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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Classics & Ancient Civilizations Ancient History
Header image Ancient History

Ancient History

What are the classical roots of modern politics? How did religious landscapes interact with political networks? What made the Roman Empire so successful? Why was sport so important to the Greeks?

These are some of many questions that you can study in Groningen. In Groningen, we offer Ancient History as a one-year Master's track -in English- with a full-time and a part-time tangent. While we cover the whole of antiquity, from archaic Greece to the late Roman Empire, our focus lies on the political, cultural, and religious connectivities of the Mediterranean world. Ancient History in Groningen is interdisciplinary in character and interacts with religious studies, material culture studies, but also with other historical periods. In Groningen you will become familiar with various theoretical approaches and methodologies, and digital humanities plays a strong role in our teaching and research. Our topics range from elite culture to daily life using a wide variety of data – besides literary sources, you will explore ways that inscriptions, papyri and material culture cast a radically different light on the ancient world.

Ancient History is a track within the Master's degree programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. Within this track, we offer three specializations:

  • Ancient History and Culture
  • Ancient History and Religious Studies
  • Ancient History and Premodern History

For more about Ancient History in Groningen, see our website.

Facts & Figures
MA in Classics & Ancient Civilizations
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Why study this programme in Groningen?
Landscape and Memory (5 EC)
2 Research Seminar. Exploring Late Antiquity (10 EC)
Elective Greek epigraphy: Essay (5 EC, optional)
Elective Greek epigraphy: pensum (5 EC, optional)
GLTC Commentaarcollege Grieks en Latijn (10 EC, optional)
Track Ancient History and Culture (20 EC, optional)
Track Ancient History and Premodern Studies (20 EC, optional)
Track Ancient History and Religious Studies (20 EC, optional)
Masterstage Oudheidsstudies (10 EC, optional)
2 Research Seminar: Athletes and Oracles - Festival, sport and encounter in Ancient Greece (10 EC)
Ma-thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations (20 EC)
Programme options
Ancient History and Culture (specialization)

This specialization gives you the opportunity to specialize in ancient history and ancient culture by selecting electives worth 20 ECTS.

Courses may be selected from MA programmes within the Faculty of Arts, such as History Today, Classical Studies, and Philosophy.

Ancient History and Religious Studies (specialization)

This specialization gives you the opportunity to specialize in ancient history and religious studies by selecting 20 ECTS worth of electives from course units on Religious Studies.

This track offers courses within the programme Politics, Religion, and Pluralism in which shifting and overlapping identities in the post-classical world are explored through thematic courses (see website). You can also write a thesis that combines Ancient History and Religious Studies.

More information about this option

Ancient History and Premodern History (specialization)

You can specialize in ancient history and premodern history by freely selecting your own package of electives of 20 ECTS total.

The specialization track Premodern History is a track within the Research Master Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies. This track offers research seminars and specialist courses on approaches.

More information about this option

Master's Placement (specialization)

This Master's track includes an optional work placement for which you are awarded ECTS credit points.

It is your responsibility to find a placement yourself, but the Office for Student Affairs can offer help with this where necessary.

Master Honours College (honours program)

The master Honours programma is designed for students who wish to get even more out of their education..

This is a programme of an extra 15 ECTS credit points that runs parallel to you regular MA programme. The one-year programme focuses on leadership from an interdisciplinary perspective and is geared to the development of leadership skills.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
ArchaeologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
History (part-time)All Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Classics (part-time)All Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202101 September 2021
15 August 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level B2/C1 overall (a score B2 for one component may be compensated by a C1 for another component). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180. For more information on the LCET, refer to site of the language center:

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Classics, History, Archaeology or other relevant programme.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202101 September 2021
15 August 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
01 May 202201 September 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
EU/EEA2021-2022€ 2168full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Job examples

  • Historical Researcher
  • Policy Officer
  • Educator

University of Groningen research on Ancient History covers a wide range, from the Greek Classical period up to and including the Late Roman Empire, and from religion and political representation to network theory.

We are part of the large History department, which provides us with many opportunities for comparative teaching and research. In addition we enjoy the full advantages of the diverse Groningen expertise in Classical Studies: a thriving Classical Studies department, a good Mediterranean Archaeology department, and a prominent Faculty of Theology. We collaborate intensively with all of these departments in our teaching and research.

Our permanent staff are all active and internationally published researchers with research experience abroad and many international contacts. Our research projects are organised under the title Political Culture, Religion and Identities from the Hellenistic Period to Late Antiquity. Our research takes place under OIKOS, the National Research School in Classical Studies, and is locally subsumed under ICOG, the Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture, and CRASIS, Culture, Religion and Society in the Ancient World. We are partners in Anchoring Innovation, the research initiative of the research school OIKOS which was awarded a gravitation grant that will allow us to initiate exciting new research projects.

Prof van Nijf and Dr Williamson were recently awarded a 4 year grant for their project Connecting the Greeks that investigates the development of festival networks in the Hellenistic world; this project continues to expand the project Connected Contests, the online database of athletes in the ancient world.

Dr Jan Willem Drijvers has been the recipient for numerous grants and fellowships for his work on Late Antiquity, among others from the National Humanities Center and Dumbarton Oaks in the USA, in Oxford, Göttingen, Yale, Jerusalem and Sydney.

Dr Jeremia Pelgrom has co-directed two projects from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) that focus on mapping the Via Appia and landscapes of early colonization in Italy in the mid-Republican period.

Our teaching and research are characterized by a focus on interdisciplinary approaches. In our research projects, we work together with archaeologists, classical studies experts and religious studies experts, and most of our PhD students are supervised in collaboration with experts from these disciplines. We are also involved in supervising PhD students from other departments.

There is an active group of PhD students at the Ancient History department and neighbouring departments. Recent and current PhD projects include the following:

  • Inscriptions as a medium of Hellenistic globalization
  • Finding the Present in the Distant Past: The Cultural Meaning of Antiquarianism in Late Antiquity
  • Patronage and social hierarchies in Rome
  • Cultural identities in in the Latin colonies of Central Italy
  • Emperors and decurions in Italy (27 BC - AD 68)
  • City and sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor
  • Societal Changes reflected in material culture: the Greek agora in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
  • Citizens, elites and benefactors: The politics of generosity in Roman Asia Minor

Our PhD and Research MA students are involved the CRASIS Ancient World Seminar.

For more about Ancient History in Groningen, see our website.

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  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Drs. Bob van der Borg (studieadviseur)
    Email: r.p.van.der.borg
  • Floor Bakker (Student Ambassador)
    Email: f.bakker.8
  • Prof. Dr. Onno van Nijf (Hoogleraar Oude Geschiedenis)
    Email: o.m.van.nijf
  • Dr. Jan Willem Drijvers (Universitair Hoofddocent)
    Email: j.w.drijvers
  • Dr. Christina Williamson (Universitair Docent)
    Email: c.g.williamson


See here for a list of all Ancient History staff members.

Research Master

Are you interested in a research oriented career? Have a look at our Research's Master's programme in Classical and Ancient Civilizations.

Read more

Study associations

Ubbo Emmius

Ubbo Emmius is the study association of the History department at the University of Groningen.
Ubbo Emmius is an association in which leisure activities and professional events are combined. GHD Ubbo Emmius has set up a career committee in order to advise and inform its members in the field of study, internships and professions. Each year this committee organizes two trips to institutes or companies, such as the European Parliament in Brussels. In addition, every year a career conference is organized with speakers of different fields and alumni who can familiarize history students with their life after graduation.
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