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Programme structure

The Master's programme Ancient History comprises 60 ECTS credits:

  • 42 credits for core courses, electives and tutorials.
  • 18 credits for the Master’s thesis.

The Ancient World

Great Debates

One of the core courses of this programme is 'Great Debates'. This course examines some of the most fiercely debated topics among scholars of the ancient world. For example, what role did 'the East' play in classical civilization? Is gender a useful category of analysis for the ancient world? What does pilgrimage tell us about ancient experiences? Students  will analyse such controversial topics and come to grips with the main methodical and theoretical issues, as well as with the difficulties of interpreting different types of source material.

City life in the Roman Empire

Another important course in the programme is 'City life in the Roman Empire'. Cities formed the backbone of the Roman Empire. This course will focus on the social and cultural structure of Roman cities as well as on the people living in them. Students will gain fascinating insights into daily Roman city life by learning more about priesthoods and religion, sanitation and mortality, burial customs, games and entertainment, social and professional clubs and class and gender relations. This course is especially well-suited to students seeking to broaden their knowledge of Roman and urban history.

Detailed course information

For further course information, please see the UvA Course Catalogue (link below).

UvA Course Catalogue: Ancient History

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a research programme. Once students are admitted to the research programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their research programme degree. The Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for transfer.

Please follow the link below to the Research Master's programme History (UvA) and the Research Master's in Classics and Ancient Civilisations (VU).

Onderzoeksmaster Geschiedenis UvA (in Dutch)

Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research Master's)


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