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Ancient Studies

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Was Caesar the first populist? Can Harry Potter be regarded as a mythological hero? In the Bachelor’s programme Ancient Studies, you will gain insight into the ancient origins of political systems and themes such as identity and migration, which remain relevant far beyond the time of the Persians, Athenians and Romans. Your expertise in the field of Ancient Studies will thus also allow you to develop a critical outlook on contemporary events.

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Bachelor's Week 4 -11 Nov
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Antiquity in perspective

The Ancient Studies programme investigates the Classical cultures that lie at the roots of our modern world. You will be given an overview of the most important works of art, literature, philosophy, history and mythology of Antiquity, among which are such things as the pyramids, Greek tragedies, Cleopatra, the epics of Gilgamesh, and Hannibal’s conflict with Rome. As such, you will gain a critical perspective on cultural contact and conflict: between the ancient Greeks, Romans, Persians and Egyptians, but also between past and present. Can our present-day democracy draw any lessons from that of ancient Athens? As an Ancient Studies scholar, you will not only learn to conduct solid research into Ancient topics, but you will also use your historical knowledge to grasp contemporary issues and phenomena.

Programme video
Bachelor's programme in Ancient Studies explained

Find out in 4 minutes what the unique Ancient Studies Bachelor's programme is about. Professor Vladimir Stissi and student Gijs explain.


Studytrip and excursions

Scientific expertise centre of the UvA and VU


55 first year students

Strong sense of community

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Five specialisations

Why study Ancient Studies in Amsterdam?

  • World-class education
    The UvA is ranked 58th in the 2023 QS World Rankings, the highest ranked university in the Netherlands and is one of two Dutch universities in the top 100, and 21st overall and 2nd in Continental Europe in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Arts & Humanities. The UvA also ranks 60th on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022-2023.
    In the Ancient Studies programme in Amsterdam, you are trained by the largest group of Ancient Studies specialists in the Netherlands. This is due to the UvA-VU collaboration in the fields of ancient history, archaeology and Classical languages. 
  • A combination of disciplines
    Ancient Studies is a varied and many-faceted programme (from participating in excavations to deciphering manuscripts). History, archaeology and Classical languages converge within this programme. This innovative combination of disciplines gives you a unique overall perspective on Antiquity and its impact throughout the ages, as well as teaching you to reason from various types of sources and theories. Furthermore, you will specialise in one of the following subjects: Ancient History, Ancient Greek, Latin, Archaeology, or Ancient Near Eastern Studies. As such, you will unite a broad, critical perspective with depth and expertise. Please note: the courses in Ancient Greek and Latin are taught in Dutch.
  • Ideal study environment
    You will study in the cultural heart of Amsterdam, with its many museums and cultural institutions such as the Allard Pierson and the Rijksmuseum.
  • International character
    The programme is highly international in character. It is, of course, fully taught in English, but it also includes excursions to interesting locations such as Sicily.
Copyright: UvA
The Ancient Studies programme draws people from various backgrounds and specialisations, who work together to create a programme that is interesting from many different perspectives. I really enjoy being part of that. Koen Vacano, PhD candidate Read the interview

After graduation

After the completion of Ancient Studies, you can continue your studies with a Master's degree in literature, art and culture, history or politics. The interdisciplinary programme in Ancient Studies forms an excellent preparation for a career in managerial, cultural and educational positions that deal with cultural matters in and around Europe.

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Facts & Figures
Degree programme
BA Ancient Studies
Regular study programme
180 ECTS, 36 months
Language of instruction
Starts in
CROHO code
University Quarter