Universiteit Leiden

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Classics and Ancient Civilizations (research) (MA)

About the programme

The Research Master in Classics and Ancient Civilizations covers two years (120 EC) and provides intensive and comprehensive training across the entire range of present-day research on the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Ancient Near East.

The programme offers four specialisations:

Programme structure

Semester 1

Core Course (10 EC)
Humanities-Based International Relations (5 EC)
Thesis and Methods in International Relations Research (5 EC)
Electives (10 EC)

Semester 2

Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)
Thesis (15 EC)
Electives (10 EC)

For a detailed programme, please see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

The Common Course is titled Libraries in the Ancient World. All ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern civilizations had their archives and libraries. Kings, priests, philosophers and private persons organized collections of documents, in order to preserve knowledge and to make it available for contemporary or future readers. Famous ancient libraries include the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, temple libraries in Egypt, the Qumran Library, the library of Alexandria, and the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum. But what were the functions of these libraries? Who founded and who funded them? Who had access to the collections, and how were these buildings organized? In answering these questions we will be comparing the different forms that libraries adopted in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine, Greece and Rome.

Tuturial and Elective
Next to the Common Courses, you will follow a tutorial which serves as a first step in the planning of your thesis. Additionally, you take another elective course within your specialisation area.

Thesis and Thesis Seminar
In the fourth semester, you are expected to start writing your thesis. In addition to individual guidance by your supervisor, the Research Career seminar will bolster up your work on the thesis by training you in specific writing and presentation skills. You will also learn, based on your thesis preparation, how to write a research proposal on the basis of academic requirements used by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Moreover, you will learn how to the process of blind peer-review works and how to write a paper that is admissible to a peer-reveiwed journal.

Jürgen Zangenberg

Professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity

Jürgen Zangenberg

"We all think we know how things are, or at least have preconceptions or - for the worse - prejudices. So I just confront students with "the obvious". Is this really what we can find in the sources? How far do they take us? Motivation comes from curiosity. So make students curious, and then you can see how they start thinking."

Preparing students for jobs

"We help our students prepare for the job market by teaching and coaching them. Make every student an expert in their field and coach them how to communicate and organize. If students understand that their field of study is not just an interesting academic discipline, but that they have something to tell which makes a difference in our societies, they will stand their ground."

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