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Jewish Studies (Middle Eastern Studies)

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The one-year Master's programme Jewish Studies focuses on Jewish culture and intellectual life from antiquity to the present. This MA is unique in that it offers, next to a solid methodological basis and the weeklong International Winter School in Jewish Studies, a tailor-made programme for each student.

A tailor-made programme

Following a general theoretical and methodological seminar, you will take tutorials and/or electives in subjects related to your desired area of expertise. Together with the study adviser and tutors, you will draw up your own trajectory. The staff participating in the programme cover a broad range of subjects, periods and approaches: Second Temple period and ancient rabbinic Judaism, medieval culture, with particular emphasis on philosophy and history of the sciences, early modern and modern cultural and intellectual history (including Amsterdam’s Jewish past and present), book history, Modern Hebrew and Israeli literature and culture, and Yiddish studies.

Including possibility of internships

Tailor made programme

International Winter School in Jewish Studies on a location abroad

Situated in a city rich in Jewish life


Connections with Jewish institutes

Why study Jewish Studies at the University of Amsterdam?

The Master's in Jewish Studies is situated in a city rich in Jewish life and infrastructure. Local institutions include the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, the Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Municipal Archive. Together, the University of Amsterdam and these institutions host extensive collections, ranging from primary sources to contemporary scholarly literature and material objects. The programme maintains excellent connections with other departments within the university as well as other academic and Jewish institutes, where students can find additional expertise. Thanks to the staff’s national and international networks, most graduates find jobs in their area of expertise.

  • You have the possibility to choose from a wide variety of specialisations; 
  • The programme offers ample opportunity to work with original primary sources at Amsterdam’s Jewish heritage collections; 
  • The programme offers the International Winter School in Jewish Studies, an excursion to a location somewhere else in Europe or Israel; 
  • Thanks to the staff’s national and international networks, most graduates find jobs in their area of expertise.

After graduation

After graduation you can start a career in the cultural sector (museums, theatres), in the Jewish infrastructure, as an interpreter/translator at companies with branches in the Middle East, at government bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or in journalism. Teaching is also possible.

Student profile

As a student of this programme you will be expected to have the following knowledge, insight and skills:

  •  You have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and have taken academic courses equivalent to at least one full-time semester of academic studies (30 EC) in history, cultural studies or literary studies; 
  • You are able to conduct research independently and know how to formulate consistent and functional research questions, collect material, apply theory, and write a thesis.
  • You are interested in the varieties of Jewish cultures past and present.

Degree certificate

Middle Eastern Studies is an accredited degree Master’s programme. After successful completion of the Jewish Studies specialisation, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MA Middle Eastern Studies
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 60842