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Research Master
Heritage, Memory and Archaeology (Archaeology)
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Study programme

Programme overview

The programme gives access to a wide range of core and elective courses offered across the Faculty of Humanities, while individual modules, such as research tutorials or internships, enable you to explore your own interests. In this way, the programme gives you the flexibility to tailor the programme to your own interests.

A variety of courses focusing on archaeology and material culture teaches you about the theory and practice of archaeology from various regions and periods, ranging from the archaeology of ancient civilisations to the early modern world. Participation in archaeological fieldwork is just one of the possibilities, and we have several fieldwork projects in the Netherlands and the Mediterranean region running each year that welcome our students without additional fees.

An exploration of the long- and short-term processes that shape collective memory and our understanding of heritage is offered within courses focusing on heritage and memory studies. In this integrated Research Master’s programme, the link between heritage and memory has a clear association with archaeology and material culture studies, providing a deeper look into the individuals and groups involved in heritage, as both as an industry and as a contemporary narration of history.

Programme structure

The Research Master’s programme Heritage, Memory and Archaeology comprises 120 ECTS credits: 36 credits core courses; 54 credits electives and tutorials, and 30 credits Research Master’s thesis project.

  • Core courses

    All students will take the following core courses:

    Matter, Materials, and Materiality
    This course offers in-depth training in material culture theory, whilst practice will help you explore the ways in which these theories play a role in archaeology and heritage.

    Making Places: Landscape, Memory and Heritage
    In this course, a wide spatial perspective is taken on archaeology and heritage. Current theories and research methodologies from a range of disciplines are used to explore how space and place are fields of contestation and meaning-making.

    Giving the unheard a voice. Archaeology as a multivocal discipline.
    This course offers a social critique on the fields of archaeology and heritage as they are practiced in academia. Current debates on the contestation of the pasts and their historical roots are considered, and new perspectives on specific cases are explored, as well as the possibilities and desirability to redirect the field(s).

    Archaeology, Museums and the Public
    In this course, you will engage actively with the collections of UvA’s Allard Pierson Museum in order to better understand the history of collecting and the creation of museum narratives. This course brings the opportunity for you to collaborate with students from Museum Studies and other related disciplines.

    Research Lab 1
    This course is aimed at research design in the field of archaeology and heritage. You will collaborate with students from the one-year Master’s programme in Archaeology in small groups and design a joint research programme that is closely related to the active research of the departmental staff. This course will help to further familiarise you with modes of academic research.

  • Electives

    You may choose electives from a range of Master’s programmes offered by the Faculty of Humanities. Students focusing on Archaeology and Material Culture will primarily choose electives from the ACASA Master’s programme in Archaeology. Students wishing to specialise in Heritage and Memory Studies will primarily choose electives from the Heritage and Memory Studies programmes at the UvA or VU. In addition, you may choose electives from a wide range of programmes, such as Museum Studies, Ancient Studies, and more.

  • Tutorials and Internships

    Individual tutorials form an important component of the Research Master's programme in Heritage, Memory and Archaeology. They typically comprise a research assignment, and include material research at museums and excavations. You will also have the opportunity to participate in archaeological fieldwork projects directed by staff in north-western Europe and the Mediterranean. You can also do an internship at an archaeological or heritage institution in order to familiarise yourself with the professional practice in your chosen specialisation.

  • Thesis

    The Master's thesis reports on research carried out under the supervision of an academic staff member involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be proposed by the student, and then mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

National Research Schools

You can further specialise by choosing courses or study units within one of the Dutch National Research Schools, which will bring you into contact with a wider network of research practice within your chosen specialisation. This includes the Research School of Archaeology (ARCHON), National Research School in Classical Studies (OIKOS), Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History (OSK) and the Netherlands School for Cultural History (Huizinga Institute), among others.

Detailed course information

For detailed course information, please see: