Universiteit Leiden

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Ancient History (MA)

Why Leiden University

Leiden University offers ambitious students a world-class environment in which to reach their full potential.

Access the Leiden Papyrological Institute

As one of the few institutes worldwide the Leiden Papyrological Institute studies Greek, Latin, Demotic and Abnormal-Hieratic papyri. You will be able to benefit from access to these inscriptions and work alongside the institute’s experienced papyrologists.

Centuries-old experience in the study of Numismatics

Leiden University has been a centre for the study of numismatics for almost 200 years. Since the first numismatics course was given in the 1820’s by prof. Caspar Reuvens, Leiden University has become a pioneer in the field. As such it has pursued interdisciplinary approaches from early on, developed several numismatic classifications, and enlarged its numismatic collection through time. Leiden University offers you the opportunity to become part of, and add to this rich tradition.

Centre for epigraphical study

Leiden University prides itself as being one main centres for the study of epigraphy in Europe. Besides being the birthplace of the ‘Leiden Conventions’—the most commonly used epigraphical system in the world—Leiden University is one of the partner institutes which edits the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum as well, after having revived it in the 1970’s. Together with Leiden’s experienced scholars you will hone your epigraphical skills and partake at the forefront of current debates.

Profit from well-established ties with the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO)

In the context of this collaboration staff members of RMO and Leiden’s Ancient History faculty organise symposia and youth-related university activities in the Museum. Leiden University students have the option of doing an internship at the RMO, while the master’s course on numismatics presents workshops on the RMO’s coin collection.

An ideal location for the study of history

Leiden University offers you one of the best locations from which to explore and study the world, as well as start your career. Our historical location close to The Hague brings you within easy reach of the country's seat of government, politics, and international organisations, as well as the unique resources of the Dutch National Library and the National Archives, with its extensive collections.

An individual approach to learning

Leiden University's History department has a committed teaching staff who are both outstanding researchers and dedicated teachers consistently ranked highly by their own students. Small classes and intensive one-on-one mentoring give all our students the extra stimulation and support to go the extra step in their performance and their ideas for their future.

Specialist chairs

Leiden's History department has chairs in:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval History
  • Dutch History
  • Early Modern History
  • Contemporary History
  • Europe after 1945
  • American History
  • African History
  • Colonial and Global History
  • Maritime History
  • History of Global Economic Networks
  • Social History
  • Migration History
  • Comparative Urban History

Adjacent departments in the Faculty of Humanities have chairs in International Studies, Latin American History, Brazilian Studies, African, Turkish, Indonesian, Indian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese History.

Diversity and inclusion

We are convinced that our education can only flourish if everyone within the programme feels supported, respected and empowered to do their best work. We find it important to offer a learning environment that allows for different perspectives and points of view that students bring with them, depending on their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, age or socio-economic background. Every new generation sees the world from a new perspective – and our students are the newest generation. We look forward to hearing more about your perspective. Leiden University has been pursuing diversity policy since 2014, with the aim of creating a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment for all staff and students.

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