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Classics and Ancient Civilizations (research): Classics

Classics is a specialization of the Research Master’s program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. This Research Master program 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

See below for more information and visit our website.

First year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Common course (ResMA): Slavery in the Ancient World 10

Electives: select courses with a minimum total of 20 ec:


Seminar Greek: Shem in the tents of Japhet: Exploring cultural negotiation in Greco-Roman Jewish-Greek literature 10


Seminar Latin: Roman Republican Tragedy 5/10
Masterlanguage Latin: Creatieve imitatio in de Latijnse literatuur

Cultural historical

Bestuur, maatschappij en cultuur in Romeins Noord-Afrika, 146 v. Chr. - 429 n. Chr. 10
Research Workshop: Roman Numismatics (10 EC) 10
Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy in context. Philosophy and Literature in Late Antiquity 10
Coping with Versnel: debating ancient religions 10
OIKOS Reading List

Second semester

Electives: select courses with a minimum total of 25 ec:


MA Seminar Greek: Ancient Greek Utopian thinking 10
Masterlanguage: Een nagelaten canon: hoogtepunten uit de Griekse literatuur


Seminar Latin: Writing Exile. Latin Literature of Displacement from Ovid to Joachim Du Bellay 10

Cultural historical

Seminar Early Christianity: Jews, Christians and Pagans in Roman Asia Minor 10
Globalization and Empire in the Roman world 10
Greek Papyrology 10
Palaeography of the Greek Papyri and Edition Technique of Papyrus Documents 5
Photographing Egypt, Greece, and the Near East 10
From Dusk till Dawn: the Ancient World at Night 10


Core Course: Methodologies and Theories – Medieval & Early Modern 10

Second year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Compulsory courses: 15 EC

Common course (ResMA): Slavery in the Ancient World 10
MA Thesis Tutorial Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research) 5
OIKOS Reading List

Elective: select from list of electives in year 1, semester 1 (10 ec)

Research School Elective(s). Select from courses offered by National Research Schools ** (minimum 5 ec)

OIKOS Reading List

Second semester

Compulsory courses: 30 EC

Research Career Seminar 5
MA Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research) 25
Photographing Egypt, Greece, and the Near East 10

Career Preparation

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.

Thesis Seminar; Internships Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings Humanities Career Service Humanities Career Event Forum Antiquum and Ancient World Network (Lunch Talks) Transferrable Skills Meetings with the Study Advisor

Thesis Seminar

The job market is one of the central topics of the Thesis Presentation and Research Proposal Seminar. The seminar focuses on skills that you need to develop for academic jobs, including PhD positions, as well as many non-academic jobs. These skills include the writing of a conference abstract, the composition of a professional CV, the writing of a research proposal, academic integrity, and the planning of a research career.


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.
Check out the next Humanities Career Event

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.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Leiden Elective Academic Periodical - Special Issue #2 "Nature" 10