’s Admissions Board will review your application. You will be notified via Studielink.

See the Application for Dutch Students page for more information on application.

For questions about the programme
Please contact the programme coordinator:

Prof. dr. Bas ter Haar Romeny
E: bas.ter.haarromeny@vu.nl

Come meet us at the next Master's Event!

International students

The Master’s programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History is open to students with a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following programmes from the UvA or VU Amsterdam, or a recognized equivalent from another accredited university:

  • Bachelor’s degree in History, or a similar degree programme (with a demonstrable relationship to Ancient History);
  • Bachelor’s degree in Ancient Studies, or a similar degree programme;
  • Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology, or a similar degree programme (with a demonstrable relationship to Ancient History)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin language and culture, or a similar degree programme.

The level of a Bachelor’s degree from a foreign institution of higher education must be equal to three years of Dutch university education (a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent).

The Faculty’s Admission Board will review whether you meet the admission requirements.

English language requirements
Students applying for a Master’s degree programme should be able to speak, read, write and understand English at an advanced academic level.

The proficiency requirement in English can be met by the successful completion of one of the examinations mentioned below, with the scores indicated. 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.

  • Cambridge English: Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B or C
  • IELTS: 7.0 overall band score, with a minimum of 6.5 on each item
  • TOEFL score
    paper based: 600, with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE
    internet based: 100, with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests

Please note: tests must have been completed no more than two years before the start of the programme.

See the Admission and language requirements page for further information on the general requirements.

If you are interested in a scholarship, you need to apply for both the Master's programme and the scholarship.

Learn more about Scholarships.

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.

You can find all information on the application procedure on the Admission and Language Requirements page.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. 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 you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
On behalf of the Examinations Board, the Faculty’s Admissions Board will review your application. 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.

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. On the Admission and Language Requirements page 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:

For questions about the programme
Please contact the programme coordinator:

Prof. dr. Bas ter Haar Romeny
E: bas.ter.haarromeny@vu.nl

For practical questions regarding your application
Please contact our International Student Advisor:

Irena Paap
E: masters.hum@vu.nl
T: +31 (20) 59 85252

Come meet us at the next Master's Event!

Overview Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Ancient History

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 June

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Art, Culture and History

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