Judged best in the field
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
Our Research Master’s programme in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies focuses on interdisciplinary study of the material, social, and intellectual developments in Europe (including the Mediterranean region) from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Within this long period, you can focus on your academic interests by choosing one of the following tracks:
Within each track, you will work with source materials in their original languages, including in manuscript form. The Ancient Studies track has a keen interest in archaeology. The Medieval Studies and Renaissance Studies tracks go beyond a solely historical approach by including courses in literature, linguistics, art history, musicology, and history. In the Medieval Studies track, you may specialise in either Medieval History, Medieval Art History, Medieval Literature, or Medieval Musicology. Medieval Celtic Studies combines literary studies with historical linguistics. Read more about the tracks.
The programme is enhanced with research conducted by lecturers who are internationally renowned in their fields of expertise. You are encouraged to work alongside these lecturers on research projects, and you can spend a semester abroad at one of the many universities with which we have research links. After graduation, approximately 50% of graduates go on to undertake a PhD, either in the Netherlands or abroad.
For those with ambitions outside research, courses are being developed on ‘Heritage and Cultural Transfer’ (including an internship in material culture, e.g. on written texts as objects), and on the uses of the ancient and medieval languages.
The programme attracts students from the Netherlands and abroad. International students find an internationally unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of pre-modern civilisations. They quickly feel welcome in the community of teachers and students and fully participate in the programme’s scholarly life.
This Research Master’s programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to gain admission to PhD programmes in your chosen specialisation; you can also conduct independent research and complete your doctoral dissertation. The programme will give you the skills needed for your future career, including pursuing scholarly research to be published in peer-reviewed journals.
Our programme also prepares you for careers outside academia in management, politics, or the arts. The programme is both academically and socially relevant; by developing your professional skills and your ability to work independently, you will be well prepared for the challenges of the modern employment market. Read more about possible career prospects.
At Leiden University, we have one of the world's leading centres for the study of European and non-European history. The master in History is your opportunity to access this world-class expertise.
With such a broad curriculum, the master’s programme in History offers you the chance to specialise in niche subject areas not offered elsewhere. A flexible format also allows you to tailor your degree to suit your career goals. To help you develop a cohesive area of expertise, the programme offers seven specialisations each with their own thematic focus. Within your specialisation, you even have the added option of focusing on Maritime History, Political Debate or Economic History.
At Leiden University, you learn from some of the leading scholars in the field. We have a specialised faculty 'chair' in almost every area of European and non-European history, while covering almost all periods form Classical Antiquity to the present. Small-scale classes and intensive mentoring ensure you benefit from their expertise both in and outside of the classroom.
All subjects in the master in History have a strong international orientation. Whichever your focus area, you will acquire a broad, comparative dimension to your knowledge and connect this to the latest global events. This approach to learning is not only unique to this programme but brings you a far broader understanding and an aptitude for critical thinking both of which are highly valued by employers today.
The research master in History at Leiden University offers five specialisations in which you will focus on historical processes, historical research, historiography and methodology.
The two-year research master in History at Leiden University offers you the chance to determine a study based on your own particular interests and ambitions. During your studies you will experience the riches and challenges of academia not only via frequent meetings with your tutor, but also during the seminars in which staff members and research master's students discuss one another's research findings and exchange scholarly views and insights.
Selected students will also be able to participate in the Europaeum Vaclav Havel MA Programme, an initiative of Leiden University in cooperation with the Sorbonne (Paris), the Jagiellonian University of Kraków and Charles University in Prague which leads to a separate additional master certificate in European Society and Politics issued by the Europaeum Association of leading European Universities.
You are encouraged to spend the third semester of your research master's abroad taking optional courses and conducting research for your thesis. Leiden University has a large network of options for your studies abroad.