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.
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, Greek or Latin, archaeology, or Ancient Near Eastern Studies. As such, you will unite a broad, critical perspective with depth and expertise.
Find out in 4 minutes what the unique Ancient Studies Bachelor's programme is about. Professor Vladimir Stissi and student Gijs explain.
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.
- Unique programme
This programme is home to a combination of disciplines that is unique to the Netherlands: Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Classical languages, philosophy, archaeology and ancient history. As a student of Ancient Studies, you are fascinated by history, mythology and Classical languages, but you are also interested in present-day, universal themes such as democracy, discrimination and gender relations. You would like to delve deeper into cultural exchange and confrontations between, for example, East and West, pagans and Christians, and Antiquity and the present;
- 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.
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.
Would you like to have an overview of our programme? Request our brochure and receive it directly in your inbox.