I am following the specialization in Bioarchaeology
I feel completely at home in the Research Master's programme in Archaeology. After a rather broad-based Bachelor's programme, this Master's programme allows to you really specialize in your own interests. I am following the specialization in Bioarchaeology.
I chose the Groningen programme for its personal supervision, the approachability of lecturers, the wide range of specialization options and the opportunities available to students.
There is a lot of choice within the Research Master's programme. Besides a few compulsory course units, there are lots of tutorials in which you are entirely free to choose your topic (region, period, material category etc.) as long as you have it approved. You will be expected to work on your topic independently and with discipline and set your own deadlines.
The Research Master's programme will help you prepare for a career as a research specialist. However, the fact that you are trained in more than one specialization means that you will be able to work in several professional fields. I would like to work as a paleoecologist or archaeobotanist at a bioarchaeological research bureau, or continue to conduct research at the University. A specialist position at a natural history museum also sounds very interesting.
PhD Experience with Sarah Willemsen at Crustumerium
Rebuilding the site with Nikolaas Noorda at Crustumerium
Field Survey at Crustumerium with Remco Bronkhorst
For my MA I am specializing in hunter-gatherer cultures in Northwestern Europe during the Late Stone Age
I'm Pir Hoebe, 24 years old, and I grew up in the most beautiful part of the province – what was once the fiefdom of Westerwolde. From a young age I was able to nurture my love for the past. While roaming through the woods and fields, I would fantasize about medieval knights and Roman legionaries. When I heard that there was such a thing as archaeologists, I lost no time attacking the back garden with a spade.
When it came to choosing a Bachelor’s programme, I tossed up briefly between history and archaeology, but archaeology really brings you into close contact with the past and that really appealed to me.
For my MA I am specializing in hunter-gatherer cultures in Northwestern Europe during the Upper Palaeolithic (Late Stone Age) and the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age). The Research Master’s (ReMa) programme in Archaeology allows me plenty of freedom to explore my interests within this specialist area. There are only a few core modules in the ReMa. For the rest you can choose course units from the regular master's tracks (Prehistory and Protohistory, Mediterranean Archaeology, Maritime Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, Arctic Archaeology). And there is still enough time to specialize further through tutorials with lecturers. This involves coming up with a research question, or choosing material or a method that you want to study. On top of that, there are opportunities to earn part of your ECTS credit points at other universities or abroad.
PhD Researcher at the University of Groningen
On 4 June I defended my thesis Corded Ware Coastal Communities, Using Ceramic Analysis to Reconstruct Third Millennium BC Societies in the Netherlands. Analysis of earthenware has told us much more about the people who lived along the Dutch coast in the fourth millennium BC.
These were people who lived from agriculture and livestock farming combined with hunting, gathering and fishing. What is special is that the earthenware that these people used is extremely similar to earthenware found in an area stretching from Scandinavia to Switzerland and from Russia to the Netherlands, so alongside regional roots, the coastal communities also had a large international exchange network.
The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology was the perfect preparation for this. This two-year programme gave me a lot of freedom and extra time to delve into a topic. During my studies, I specialized in the analysis of earthenware from the fourth and third millennia BC. Analysis of this earthenware tells us more about the people who made and used it as well as about their society. In my PhD research I was able to put this into practice.
Research Master's Student Patty Huijbers About Her Research Assistants Programme
Placement at the National Museum of Natural History
I have learned a lot of different things during my internship. During my internship I conducted my own research under the supervision of Dr. Stanford. Naturally I learned a lot from him about the peopling of the Americas and the details of American archaeological issues. I learned about what it is like to work in such a major research environment. The museum has many resources that attract students from all over the world: collections, libraries and experts in various fields.
I loved the museum. Just being surrounded by all these amazing artefacts was a motivation by itself to come to work everyday with a smile on my face. I loved taking the long route to the office through the Dinosaur and Ice Age halls, walking by the T-Rex, Mastodons and Mammoths everyday. In Dr. Stanford’s office were all the prehistoric projectile points that I was studying. It is just a lot of fun to actually study real artefacts, especially when you have been reading about those very artefacts for years. Besides the artefacts I truly enjoyed being in this environment where something always seems to be happening. People are passionate about their work and are enthusiastic to tell you all about it but they are also very much interested in your work. I have felt very much accepted by many different people during my stay in Washington DC.
For me it has been a great adventure. Through my contacts at the museum I got into contact with archaeologists in Nevada and Alaska and I got invited to visit their archaeological sites after my internship. This once again shows what such an internship can mean for your career, it is the best way to meet people and to prove your own skills. If you are good at what you do people will notice and it can get you places. Read more
From an early age on I was already fascinated by the past and I knew I wanted to pursue this later on.
My name is Francis Koolstra, 24 years old, and I’m from the charming town of Franeker in the province of Friesland, where once stood one of oldest universities of The Netherlands, until it was closed under the reign of Napoleon. From an early age on I was already fascinated by the past and I knew I wanted to pursue this later on. After secondary school I studied one year history, where I came to the conclusion that I missed the link between theory and practice; I wanted to come in contact with the past itself, a conclusion which brought me to archaeology.
Questions about the MA programme of Archaeology? Send Francis an email: email@example.com