Archaeology is an exciting discipline, in which you combine many different skills and fields of knowledge. You venture out into the world to discover, study and interpret traces of past societies in the landscape. But you also work with both your head and your hands in the classroom, in the lab and at your desk, applying academic theories and high-tech methods, and analysing archaeological materials. This enables you to reconstruct the way of life in societies that we can no longer ‘see’. Yet archaeology is much more than just excavations. Archaeology graduates find work as a field archaeologist or an independent consultant, or they work in policy, at museums, in heritage management or public relations. Alternatively, you could continue in academia and become a university researcher after your master’s degree.
The Faculty of Archaeology has earned a place in the top ten archaeology research and teaching institutes in the world.
Leiden Archaeology has a strong, global emphasis, with wide networks in international research.
Leiden Archaeology offers excellent facilities, such as our state-of-the-art laboratories.
In the bachelor’s programme in Archaeology,
you study early examples of topical issues like:
'Excavations are likely what brought you to archaeology. Yet, that is just the tip of the iceberg of our discipline. There is so much more! In the first-year course Past & Future that I teach with my colleague Martin Berger we will show you the rest of the iceberg. Covering the many different specialisations we offer at the faculty, and the enormous scope of archaeology in general. This goes from highly specialised scientific work, like DNA, to ethical debates on the political sensibilities of such data; from museums and collections to decolonisation debates; and covering the big questions that archaeology aims to answers. It’s a great class to teach because we see how it opens up perspectives and possibilities and we have plenty of engaging discussions with the students. In the end, the new generations will define what archaeology is going to be about, and how it is relevant!'
In Leiden you can choose between two specialisations within the Archaeology bachelor’s programme: World Archaeology or Heritage and Society. World Archaeology gives an overview of the development of humans and cultures in a wide diversity of areas around the world, from the Americas to the Middle East. The Heritage and Society specialisation has a stronger focus on more recent history and societal problems arising from events in the past or processes such as climate change. You also learn more about heritage and policy, and how to translate research results and archaeological finds to appeal to a wider audience.
With a minimum of 10 weeks of internships required, there are many opportunities to go abroad. Join one of the projects of our staff members going on around the globe, for example the Udhruh Archaeology Project in Jordan and the Cave site La Grande Roche excavation in France. Other examples of internship opportunities include digs in the Dominican Republic, Italy, Nicaragua, Greece, or at Barnham in the United Kingdom, Schöningen in Germany and the Veluwe right here in the Netherlands!
The Archaeology programme in Leiden provides you a solid basis for a national or international career in archaeology, heritage management, heritage policy or within the museum world. This prepares you for an increasingly globalised job market, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Leiden University offers varieties of post-graduate specialisations in Archaeology that give students opportunities to deepen their knowledge of their field of interest and participate in many archaeological projects in the Netherlands and abroad.
As a Leiden alumnus you can:
Part of the admission and application procedure is participation in the matching module. Matching helps you determine whether the focus and level of the programme are for you. You receive advice in order to solidify your decision to start this programme.
year programme, 180 ECTS
English-taught programme established
largest lecture size
maximum tutorial size