Universiteit Leiden

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Global Archaeology (MA)

About the programme

Following your personal interests, you may choose one of three area specialisations. Will you focus on the archaeological history of the European continent? Or do you prefer to dive into the Mediterranean world? Or would you rather study pre-Columbian America? The choice is up to you!

Programme overview

The first semester will feature the area specialisations. Each area course will start with an introduction to archaeological research in their respective region, laying a direct connection with ongoing Faculty research projects. It will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the corresponding regional archaeology and its historical roots.

In the second semester you will follow two general courses on archaeological theory, which will serve to compare the three areas and reflect upon them in a global perspective. Additionally, electives will further expand your knowledge on archaeological methodologies or techniques, or offer room for an internship.

The crowning work of your master’s in Global Archaeology is your thesis. This entails a research project in which you show that you are capable of conducting archaeological research in the region of your choice and that you can reflect on the role of this region in human history.

See for a detailed programme outline the programme structure webpage.

Pasquinel Hartman

Master's student

Pasquinel Hartman

'I have always been interested in the history of the Americas. On top of that, I wanted to be an archaeologist for as long as I can remember. So to combine the two in the specialisation Global Archaeology was an easy decision.'

'My favorite master course is “Current Issues in the Archaeology of the Americas”. During this class we discussed different aspects of contemporary archaeology in the Americas and the impact this has or can have on local communities.'

'After my studies I want to continue conducting research in Central America in any capacity that I can. After a few years of experience, I would like to get my PhD.'

Luc Amkreutz


Luc Amkreutz

'I particularly liked the diversity of courses that was taught, it allowed you to gradually touch upon the different time-periods of prehistory, while at the same time adding other more methodological, theoretical and applied disciplines. The cross-over between these different avenues of research is particularly interesting. Also the inclusion of fieldwork and practical assignments working with material added a valuable dimension.'

Marthe Donders


Marthe Donders

What I really liked about my master’s programme is that I could really curate my own programme within a very diverse set of courses. And that I had a lot of possibilities to go abroad: since I chose courses in Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology it was amazing to stay in the actual places that I was learning more about. Over the course of two years, I did a field survey in Portugal (two weeks), got a scholarship for my master thesis at the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome (two months) and did an Erasmus programme at La Sapienza Università in Rome (six months).

Educational methods

Tests are taken in the form of written examinations, presentations, assignments or papers. For each subject you pass you will be awarded a number of credits. One credit (ec) stands for 28 hours of study. One year of fulltime study equals 60 credits.

Instruction consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials. In the lecture the lecturer talks about his or her field. You prepare by studying articles and books at home.

However, most of the teaching in the master programme consists of seminars and tutorials, where you examine the material in more depth and discuss it with your fellow students and the lecturer.

You also carry out assignments, give presentations and write papers. An active contribution to the meetings is highly appreciated.

You are required to spend about 40 hours per week on your studies. These study activities include: lectures/seminars, practical sessions, tutorials, fieldwork, excursions (e.g. to a museum or excavation), exams, literature study, preparing presentations, and writing papers and reports.

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