About the programme
The MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations covers one year and can be studied in four tracks: Classics is one of them. While diving into the literary, cultural and intellectual worlds of Greece and Rome, you will be involved in current research, and stimulated to reflect on the significance of Classics to the 21st century.
The MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations specialization programme Classics comprises 60 EC spread out over two semesters.
Together with classes from cultural-historical disciplines (e.g., Ancient Philosophy, Ancient History or Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity), courses on Greek and (Renaissance-) Latin literature and linguistics form the heart of the programme.
All students participate in two core courses. The Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA Seminar focuses on academic writing skills, job market training, and the interdisciplinary exploration of ancient civilizations. Classics Now! is a seminar examines the current relevance of the study of Classics: we will discuss current issues in modern society (from migration to #MeToo), while applying ancient texts as ‘tools for thinking’.
You will conclude the programme by writing a thesis based on a research question or hypothesis of your own formulation, which involves the interpretation of classical texts, and/or the exploration of linguistic or literary concepts.
Next to the Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA Seminar and Classics Now!, students of the MA programme Classics take 35 EC courses in Greek and Latin literature and/or linguistics and a limited number of classes from the cultural-historical disciplines (e.g., Ancient Philosophy, Ancient History or Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity).
You have the option to study abroad. A maximum of 20 EC can be obtained through classes taken abroad.
For a more detailed programme, 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.
Content is regularly updated to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights – many of them from the research conducted by lecturers on the programme. External lecturers are regularly invited to teach on specialised topics, for example, from the Forum Antiquum and the national research institute OIKOS. The academically-rigorous design of the programme aims to develop in you essential skills in reasoning and critical thinking, as well as advanced abilities in independently conducting high-quality scientific research and developing this data into an academic dissertation.
Professor of Greek Language and Literature
“We have a wonderful and international team of colleagues here at Leiden: Dutch, German and American classicists and guest-researchers come together to work side-by-side in a friendly yet competitive and challenging academic environment.Between us, we offer a wide range of expertise, including Homer, rhetoric, Greek and Roman drama, papyrology, philosophy, or Neo-Latin.”
"I personally love to involve students in research enterprises – and they are very active and enterprising themselves: we have a manuscript club, where we decipher the oldest manuscript of Homer’s Iliad. The Iliad text is surrounded on all sides by very hard-to-read commentaries that go back to the 3rd century BCE. Our students are currently helping to create a digital edition of this as part of the Homer Multi-text Project, which we are working on together with Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies."
Approaches to Classics
"Our courses offers a great mix: on the one hand we teach the continental approach to Classics, with its emphasis on technical skills and philology and, on the other, the more problem-driven and theory-oriented approach from the Anglo-American world.”