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Classics and Ancient Civilizations (research): Egyptology

Egyptology is a specialization of the Research Master’s programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. This Research 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 Research Master is its focus on reading ancient texts in their original languages, and discussing the different interpretations the texts allow.

Students may specialize in one of four tracks:
Hebrew and Aramaic Studies

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

First year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Core Course: The Commentary 10
Egyptology in the Field: Research and Facilities in Egypt 15

Elective: select from the following courses (10 EC):

Demotic Papyrology I 10
Egyptian Temple Inscriptions of the Graeco-Roman Period 10

Second semester

Research School Elective(s) 5

Electives: select from the following courses (20 EC):

Christianity in the Greco-Roman World: The Second Century 10
Coptic Papyrology 10
Demotic Papyrology II 10
The archaeology of ancient religions: Paganism, Judaism, Christianity 5
Greek Papyrology 10
Deir el-Medina Seminar 5
Mastaba Seminar 5

Second year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

MA Thesis Tutorial Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research) 5
Core Course: The Commentary 10
Documentary Texts from Deir el-Medina and their social and cultural setting 10
Research School Elective(s) 5

Second semester

MA Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research) 25
Thesis presentation and research proposal 5

Meer info

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


The objectives of the Research Master’s programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations are:

  • The broadening and deepening of knowledge, insight, skills and use of methodology in the field of Classics and Ancient Civilizations studies;
    • The furtherance of academic and professional training; to solve scholarly problems in an independent way, critically and creatively; and to report research results with clarity both orally and in writing;
    • Preparation for an academic career in universities, and/ or post-graduate education and for functions outside of academe in the public or private sector in which advanced research skills and substantial practical research experience are among qualifications required.

As a graduate of a two-year Research Master’s degree you are qualified to work as a junior academic researcher in an academic environment or carry out further research work on a PhD programme.


The Research Master’s programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations provides intensive and comprehensive training covering the entire range of present-day research on the civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Ancient Near East. 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 study load runs up to 120 EC and is divided over four semesters. Apart from the obligatory core courses, a student of the Research Master programme follows a number of tracks electives within the programme. Though these track electives are shared with the 1-year Master programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations, students in the Research Master follow these courses at a more advanced level:

  • Common core courses (20 EC)
    • Track electives (60 EC)
    • Tutorial in preparation for the thesis (10 EC)
    • Thesis presentation and research proposal (5 EC)
    • Thesis (25 EC)

Please visit our website (and click on your specialization in the Research Master Programme) to find more details about the structure of the programme.


The Research Master has five 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, Hebrew Bible Studies, and New Testament and Early Christian Studies.

The focus of the specialization Egyptology covers Ancient Egypt from its beginnings and its role as a major player during the Bronze Age until the Christian period. Textual and material data are studied together.
The courses on offer cover most of the linguistic and cultural history of Pharaonic, Graeco-Roman and Coptic Egypt. Part of your programme will take place in Egypt, where you will gain essential knowledge and experience in field and research projects.

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

Master’s thesis

The thesis for the Research Master’s programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations is worth 25 EC, and contains a maximum of 25,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. Students who (have) start(ed) writing their thesis, should attend the seminar: Thesis presentation and research proposal.

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

To complete the specialization for which you have been accepted, students will have to conclude the two common courses (20 EC). They have to accumulate 60 EC of track electives, of which a number can be replaced by a stay abroad. Further, they should have finished a thesis in their field of specialization (40 EC, including a thesis tutorial and thesis seminar).

Students’ Counsellor: Egyptology

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