nl en

Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Classics

The Classics program includes Greek and Latin literature and/or linguistics, and a limited number of courses from the cultural-historical disciplines. Students in Classics take at least 45 EC in Greek and Latin literature or linguistics (including the 5 EC-core course Classics Now! and the Master’s thesis of 15 EC), with at least 10 EC seminars/tutorials for each language. The program also contains an elective course, in which cultural-historical subjects (Ancient History, Classical Archeology, or Ancient Philosophy) and/or languages may be included.

Classics is a specialization of the Master’s program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. This Master programme is unique in the Netherlands in the breadth of its subject matter, the historical periods covered and the multidisciplinary approach of its study. Characteristic for the Master is its focus on reading ancient texts in their original languages, and discussing the different interpretations the texts allow.

The student may specialize in one of four tracks:

Please consult the information page for more details on the program and visit our website.


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Students choose 30 ec in total (February 2018 start: 10 ec).

Compulsory courses

Core Course: Classics Now! 5/10
Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar 5

Courses Greek and Latin

Seminar Greek: The Other Socrates: Xenophon's Socratic Dialogues 10
Tutorial Greek: The Athenian Acropolis - Texts, Terms and Topography 10
Seminar Latin: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 5/10
Tutorial Latin: Seneca Thyestes 5/10

Cultural Historical Courses

The Last Pagan. Julian Apostata as Emperor and Intellectual 10
Psychology, Ethics, and Education from Antiquity to the Present 10

Courses related and relevant to Classics

Epigraphy 10
Masterlanguage: Classics 5/5
Epic Tales from the Ancient World 10

Second semester

Students choose 10 ec courses in total (February 2017 start: 30 ec) and write their MA Thesis.

Compulsory courses

Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar 5
MA Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations 15

Courses Greek and Latin

Seminar Greek: What Greek Myths Do 10
Tutorial Greek: Greeks on the History of Their Language 10
Seminar Latin: Classical Reception in Florence in the 15th century: Historiography, Exempla, Typology 10
Tutorial Latin: Fake Poetry: The Appendix Vergiliana 10

Cultural Historical Courses

Seminar Ancient Philosophy: The Theaetetus of Plato 5/10
‘Everyone will fear you’: powerful objects in ancient religions 10
Diversities of doing Greek. ‘Hellenisation’ and ‘Hellenism’ in ancient Eurasia 10
Alexander of Aphrodisias On Fate, or How Human Beings Escape Determinism 10

Courses related and relevant to Classics

Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum and the Enemies of Christianity 10
Greek Papyrology 10
Palaeography of the Greek Papyri and Edition Technique of Papyrus Documents 5
Numismatics: A Practical Guide 10
Masterlanguage: Classics 5/5

Job Market

The program of the MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations provides comprehensive training in the languages, literatures and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region and the Near East. But how will you be able to use your knowledge of the ancient world and your academic skills on the job market? What skills will you develop, and how can you best prepare yourself for the future? We discuss these questions at several moments during the MA program, and there are several opportunities for you to receive more information. We organize job market events and meetings with alumni, and we can help you to find internships.

Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA Seminar
Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings
Humanities Career Service
Humanities Career Event
Forum Antiquum and Ancient World Lunch Talks
Transferrable Skills
Meetings with the Study Advisor

Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar

The job market is one of the central topics of the Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA- Seminar. Part of this seminar are meetings with representatives of the Career Service of the Faculty of Humanities. There is one meeting on ‘Personal Skills’, consisting of two parts: a panel discussion with a large group of alumni, who are invited to share their experiences on the job market; and a workshop that explores what students expect from the job market and what they and the university could do to achieve their goals. There is also a meeting on writing your CV and application letters.


Internships are very useful for students who wish to familiarize themselves with the job market. We have established firm connections with several institutions and companies that have agreed to offer annual internships for students of Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Brill Publishers, Uitgeverij LAMBO, NINO and RMO (the National Museum of Antiquities). Other internships are also possible. The Board of Examiners must approve your internship plan, which can be either part of your study program (10 EC) or extracurricular. For more information, contact the internship coordinator and visit the website Finding and arranging an internship.

Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings

The program annually organizes Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings: at these events students can meet alumni with different jobs. Apart from presentations by alumni about their careers, the Leiden Antiquity Network Meeting may include ‘speed-dating’ sessions for students and alumni.

Humanities Career Service

The Faculty of Humanities Career Service provides Humanities students with professional advice and guidance concerning (international) internships and jobs, courses in career planning and job application, and job application readers. The internship coordinator and the career advisor assist you in exploring your individual interests and abilities, and guide you towards the most appropriate internships and job.
Please consult the Humanities Career Service webpage for more information.

Humanities Career Event

This career day is organised by the Faculty of Humanities. It is meant for students who are preparing themselves for a future career in The Netherlands. There are various things to do during this event. There are inspiring keynote speakers; organisations and companies give workshops about work experience from employees and the career opportunities for Leiden University alumni; and there are also workshops about for example Linkedin, networking, and applying for jobs.

Forum Antiquum and Ancient World Network (Lunch Talks)

For students who wish to pursue an academic career, there are two lecture series where you can meet scholars and learn about new approaches to the ancient world. Forum Antiquum is the lecture series that focuses on research in Classics. Lectures are organized every other week during the semester on Thursdays. Every semester, a number of national and international speakers are invited, both well-known experts and promising young researchers.
The Ancient World Lunch Talks provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and latest research in an informal atmosphere with an audience of MA and PhD students, Postdocs and Faculty and all interested students. There is free pizza and everyone is welcome to bring lunch!
If you are not in the mailing list and you would like to receive e-mails about the lunch talks, please contact the study advisor.

Transferrable Skills

Your future employers will not only be interested in your knowledge of Classics and Ancient Civilisations, but also in the skills that you have developed during your studies. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the skills that you are training in your MA programme. The course descriptions in the e-Prospectus tell you which skills you will acquire.
In the MA programme you learn how to analyse a problem, how to formulate a research question, how to select and assess your sources, how to assess secondary literature, how to give a clear and well-argued oral presentation either for specialists or for a wider audience, and how to write a clear and well-argued paper. You will be training the following transferrable skills:

  • critical thinking (formulating questions, checking assumptions, assessing sources and scholarship)

  • analytical skills (selecting, ordering, sorting out, and solving a problem)

  • oral presentation skills (speaking, listening, discussing, receiving feedback)

  • writing skills (reporting, summarizing, presenting an argument, with structure and style)

  • independence (self-discipline, initiative, motivation)

  • project management (planning, demarcation of a topic, discipline, meeting deadlines)

  • flexibility (adapting to changes)

  • creativity (curiosity, developing new ideas and innovative topics)

  • academic integrity (acting with honesty, fairness, and responsibility)

  • collaboration (working together with other students on a joint project)

Meetings with the Study Advisor

Students who have questions about their orientation on career prospects can contact the study advisor of the MA programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations.

Extra curricular courses

The courses below are offered by the Classics and Ancient Civilizations program (or related programs), and are accessible for all students in the (Research) MA program Classics and Ancient Civilizations. The courses are not part of the Classics program, but can be taken as extra curricular courses.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Core Course Medieval and Early Modern Studies 5/10
Tutorial Akkadian 10
The Sumerian Language: Structure and Analysis 5
The Emperor in the Roman World 10
Introduction to Middle Egyptian and the Hieroglyphic Script 10
Selected Topics in Egyptian Archaeology 5

Second semester

The unification of the Mediterranean 10
Intermediate Sumerian 5