Master's Programme in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

Academic year 2023/2024

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Much of what we take for granted today has its origin in the classical cultures around the Mediterranean. The Master's Programme in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History gives you a broad education in the history, archaeology, art, religion and philosophy of the ancient world. You will learn to analyse historical processes and phenomena through fascinating source material. You will also choose to specialise in an area and write an academic thesis.

Why this programme?

If you are interested in Mediterranean archaeology and ancient history, this is the programme for you. Much of what we take for granted in politics, economy and culture has its roots in antiquity. In this programme, you will learn to analyse and communicate a cultural heritage which is central to European identity.

The duration of the full programme is two years and is worth 120 credits, but you can also choose to complete your studies in one academic year, leading to a Master of Arts (60 credits) in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History.

You will take a mixture of compulsory and elective courses during the programme. The Department of Archaeology and Ancient History offers courses in Archaeology, Classical Archaeology and Egyptology every semester. You can also choose courses from other subjects if you want to broaden your education further.

If you follow the two-year programme, you will take courses equivalent to 75 credits and write a Master's thesis worth 45 credits. If you follow the one-year programme, the course work will amount to 30 credits and the Master's thesis will be worth 30 credits.

The Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University strives for excellence in its teaching and research and is currently ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide in the subject of Archaeology (QS World University Rankings 2022).

Student profile

The programme is international; Swedish students represent the majority, with others coming from nationalities from elsewhere in Europe and North America. Students come from a background in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. The student group is based in Uppsala and is usually 5-10 students per year


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with Classical Archaeology and Ancient History as the main field study. It is also possible to graduate after one academic year with a Master of Arts (60 credits).

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Read the interview
Bild på student

Name: Anna Carlsson
From: Växjö, Sweden

Why did you choose this programme?
– I chose to study the Master's programme in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History as I wanted to continue my education after a Bachelor's in antiquity and archaeology. I have been interested in ancient history since I was a child. Another reason I chose this programme was because it would combine my interests of history and science.

What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
– The best thing about studying here is all the opportunities offered, through my education and student life. It is possible to combine courses to make the studies suit you and your interests, and there are many opportunities to further yourself by getting involved in student associations.

What is most challenging?
– The most challenging thing is to plan your studies, regarding how and when you will study. To deal with this, I try to plan ahead and set up a framework for when and where I will study. For me, it also works well to study at different locations to get a change of environment.

Tell us about student life!
– Student life in Uppsala is fun. There are many opportunities to find thongs to do outside of your studies. There are associations and groups in everything from games and dance. It is possible to meet new people in a lot of different places and from many different areas of study. There is always something going on for students in Uppsala if you are bored.

What are three things you will do this week?
– This week I will read literature for my Master's thesis, write parts of my thesis and study for a course.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for this programme?
– My advice is to follow what you want to do, find courses that sound interesting and try out studying. And, if your interests involve ancient culture or ancient history, then this is a good programme.

Three quick questions
Favourite place in your student town?
– My favourite place in Uppsala is the promenade along the Fyrisån.

What is the best student tradition at Uppsala University?
– It has to be Valborg (“Walpurgis”) with rafting in Fyrisån and hanging out in Ekonomikumparken.

Where is the best place to study?
– The group rooms at campus, the "Cave" and the library are always good places to find a quiet workplace.

Spring 2023.

Register your interest


The Master's Programme in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History starts with two compulsory courses, followed by a range of elective courses offered by the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, or by other departments at the Faculty of Arts. The first compulsory course is Perspectives on the Past: applied theory and method. It runs at 50% of a full-time study load and you will take the course together with students from the Master's Programme in Archaeology and in Egyptology. The second compulsory course, The Craft of Research, runs throughout the first semester and provides the foundation for the writing of your Master's thesis.

You will design your education according to your own interests. At the beginning of the first semester, you will establish an Individual Study Plan (ISP) together with the programme coordinator or Director of Studies. At that time, you will decide how to plan your studies; which courses to take, when to write your Master's thesis, etc. The ISP is revised every semester, or, more often if needed.

The department offers a number of courses, which normally run at 50% of a full-time study load. The idea behind this is that you should read two courses in parallel, or read one course while working on your thesis project.

Apart from the courses offered by the department, which vary from semester to semester over a two-year cycle, you can choose to take an internship (worth 7.5 or 15 credits) or take courses individually tailored to suit your needs.

If you follow the two-year programme, you will take courses equivalent to 75 credits and write a Master's thesis worth 45 credits. If you follow the one-year programme, the course work will amount to 30 credits and the Master's thesis will be worth 30 credits. It is divided and written over several semesters. You can choose to devote your full attention to the thesis or read a course at the same time.

Courses within the programme

You have the opportunity to arrange your own course of study in consultation with the Director of Studies. Below is an example of what such a study programme might look like for the full two-year programme.

Semester 1

Perspectives on the Past: Applied Theory and Method, 7.5 credits (compulsory)

The Craft of Research, 7.5 credits (compulsory)

Elective courses, 15 credits

Semester 2

Thesis module 1, 7.5 credits

Elective courses, 22.5 credits

Semester 3

Thesis module 2, 7.5 credits

Elective courses, 22.5 credits

Semester 4

Thesis module 3, 30 credits

Learning experience

Teaching normally includes two to four hours of seminars and lectures each week.

Between seminars, you are expected to read and digest texts and sometimes also discuss them with other participants. Some courses have a more practical orientation, such as internships and courses on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). You are expected to work 40 hours per week throughout the programme.

Course assessment is normally continuous based on your active participation in seminars and assessed work. The assessment may also consist of a longer essay submitted at the end of the course.

The programme is taught in English.


With a Master of Arts degree in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, you are qualified to apply for doctoral studies in this field.

Upon completion of an MA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, our students have numerous transferable skills that enable them to find work as archaeologists, museum curators and educators, investigators for the public sector, aid workers, tour leaders and guides, cultural writers, librarians, teachers, and researchers.

Graduates have found jobs working within tourist information (Destination Uppsala), the police force, and jobs requiring Geographical Information Systems (GIS) within local and national government agencies, and museums in Sweden and internationally.

The department holds networking events in the areas of archaeology, museums and cultural heritage management where students can meet alumni who can provide insights into the job market as they prepare to graduate.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.

Master's Programme in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M5020 Application

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be classical archaeology and ancient history.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on an overall appraisal of previous university studies and a statement of purpose.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

Contact and further resources


For further information, please contact the Director of Studies Angus Graham

For general questions about Master studies at Uppsala University, contact:

Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H

Box 626, 751 26 UPPSALA

018-471 2093

Last modified: 2022-10-27