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Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar


Admission requirements

The Seminar is obligatory for all students enrolled in the MA CAC.


The CAC-Seminar fulfils three general purposes:

a) It supports the thesis writing process through presentation, feedback and intensification sessions (academic writing and presentation skills, formalia, plagiarism),
b) It promotes experimental, creative, socially and didactically stimulating research in small, transdisciplinary groups,
c) It develops individual and social skills necessary to successfully meet the challenges of the academic job market.

To achieve these purposes, the CAC-Seminar specifically contains the following elements:

  • Cohort formation and interdisciplinary cooperation: peer review and mutual support in class and by working together in small research groups

  • Training presentation and communication skills: applying interdisciplinary research about a self-chosen topic to a non-academic public, didactic reflection, producing a concrete output

  • Thesis training: reflecting and improving academic and technical writing skills "on the job" (thesis, Guide to Academic Skills)

  • Career training: discovering and developing personal skills, reflecting about personal perspectives and individual goals for later carreer, training oral and written application procedures (carried out in cooperation with the Academic Career Center and alumni)

  • Research component: carrying out interdisciplinary research individually and in group with the help of Leiden resources (library, RMO, track expertise)

Course objectives

  • Enhancing the students’ academic writing and presentation skills;

  • Preparing students for the job market;

  • Intensifying cooperation among students from the various CAC tracks and stimulate interdisciplinary research;

  • Fostering appreciation among students of the diversity and cohesion of Mediterranean antiquity as a whole through reflection, research and presentation;

  • Stimulating reflection about the place of one’s chosen track in the context of the program as a whole;

  • Developing the students’ communicative skills to present an interdisciplinary topic from the ancient Mediterranean to a wider public;

  • Introducing students to relevant collections at Leiden and stimulating their academic use.

1b: Interdisciplinary learning (3)

Applying Knowledge:
2a: Applying specific methods (2)
2b: Analyzing problems (2)
2c: Taking in research problems (1)

3a: Select sources (2)
3b: Assessing literature (2)

4a: Presenting research (3)
4b: Presenting wider public (3)

Learning Skills:
5a: Post-MA training (3)


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Assignments

  • Research (individual and group)

  • Excursion(s) (RMO)

  • Presentation, feedback and discussion

Interdisciplinary Group Project and its Presentation:

Under the guidance of the instructor(s), participants form interdisciplinary groups and chose a topic that they wish to research and present jointly (“tangible”). The aim is not only to jointly carry out original research, but also to reflect about internal group communication and organization present the results in a form that could be presented to a self chosen, non-academic audience. During work on the group project, participants receive additional stimuli by track-related workshops and a visit to the resources of the RMO guided by museum specialists. The groups will present the result of their work at a special presentation and feedback session at the end of the first semester. The project phase is concluded with a report written by each group (“tangible”, max. 15 p.).

Accompanying the Thesis Writing Process:

In addition to the primary supervision by the main thesis supervisor, the Seminar offers the following support (time permitting):
a) Starting: Class presentations are prepared in semester 1 by a one-page "hand-in" with discussion covering the research question, a preliminary bibliography and a short summary of potential results.

b) Advancing: This step is continued in semester 2 with presentation on the state of research on the thesis. Each presenter has a 30-minute time slot: 15 min. for the presentation, 15 min. for feedback and Q&A from the participnts and the instructor. The presentation needs to be supplemented by a one-page handout specifying title, research question, abstract and short bibliography following section 3.1 of the Guide.

Students starting in February follow the same basic structure like their peers who have started in September, but adapted to their specific needs.

Assessment method


The Seminar strives to find a balance between offering an experimental atmosphere and elements open to formal assessment.

  • Group project on the basis of creativity of setup and presentation and formal correctness of written papers (group grade, given to each member)

  • Research presentation on the basis of presentation skills (oral and visual) and formal correctness of handout (individual grade)


  • Group project: 50%

  • Research presentation: 50%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components, with the additional requirement that the research presentation must always be sufficient.


Resit is possible, time and form can be arranged with the instructor(s).

Reading list

To be announced.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.

Not applicable.


Prof. Dr. Jürgen K. Zangenberg

Huizinga 1.34

Dr. M.F.J. Baasten


Not applicable.