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Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Classics

The Classics program includes Greek and Latin literature and/or linguistics, and a limited number of courses from the cultural-historical disciplines. Students in Classics take at least 45 EC in Greek and Latin literature or linguistics (including the 5 EC-core course Classics Now! and the Master’s thesis of 15 EC), with at least 10 EC seminars/tutorials for each language. The program also contains an elective course, in which cultural-historical subjects (Ancient History, Classical Archeology, or Ancient Philosophy) and/or languages may be included.

Classics is a specialization of the Master’s program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. This Master programme is unique in the Netherlands in the breadth of its subject matter, the historical periods covered and the multidisciplinary approach of its study. Characteristic for the Master is its focus on reading ancient texts in their original languages, and discussing the different interpretations the texts allow.

The student may specialize in one of four tracks:

Please consult the information page for more details on the program and visit our website.


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Students choose 30 ec in total (February 2019 start: 10 ec).

Compulsory courses

Core Course: Classics Now! 5/10
Ancient World Thesis seminar 5

Thesis February start

MA Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations 15

Electives: select courses with a minimum total of 20 ec*: (February start 5 ec)


Seminar Greek: Shem in the tents of Japhet: Exploring cultural negotiation in Greco-Roman Jewish-Greek literature 10


Masterlanguage Latin: Creatieve imitatio in de Latijnse literatuur
Seminar Latin: Roman Republican Tragedy 5/10

Cultural Historical Courses

Administration, society and culture in Roman North Africa, 46 BC - AD 429 10
Research Workshop: Roman Numismatics (10 EC) 10
Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy in context. Philosophy and Literature in Late Antiquity 10
Coping with Versnel: debating ancient religions 10


Core Course: Methodologies and Theories – Medieval & Early Modern 10

Second semester

Students choose 10 ec courses in total (February 2017 start: 30 ec) and write their MA Thesis.

Compulsory courses

Ancient World Thesis seminar 5

Thesis September start

MA Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations 15

Elective(s): select courses with a minimum total of 10 EC (February start 30 EC):


Masterlanguage: Een nagelaten canon: hoogtepunten uit de Griekse literatuur
MA Seminar Greek: Ancient Greek Utopian thinking 10


Seminar Latin: Writing Exile. Latin Literature of Displacement from Ovid to Joachim Du Bellay 10

Cultural Historical Courses

Seminar Early Christianity: Jews, Christians and Pagans in Roman Asia Minor 10
Globalization and Empire in the Roman world 10
Greek Papyrology 10
Palaeography of the Greek Papyri and Edition Technique of Papyrus Documents 5
Photographing Egypt, Greece, and the Near East 10
From Dusk till Dawn: the Ancient World at Night 10

Career Preparation

The program of the MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations provides comprehensive training in the languages, literatures and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region and the Near East. But how will you be able to use your knowledge of the ancient world and your academic skills on the job market? What skills will you develop, and how can you best prepare yourself for the future? We discuss these questions at several moments during the MA program, and there are several opportunities for you to receive more information. We organize job market events and meetings with alumni, and we can help you to find internships.

Ancient World Thesis seminar Internships Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings Humanities Career Service Humanities Career Event Forum Antiquum and Ancient World Network (Lunch Talks) Transferrable Skills Meetings with the Study Advisor

Ancient World Thesis seminar

The job market is one of the central topics of the Ancient World Thesis seminar. Part of this seminar are meetings with representatives of the Career Service of the Faculty of Humanities. There is one meeting on ‘Personal Skills’, consisting of two parts: a panel discussion with a large group of alumni, who are invited to share their experiences on the job market; and a workshop that explores what students expect from the job market and what they and the university could do to achieve their goals. There is also a meeting on writing your CV and application letters.


Internships are very useful for students who wish to familiarize themselves with the job market. We have established firm connections with several institutions and companies that have agreed to offer annual internships for students of Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Brill Publishers, Uitgeverij LAMBO, NINO and RMO (the National Museum of Antiquities). Other internships are also possible. The Board of Examiners must approve your internship plan, which can be either part of your study program (10 EC) or extracurricular. For more information, contact the internship coordinator and visit the website Finding and arranging an internship.

Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings

The program annually organizes Leiden Antiquity Network Meetings: at these events students can meet alumni with different jobs. Apart from presentations by alumni about their careers, the Leiden Antiquity Network Meeting may include ‘speed-dating’ sessions for students and alumni.

Humanities Career Service

The Faculty of Humanities Career Service provides Humanities students with professional advice and guidance concerning (international) internships and jobs, courses in career planning and job application, and job application readers. The internship coordinator and the career advisor assist you in exploring your individual interests and abilities, and guide you towards the most appropriate internships and job.
Please consult the Humanities Career Service webpage for more information.

Humanities Career Event

This career day is organised by the Faculty of Humanities. It is meant for students who are preparing themselves for a future career in The Netherlands. There are various things to do during this event. There are inspiring keynote speakers; organisations and companies give workshops about work experience from employees and the career opportunities for Leiden University alumni; and there are also workshops about for example Linkedin, networking, and applying for jobs.
The date of the next Humanities Career Event will be announced on the university website and by e-mail.

Forum Antiquum and Ancient World Network (Lunch Talks)

For students who wish to pursue an academic career, there are two lecture series where you can meet scholars and learn about new approaches to the ancient world. Forum Antiquum is the lecture series that focuses on research in Classics. Lectures are organized every other week during the semester on Thursdays. Every semester, a number of national and international speakers are invited, both well-known experts and promising young researchers.
The Ancient World Lunch Talks provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and latest research in an informal atmosphere with an audience of MA and PhD students, Postdocs and Faculty and all interested students. There is free pizza and everyone is welcome to bring lunch!
If you are not in the mailing list and you would like to receive e-mails about the lunch talks, please contact the study advisor.

Transferrable Skills

Your future employers will not only be interested in your knowledge of Classics and Ancient Civilisations, but also in the skills that you have developed during your studies. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the skills that you are training in your MA programme. The course descriptions in the e-Prospectus tell you which skills you will acquire.
In the MA programme you learn how to analyse a problem, how to formulate a research question, how to select and assess your sources, how to assess secondary literature, how to give a clear and well-argued oral presentation either for specialists or for a wider audience, and how to write a clear and well-argued paper. You will be training the following transferrable skills:

  • critical thinking (formulating questions, checking assumptions, assessing sources and scholarship)

  • analytical skills (selecting, ordering, sorting out, and solving a problem)

  • oral presentation skills (speaking, listening, discussing, receiving feedback)

  • writing skills (reporting, summarizing, presenting an argument, with structure and style)

  • independence (self-discipline, initiative, motivation)

  • project management (planning, demarcation of a topic, discipline, meeting deadlines)

  • flexibility (adapting to changes)

  • creativity (curiosity, developing new ideas and innovative topics)

  • academic integrity (acting with honesty, fairness, and responsibility)

  • collaboration (working together with other students on a joint project)

Meetings with the Study Advisor

Students who have questions about their orientation on career prospects can contact the study advisor of the MA programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations.