Programme Classics (research)

The Research Master programme in Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Classics is a two year-programme, which gradually leads to the development of specific research skills. Classics refers to the multidisciplinary study of the Greek and Roman world, including Greek and (Renaissance) Latin literature and linguistics, Ancient Philosophy and Ancient History. Students can specialize in one or more of these disciplines in order to prepare themselves for further research after their studies.

Programme information

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The study load of the Research Master programme runs up to 120 EC and is spread over four semesters. To complete the specialization Classics, students attend 55 EC track electives within the specialization track Classics (seminars or tutorials). Though some of these track electives are shared with the regular Master programme, students in the Research Master programme follow these courses at a more advanced level.

Students can choose from all the courses on offer both in Leiden and at the sister institutions. Also, a number of track electives can be acquired through classes taken abroad. If students choose to attend courses at the Dutch sister institutions or abroad, the maximum of EC for Research Master students that can be acquired at another university is 40 EC. For research activities abroad Research Master students are eligible for the The Uhlenbeck scholarship programme.

In addition to the track electives, two core common courses are part of the programme (compulsory for all students), concentrating on "The Commentary in Ancient Civilizations" and "Cultural Contact in the Hellenistic World". Research MA students also take 10 EC courses offered by the National Research School in Classical Studies (OIKOS) (see below). The structure of the study programme:

First semester
- Common core course 1 (10 EC)
- Track electives (20 EC)

Second semester 
- Track electives/classes abroad (25 EC)
- Course at research school (5 EC)

Third semester
- Common core course 2 (10 EC)
- Tutorial in preparation for the thesis (5 EC) 
- Track elective (10 EC)
- Course at research school (5 EC)

Fourth semester
- Thesis presentation and research proposal (5 EC)
- Master thesis (25 EC)

The e-Prospectus contains course details for all programmes in the Faculty of Humanities (and other faculties). Please consult the Classics (research) section of the Prospectus for more (detailed) information about the programme and for recent courses on offer. The information in the Prospectus is updated annually, in June.

N.B. The Research Master programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Classics does not qualify students (directly) for the Teacher-training programme (in Dutch). Please contact the Co-ordinator of Studies about the requirements you have to meet to qualify yourself for the Teacher-training programme.

Forms for approval programme and thesis

Students are required to hand in a programme proposal to the Board of Examiners, because all Research Master students have an individual programme focusing on their specialization track. The form Approval Individual Programme is filled in at the start of the first study year. To fill in this form, students first make an appointment with the Co-ordinator of Studies, in order to check whether or not their study plans meet the requirements of the Research Master programme. Then, students discuss their programme with their track leader. If the track leader has approved the programme and signed the form, the student sends it to the secretary of the Board of Examiners for final approval.

N.B. Courses for the second year of the programme are sometimes not available yet. In this case, students are required to fill in at least one study year. They fill in the second year in general terms (track elective, tutorial, reading list, thesis, etc.)

In the second year, when students start writing the Master thesis, they should hand in the Thesis Approval form to the Board of Examiners. As soon as students have determined the subject of their thesis, and when they have formulated their research questions, they fill in the Thesis Approval form. On this form they also put the name of the thesis supervisor they have in mind, since the supervisor must also be approved by the board of examiners.  

Timetables and calendar

Application, enrollment and examinations

  • To enroll in a specific course or examination, use the Study administration system uSis.
  • This website is intended for students who are already enrolled in the programme. Prospective students looking for application information should consult

  • To enroll as a Dutch non-degree student ('gaststudent'), please find more information in Dutch on the 'Anders studeren' website.

Membership OIKOS

All Research Master students are required to enrol in one of the Dutch research schools. OIKOS is the National Research School in Classical Studies in the Netherlands and welcomes all students enrolled at one of the universities participating in OIKOS and whose primary interest lies with the Classics. OIKOS organizes courses for Research Master students in the area of Graeco-Roman Antiquity and its reception.

Students may participate in two kinds of OIKOS activities: the courses organized within the OIKOS curriculum (10 EC is obligatory), and the meetings of the OIKOS research group(s) of their choice. All Research Master students have to participate in curriculum courses from OIKOS for at least 10 EC in the course of their studies. Membership of OIKOS is free for students; their fees are paid directly to OIKOS by their own universities. Students apply for a full membership of OIKOS via the online applications form. More information about membership and courses on offer.

Co-ordinator of Studies

For practical issues and information concerning the Research Master's programme students may refer to the Co-ordinator of Studies. The Co-ordinator of Studies is available for advice pertaining to progress and delay, personal circumstances and exam regulations.

Graduation and deregistration

Research Master students who have completed the Research Master programme can apply for their graduation. See the Graduation page for more information about the graduation procedure, the regulations concerning the Reseach Master thesis, and the process of deregistration from Leiden University after graduation.

Teaching and Examination Regulations and Faculty Regulations

All rights and obligations of students in the Humanities faculty are stated in regulations, the most important of which are indicated below.

  • Teaching and Examination Regulations state the contents of your programme and the specialisations within the programme.
  • Registration for lectures, tutorials and tests is obligatory: see the uSis registration procedure.
  • The Student Charter informs students about what they can expect from the University and what the University expects from them.
  • Regulations on plagiarism are in place, to counter any instances of malpractice. These regulations provide advice on how to use sources and citations.

Boards and committees

Students within the Faculty of Humanities are represented in the following boards and committees:

  • the Departmental Teaching Committee
  • the Departmental Board
  • the Faculty Council
  • the Faculty Board

Another committee that is relevant to your studies, but in which students are not represented, is the Board of Examiners.


Practical questions can be directed to: