Ancient Civilization Studies (B.A.)

The Bachelor’s degree programme Ancient Civilization Studies is concerned with the study and analysis of textual and pictorial sources of information on ancient cultures, the study of archaeological findings, and the theoretical and methodological tools used in the core academic disciplines. The programme covers the entire literary and material legacy of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, spanning from the 8th century B.C., the period in which Homer’s epics were created, to late antiquity, when the dissolution of the Roman Empire led to the formation of the successor states of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine Empire. Students on the Ancient Civilization Studies programme will also be concerned with the material records of European prehistory and early history.

Students completing the programme will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.). At the core of the programme are the four modularized subject areas: ancient history, classical archaeology, classical philology, and prehistory and early history. Students must select two of these four subjects to study in their entirety (with each completed subject corresponding to 50 credits). Students must complete sufficient modules from the remaining two subject areas to accumulate an additional total of 46 credits.

The Bachelor’s programme consists of individual courses (lectures, seminars, tutorials, reading classes) in which a student’s academic progress may be assessed in a variety of ways (written assignments, student presentations, oral and written examinations). Practical work experience and internships enable students to learn about the practical aspects of archaeological excavation and museum work, while the planned excursions to museums of ancient history, ancient buildings and monuments and to historical sites provide students with an opportunity to broaden and deepen their historical and cultural perspectives. A knowledge of Latin, and in some cases Ancient Greek, is essential for students on this programme. The level of proficiency required depends on the core subjects studied and the requirements specified for the individual courses (modules).

Depending on the core subjects and areas of specialization selected, graduates of the B.A. programme in ancient civilization studies can find employment in the following areas: museum and exhibition projects, excavation work as part of historical preservation projects, tourism, adult education, publishing, the cultural sector and journalism.

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.

How to apply

At present, there are no entry restrictions for the Bachelor’s degree programme Ancient Civilization Studies. Students can begin the B.A. programme at the beginning of the winter or the summer semester, though we recommend that students start in the winter semester. Students proposing to start in the summer semester should contact the course advisors (see ‘Contacts’ below) and the university’s study counselling services in order to discuss their individual study plan. Students can enrol/register at the university directly by sending their completed admission application forms to:

Universität des Saarlandes
Postfach 15 11 50
66041 Saarbrücken

Applications should be received

  • by the end of September if planning to start in the winter semester
  • by the end of March if planning to start in the summer semester

List of current degree programmes with explanatory notes on enrolment procedures

Online application / Online enrolment

Please note: Slightly different admission rules apply to German and foreign nationals with a non-German higher-education entrance qualification (for more information: see here or see "University Entrance Requirements – At a Glance".)


Course advisor for Classical Philology
Dr. Christoph Catrein,
Bldg. B3 1,
Tel.: + 49 (0) 681 / 302 3740
E-Mail: c.catrein(at)

Course advisor for Ancient History
C. van Hoof, (research assistant)
Bldg. B3 1, Level 2
Tel.: + 49 (0)681 / 302 3687
E-Mail: c.vanhoof(at)

Course advisor for Prehistory and Early History
Prof. Rudolf Echt
Bldg. C5 2,
Tel.: + 49 (0)681 / 302 3716
E-Mail: r.echt(at)

Course advisor for Classical Archaeology
Prof. Carola Reinsberg
Bldg. B3 1,
Tel.: + 49 (0)681 / 302 3315
E-Mail: klarch.sek(at)