Ancient Civilization Studies (B.A.)

Programme schedule

In the B.A. programme in ancient civilization studies, students select two core subject areas (each worth 50 credits) from the four disciplines

  • Ancient History
  • Classical Archaeology,
  • Classical Philology and
  • Prehistory and Early History


as their major areas of academic focus.

Students will take courses in the two other subjects up to a total course credit value of 46 credit points (CP) and must also acquire a further 24 CP by completing elective modules in which they will gain key specialist qualifications and soft skills important in their later professional life.

The subject of the final-year written thesis (10 CP) is taken from one of the two chosen core disciplines.

The introductory modules in all four core subject areas are compulsory. The detailed study plan will depend on the particular core subject areas chosen.

The core subject area Ancient History spans a period of 1500 years, from the start of written records to the end of classical antiquity or its transition into the Western and Eastern Middle Ages. At Saarland University, the research, teaching and student programmes are concerned with the history of the politics, cultures, ideas and economies of the Graeco-Roman world. Particular emphasis is placed on the ancient history of the local region, as Saarland is located in what was the territory of Ancient Gaul and is also rich in Celtic and Roman remains. The courses in the core subject area Ancient History comprise compulsory modules and compulsory elective modules, which themselves are split into introductory and advanced modules.

The core subject area Classical Archaeology involves the study of the art, culture, civilization and daily life of the Ancient Greeks and Romans from 1500 BC until 500 AD, and includes the study of their precursor civilizations, historical echoes and transcultural networks. The geographical area covered is primarily that of Greece, Asia Minor and Italy, but also the Imperial Provinces of the Roman Empire. The courses taught in this core subject area deal with the material and visible records of antiquity found above ground as well as those that have been revealed through excavations. Typical objects of interest and study include: sacred items, sanctuaries, towns and necropolises; sculptures, paintings, ceramics and votive offerings; memorials, monuments and everyday items. Students selecting this broad and diverse subject area will acquire insight into the life of ancient societies, their mythology, deistic beliefs and cultural traditions. In addition to the range of compulsory and compulsory elective modules on offer, students will also take specialist work experience courses to gain experience in museum work, the care and preservation of historical monuments, and archaeological excavation. Archaeological excursions broaden the knowledge acquired in the classroom and give students a deeper understanding of current research activities.

The core subject area Classical Philology is concerned with the languages Latin and Ancient Greek, and with the literary records of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The period covered ranges from the beginnings of Greek literature (Homer) in the late 8th century BC to the almost total extinction of the literature of late antiquity at around 600 AD. The texts studied include not only lyric poetry, epic poetry and dramas, but also philosophical, historiographical and scientific works. Lecture courses address aspects of Latin and Greek philology. Seminars offer students the opportunity to analyse specific topics and thus become acquainted with and apply the methodologies of the subject and to evaluate these techniques in academic discussions. Stylistic exercise classes help students to deepen their language proficiency and to sharpen their powers of expression. Reading classes train students’ understanding of the classical texts.

The core subject area Prehistory and Early History is concerned on the one hand with periods and regions for which there are archaeological remains but no written records (prehisotry), and on the other hand with periods in which not only the archaeological remains but also written records are significant (early history). The material remains of early human civilizations allow us to draw conclusions about their economic life, societal forms, religions and art. Periods of interest range from the Palaeolithic era to the Roman Iron Age, while the geographical regions covered are found across all areas of Europe. Compulsory elective modules, in the form of lecture courses, tutorials and seminars, enable students to undertake source studies and the study of selected geographic regions. The elective courses include a module on “uncovering” historical sources that aims to teach the scientific methods of archaeological excavations, and a module “Systematic Prehistory and Early History” that offers students the chance to make diachronic comparisons of cultural topics.

Studiengangsvariante "Deutsch-Französischer Studiengang Klassische Archäologie"

Das Fach Klassische Archäologie bildet in dieser Studiengangsvariante den Schwerpunkt und wird im Umfang von 156 CP (inkl. Bachelor-Arbeit) studiert. Hierin sind Spracherwerbsmodule im Umfang von 12 CP eingeschlossen. Aus den Fächern Alte Geschichte, Klassische Philologie, Vor- und Frühgeschichte und Kunstgeschichte wird im Wahlbereich ein Fach gewählt, welches im Umfang von 24 CP studiert wird.

Die Studiengangsvariante „Deutsch-französischer Studiengang Klassische Archäologie“ befasst sich mit Kunst, Kultur, Zivilisation und Alltag der Griechen und Römer vom 1500 v.Ch. bis 500 n.Ch. einschließlich ihrer Vorstufen und Nachklänge sowie ihrer transkulturellen Vernetzung. Der geographische Raum umfasst in erster Linie Griechenland, Kleinasien und Italien sowie das heutige Frankreich, die Schweiz und Belgien. Darüber hinaus sind die griechischen Gebiete in der Ägäis und im Orient und die Provinzen des Römischen Reichs während der Kaiserzeit von Bedeutung. Die gegenständlichen und visuell erfassbaren Zeugnisse der Antike, die oberirdisch überdauerten oder durch Ausgrabungen ans Licht gekommen sind vor allem Heiligtümer, Städte und Nekropolen; Skulpturen, Malereien, Keramik sowie Weihgeschenke; Ehrenmonumente und Gebrauchsgüter sind Gegenstand der Lehr- und Lerninhalte. Das Fach bietet ein facettenreiches Studienangebot, das Einblicke in das Leben der antiken Gesellschaft, der Mythologie, des Götterglaubens und der Kulturpraxis gewährt.

Neben zwei Spracherwerbsmodulen gibt es auch ein Praxismodul, in welchem neben einem Praktikum auch eine Exkursion absolviert werden muss. Diese beiden Modulelemente dienen dem Erwerb erster praktischer Erfahrungen in beispielsweise der Museumsarbeit, der Denkmalpflege und Grabung und der Erweiterung der erworbenen Kenntnisse durch vertiefende Einblicke in unterschiedliche Forschungsbereiche.