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Study programme

The Master's in Archaeology is a one-year programme in which you acquire in-depth knowledge of the archaeology of Europe and the Mediterranean and obtain advanced skills that enable you to define relevant research questions, conduct independent research, and to report your findings according to the highest professional standards.

Programme structure

The Master's programme in Archaeology comprises 60 ECTS credits: 24 credits for core courses; 18 credits for electives (Research and Skills Labs); and 18 credits for a Master’s thesis.

  • Research Lab 1: Problem Definition and Design
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  • Research Lab 2: Data Collection and Analysis
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  • Research Lab 3: Publication and Dissemination
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  • Digital Practice in Archaeology
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  • Archaeology, Heritage and Society
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  • Master's Thesis
  • Restricted-choice electives: semester 1, period 1
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  • Restricted-choice electives: semester 1, period 2
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UvA Course Catalogue: Archaeology
  • Core courses

    The objectives of the core modules are to deepen the understanding of concepts and methods in archaeology. These courses cover broad themes illustrated with case studies from European and Mediterranean archaeology.

    • Block 1: Historical Archaeology: Theories and Concepts
    • Block 2: Human Mobilities and Migration or Archaeology, Museums and the Public
    • Block 4: Digital Practice in Archaeology
    • Block 5: Archaeology, Heritage and Society
  • Research Labs and specialisation

    Modules with the explicit objective to acquire research skills and to work in a small team are taught in Research Labs in blocks 1 and 2. These specialisation classes are related to research projects by ACASA Archaeology staff and focus either on European or Mediterranean archaeology. It is possible to connect the Research Labs to Archaeology and Heritage in Practice (Block 3) as well as to the research of your Master’s Thesis (Blocks 4-6) in order to specialise thoroughly.

  • Electives

    In the first semester, electives may be taken instead of the Research Labs. These consist of Historical Landscapes and Archaeological Heritage, which focuses on contemporary professionalism (offered by the VU), and Archaeology, Museums and the Public, which entails practical training in valorisation (offered by the UvA).

  • Tutorials and internships

    In Block 3, the course Archaeology and Heritage in Practice is offered (6 ECTS): in relation with either Research Labs or with a staff member involved in research projects, there is a choice of individual research assignments. Internships can be offered in collaboration with the Allard Pierson Museum, the City of Amsterdam, Dutch Heritage Institutions or the 4D Research Lab.

  • Fieldwork

    You will learn essential skills for doing fieldwork, including analysing, reporting and presenting field data, but also managing fieldwork. You can develop these skills through an individual assignment at one of the UvA/VU Amsterdam’s current research locations in the Netherlands or in the Mediterranean, at fieldwork projects in Italy, Turkey, or Greece. You can also do a fieldwork assignment in North-Western and Central Europe through research projects led by staff members. Archaeological fieldwork, which takes place in close cooperation with the local archaeological services and international partners, consists of excavations, field surveys, remote sensing, digital applications and landscape analysis.

  • Thesis

    The Master’s thesis is an important part of the programme, enabling you to conduct original research under the supervision of one of the staff members. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser. A Master thesis seminar is offered to prepare you for the assignment. Thanks to the cooperation between the two universities a wide array of topics are available for supervision.

Transferring to a Research Master's programme

Students who show exceptional promise during a Master’s programme are encouraged to continue their studies in one of our Research Master’s programmes. If you decide to switch programmes and are admitted before the start of the second semester, you will be able to transfer all credits earned in the first semester to your Research Master’s degree programme. In case you join later, the Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for the Research Master’s programme.

Within ACASA, there are two Research Master’s programmes, which would be suitable for a continuation of your studies: