Universitat de Barcelona

Ancient Cultures and Languages


The master's degree in Ancient Cultures and Languages is unique in Europe, due to its specific character and course structure. It provides instruction in the three fundamental ancient languages ' Greek, Latin and Hebrew ' and offers the chance to specialize in the cultures of two geographical areas of the ancient world, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which were immersed in a process of 'fruitful interaction' for many centuries. The course plots a course from the origins of Mesopotamian civilization to the present day, taking in the languages, scripts and cultural manifestations of the ancient world.
Students will acquire an initial level of compulsory, in-depth knowledge of the Semitic or Indo-European languages of the regions, their writing systems (from cuneiform to the alphabet) and their literary systems, and learn to appreciate their differences and similarities within a common framework. Then students will complete their training in one of these two great cultural areas by choosing between the specializations Classics and The Bible and the Ancient Near East, acquiring a mastery of the relevant languages (Greek and Latin or Hebrew and Near Eastern Languages). Students will have direct access to these cultures' works of literature and art situated in their historical, anthropological and social contexts and they will gain an understanding of how the legacy of the ancient world has been received and perpetuated in our own culture. Students will develop a rigorous expertise in the sciences of antiquity.

Learning objectives

The objective of this master's degree is to train researchers specializing in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East.

Basic Information

Number of ECTS credits awarded:
Language(s) of instruction:
 catalan (80%) and spanish (20%)
Number of places available:
Approximate price:
 27,67 euros per credit ( 82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2021-2022
Faculty or school:
  Faculty of Philology and Communication
Master's degree course homepage:
  Master's degree course homepage

Recommended applicant profile

Applicants for this master's degree should have an interest in studying the ancient cultures and languages of the Mediterranean and Near East and their reception and continued influence in later periods. Applicants should be aware that the key to interpreting the cultures of the ancient world lies in the mastery of ancient languages and the study of original texts. As a consequence, students need to be willing to work hard to master these languages and draw from their readings the information needed for them to find relationships with other manifestations of culture (religion, art, mythology, science) in order to obtain a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the ancient world. Applicants will also benefit from an immediate appreciation of the importance of understanding past in order to interpret today's reality. As a result, students are recommended to have previous studies in philology (especially Classics and Semitic languages), history, archaeology, philosophy and theology, with special training in Greek, Latin, Hebrew and the history of religions of the Ancient Near East.

Admission requirements

In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.
  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements

Applicants for this master's degree should hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree preferably in Classics (llicenciatura or EHEA bachelor's degree), Arab and Hebrew Studies (EHEA bachelor's degree), Hebrew Studies or Semitic Languages (llicenciatura degree) or, alternatively, a llicenciatura degree or EHEA bachelor's degree in linguistics, history, ancient history and archaeology, philosophy or theology. When they apply for admission, all applicants regardless of specialization should be able to provide accreditation that their previous university qualifications cover sufficient knowledge of Greek (equivalent to 10 ECTS credits), Latin (equivalent to 10 ECTS credits), Hebrew (equivalent to 5 ECTS credits) and history of religions of the Ancient Near East (equivalent to 5 ECTS credits). Applicants who do not have this knowledge must complete bridging subjects worth up to a maximum of 30 ECTS credits during their master's degree. The specific requirements for each applicant will be determined by the Admission Committee and may include: 2 Greek language subjects (Introduction to Classical Greek I and II (10 ECTS credits)); 2 Latin subjects (Introduction to Classical Latin I and II (10 ECTS credits)); 1 Hebrew subject (Modern Hebrew I) and 1 subject on religions of the Ancient Near East (Religions of the Ancient Near East).

Skills and competences

General competences:

  • Students will learn how to read and interpret texts critically, applying to their analysis the tools needed to acquire knowledge (sources, bibliography, auxiliary disciplines), and give special attention to the timely monitoring of advances in the international scientific community.
  • Students will develop their knowledge creatively, present it with clarity and mastery of the written and oral techniques used to disseminate the results obtained, and engage in debates with intellectual rigour and honesty.
  • Students will develop the capacity to work in multidisciplinary teams and to adopt approaches that integrate diverse cultural traditions. They will also acquire the capacity to use their acquired knowledge of the ancient world to interpret today's reality.

Specific competences:

  • All students in the master's program will understand and master the fundamental concepts of the ancient cultures and languages of the Mediterranean and Near East.
  • They will also know how to assess the historical dimension of their document and material sources, being able to identify, initially, the interrelationships between the ideological, social, political, religious and cultural aspects of these civilizations, and subsequently the lasting presence of their literary and cultural tradition in the West.

With respect to the specific competences for the specializations, students in Classics will attain the capacity to generate knowledge on Greco-Roman culture based on original texts in Greek and Latin and through the use of the methodology and critical reasoning employed in this scientific discipline. Students specializing in Bible and the Ancient Near East will attain the capacity to generate knowledge on the cultures of the region through the analysis of historical accounts in their various languages (Sumerian and Semitic and Indo-European languages) and through the application of the specific

Pre-enrolment calendar

22 February - 15 September 2021

  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

Selection criteria

On the basis of documentation submitted by candidates, the Admissions Committee assesses applications according to the following criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent degree in: classics, Hebrew studies, Semitic languages, Arabic and Hebrew studies, linguistics, history, ancient history and archaeology, philosophy and theology (50%).
    For candidates who do not hold one of the above qualifications, credit is given for university-accredited knowledge of Greek, Latin, Hebrew and the history of Ancient Near East religions.
  • Academic or professional experience in the fields of study covered by the master's degree (15%).
  • Academic transcript (15%).
  • Statement of interest (10%).
  • Knowledge of foreign languages relevant to the study of ancient science (10%).


The Admissions Committee is responsible for the admissions process during the pre-enrolment period. The same process applied to all master's degrees taught at the Faculty of Philology.

Online application is open from February to 15 September each year. The Admissions Committee meets once per month to discuss the applications and supporting documentation received and issues its decisions on the 15th of each month.


Open Enrolment