Are you interested in the history, literature and culture of classical, medieval and early modern civilizations? Do you aspire to a career in research? This track is just what you are looking for.
This two-year Research Master's track focuses on Classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Early Modernity in Europe and the Middle East. The programme gives you the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences between these periods and to gain fundamental insights into the cultural developments and changes of premodern times. You will receive a thorough training in today’s relevant research tools for studying the premodern world, including digital humanities.
Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers a multidisciplinary and international environment. Depending on your background and research interests, you can choose one main focus (History, Literature or Classics) within our interdisciplinary programme.
You can design your own research profile to fit your interests. The programme provides specialist, tailor-made tutorials and courses on theory and method. You will collaborate with our top researchers on their academic projects. You can also spend a study period abroad at one of our partner universities. To complete your studies you will write an MA thesis on a subject of your own choice and specialism under the guidance of our academic team, which will give you a firm basis for further studies at PhD level.
PhD student at the University of Groningen
After completing my Bachelor's degree programme in English Language and Culture I was on the lookout for more depth and specialization. This Research Master's track was just what I was looking for. I was also able to broaden my knowledge by following a number of private seminars and tutorials.
One of the most enjoyable and successful parts of my degree was the tutorial that I set up with my fellow students, The Skelton Project. We worked on a website with digital editions of poems by the medieval poet John Skelton. Although we’ve graduated now, we still love working on animations of Skelton’s poems. In the Research Master’s track we didn’t just conduct research, but developed other skills too. Organizing the conference in the first year, for instance, was good preparation for the organizational side of the academic world. If I hadn’t made the decision to do the Research Master’s track in Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies I wouldn’t be where I am now as a PhD student at the University of Groningen. In my PhD research, I am analysing medieval manuscripts containing agricultural texts that English landowners would have read. My interest in this topic was aroused when I was studying the development of this kind of text for my Master’s thesis.
I choose the courses that are fitting my interests: ancient history
I applied at several universities but chose Groningen because of the interdisciplinarity of the programme and the fact that in contrast to other universities, Groningen offers a two-year track instead of one. More importantly, the lesser amount of tuition fees, comparing to other countries, has been an important motivation for doing my master's degree here in the Netherlands.
The advantage of this programme is that it offers the opportunity to structure the programme as you want. I choose the courses that are fitting my interests: ancient history. Thus, I can set the focus on my own investigation, with efficient supervision: associations of the Greek and Roman cities. A great asset of the programme is that some courses include excursions to other countries. For instance, in the first semester we visited Rome and this has been a great and unique experience for me. Not only did we have the opportunity to visit a lot of sites and museums, but also to experience academic work on site, that is presenting certain monuments, in front of the monuments, rather than via a pc.
Furthermore, I find it very convenient that there are not many exams in the programme. They do not count my development as a student on a strict basis of reproducing knowledge, but they want to see my interpretation and my research. Although the programme has disadvantages sometimes, in general lines this approach is fulfilling for me. For the future I would like to continue with my research since I have plans to do a PhD.
One of the great aspects of this master's track is that some courses include excursions to other countries
The reason I applied to the Research Master programme 'Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies' was that, during my Bachelor degree in History, I discovered that I thoroughly enjoyed carrying out research. I am currently in my second year of the programme and so far, the Research Master meets my expectations in every possible way. It is a diverse, multidisciplinary programme that is focused on investigation, and offers the opportunity to structure the programme to suit your interest (which in my case is cultural, medieval history).
Another great aspect of this master's track is that some courses include excursions abroad. For example, in the beginning of my first year we went to Rome, which was an amazing experience. During this excursion we stayed at the KNIR (Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut te Rome) and explored many different places, accompanied by scholars who would provide us information on anything we wanted to know. The excursion also gave us the opportunity to experience academic work on site, in the form of a presentation in front of a monument of our choosing. This Master programme doesn't have a lot of contact hours. That being said, you do have to carry out a lot of self-study at home. For me, this works very well because it gives me the ability to focus on the things I find most interesting.
So if you want to develop your scientific skills in a very lively student city, then I highly recommend this Master programme.
Are you an international student from a non EU/EEA member state starting a Research Master's programme or Erasmus Mundus Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the Holland Scholarship, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.
Read more on the Holland Scholarship.
Talented and motivated students who start in September in one of the five Research Master Programmes offered by the Faculty of Arts, may apply for a paid position of one day a week at the university.
Read more about the Research Assistants Programme positions.