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Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Egyptology

Egyptology is a specialization of the Master’s programme 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:

Click on “More info” below for more details about the programme or visit our website


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Egyptology in the Field: Research and Facilities in Egypt 15

Students take two or three of the following (15 EC):

Egyptian Temple Inscriptions of the Graeco-Roman Period 10
Egyptian Archaeology and Cultural History 5
Theory in Egyptology 5
Research Tools in Egyptology 5
Reading Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions 5

Second semester

MA thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations 20

Students take one of the following courses of 10 EC, depending on background and interest

Egyptian Archaeology and Epigraphy: Problems and Priorities 10
Demotic Papyrology I 10
Demotic Papyrology II 10
Greek Papyrology 10
Coptic Papyrology 10

Meer info

Master’s thesis
Requirements for graduation
Students’ Counsellor: Egyptology


The Master Classics and Ancient Civilizations (1 year, study load: 60 EC) offers a comprehensive teaching programme which comprises all cultures of the Mediterranean sea in antiquity. The programme introduces a wide variety of research methods: traditional philology with its intimate knowledge of languages and texts, while still indispensable, is enriched by social history and economic theory, comparative literature, the study of religion in an anthropological perspective and, of course, archaeology and material culture.


The Master has four specializations, all of which focus on reading ancient texts in their original languages and discussing the interpretations these texts give rise to. Ranging from the sources of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and the Roman Empire to the medieval texts in Neo-Latin, Coptic and Hebrew: Assyriology, Classics, Egyptology, and Hebrew and Aramaic Languages and Cultures.

Egyptology: This specialization’s wide-ranging curriculum covers most of the linguistic and cultural history of Pharaonic, Graeco-Roman and Coptic Egypt. All students visit excavations and research projects in Egypt and will learn about the department’s own field and research projects, including excavations at Saqqara and the Dakhla Oasis. The staff members co-operate with fellow researchers from universities and research institutes in Germany, Egypt, France, Italy, Poland and the United States, on project topics covering: Egyptian art history, Egyptian archaeology, Egyptian religion, Coptic Egypt, Social and economic history of Ancient Egypt. These wide-ranging research activities form an integral part of the educational programme.

All students are, in principle, required to participate in the programme which is organised at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (Egypt) every year in November and December. In preparation for their stay in Cairo, all students follow a programme based on their individual background. Courses offered are Egyptian Temple Inscriptions of the Graeco-Roman Period (for those with a profound knowledge of Middle and Late Egyptian), and Theory in Egyptology, or, for those without a firm background in Egyptology: Reading Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions; Research Tools in Egyptology; and Egyptian Archaeology and Cultural History. In the second semester students can choose to take a course on Egyptian Archaeology and Epigraphy or a course in Papyrology in one of the following languages: Demotic, Coptic or Greek. All students will, of course, also write their thesis during the second semester.

For more information on the other three specializations, see Classics and Ancient Civilizations.

Master’s thesis

The thesis for the Master’s programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations is worth 20 EC, and contains a maximum of 20,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. More information about the official regulations regarding the MA thesis (attachment of the Teaching and Examination Regulations).

Egyptology: The Master’s thesis for this specialization is evaluated by a lecturer of the Department of Egyptian Language and Culture who possesses the required expertise in the topic of the thesis and will be read by a second reader as well. As a rule it is written in English.

Requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed the 60 EC programme of their specialization and have completed their Master’s thesis as a component of that programme.

Students’ Counsellor: Egyptology

Dr. M.F.J. Baasten
Phone:+31 (0)71 527 2257 / 2960
Office hours: Monday and Thursday