Universiteit Leiden

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Ancient History (MA)

Leiden University's master’s programme in Ancient History is your opportunity to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the history of the Greek and Roman periods, with a focus on the mentality and social and economic history of the period between 400 B.C. and 400 A.D.

A top-ranked programme

According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, Classics and Ancient History at Leiden University is rated 10th in the world.

Why study Ancient History at Leiden University?

The Ancient History programme will give you a thorough grounding in several key periods of ancient history. These include: the complex history of the Roman Republic; civic life in Italy, Egypt, Gallia and the Gallia and the Lower Germanic frontier; Graeco-Roman religion; Late Antiquity; and the rise of early Judaism. For many years now the programme has attracted students with bachelor’s degrees in history, the classics, archaeology and several other disciplines. 

The strong focus on primary sources is a distinguishing feature of the Ancient History programme, offering students a wealth of information about ancient Greek and Roman societies. You can pursue interests in documentary texts (inscriptions and papyri) and archaeological material. You will not need extensive knowledge of Latin and Greek because you can work with translations. Furthermore, you can study the collection of the National Museum of Antiquities and work alongside papyrologists at the Leiden Papyrological Institute.

Learn more about the study programme

Learn from established scholars

During the Ancient History programme you will collaborate with outstanding scholars from the Unification of the Mediterranean World 400 BC - 400 AD (UMW), as well as those active in other fields of history or the related fields of the classics, ancient philosophy, classical archaeology, religious studies and near-eastern cultures. Leiden University offers you the possibility to share in their knowledge acquired in leading research projects and programmes.

What are your career prospects?

This Master's prepares you for a wide range of roles in almost every sector of the job market. Our graduates work at different types of organisations, such as research institutes, international organisations, the cultural and recreational sector, and academia. Jobs include researcher, history teacher, curator and PhD candidate.

Find out more about your career prospects

Is Ancient History the programme for you?

Do you want to know everything about ancient Greek and Roman societies? Do you want to deepen your knowledge by studying ancient collections? Then Ancient History at Leiden University is the right Master's programme for you. Find out if you are eligible for this Master's programme by checking the admission requirements.

Check the admission requirements

History Degree

Ancient History at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme of History. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited master’s degree in History and the title Master of Arts (MA).

In which sector do students find jobs?

  • 22 Government and sem-government
  • 14 Education
  • 12 Research
  • 8 Information management
  • 6 IT
  • 5 Culture, sports and recreation
  • 5 Financial institutions
  • 5 Communication and marketing
  • 4 Business services
  • 3 Welfare and health
  • 16 Other

The graph above is based on alumni data from the MA History 2016-2020

Chat with a student

Do you have a question about student life in Leiden, studying at Leiden University, or do you want more information about the History master's programme? Chat with a current student for answers to your questions! 

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