Description of the course

Archaeological finding at the excavation of Verucchio-Pian del Monte.

This two-year English Language Master’s Degree course – The Ancient Mediterranean World: History, Archaeology and Art – will enable you to explore the past from a variety of thematic and analytical perspectives. Pavia is surrounded by world-class prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage and by several Museums with historic Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan  and Roman collections. The course makes full use of our rich archaeological landscape, including regular study trips and fieldwork opportunities (archaeological excavations, surveys and Museums labs). Staff currently run surveys and excavations in Cappadocia (Turkey) and in several parts of Italy, including at two UNESCO world heritage sites (Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli and Dos dell’Arca prehistoric settlement in Valle Camonica, both). Pavia University has signed official agreements in order to promote the study of ancient civilisations with several Institutions: New York University – ISAW, the Egyptian Museum of Turin, the Soprintendenza of Piedmont and the Istituto Villa Adriana-Villa d’Este at Tivoli, Rome.

Pavia University has a long and distinguished history of Mediterranean studies. We provide quality teaching in small groups which will enable you to develop first hand expertise with artefacts and historical documents (including papyri and inscriptions) that most students can only dream of.

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Opportunities and facilities

Throughout the course you will have opportunities to engage with our research in the Mediterranean World, considered through Archaeology and History in a unique perspective, combining written documents and material and artistic culture of all the civilisations facing the Mediterranean from the 2nd millennium to the Middle Ages. The programme includes the study of Near Eastern, Egyptology, Proto-history of the Italian Peninsula, Greek, Etruscan and Roman History and Archaeology, Archaeology of Magna Graecia and Medieval Archaeology. We have an extensive programme of invited speakers organised by our staff, we regularly host Visiting Professors from several Universities and collaborate deeply with the Italian Archaeological Service: our existing agreements include possibilities of several internships. As a demonstration of our commitment, our Department was recognised as a Department of Excellence 2018-2022 with an award by the Italian Ministry of Education.

Masters students will have full access to exceptional facilities on campus. These include libraries and archaeological collections, built up by the Pavia University Library and Museums Services. You will be based in the historic San Tommaso Building (brochure), located at the heart of Pavia, where you will have full access to one of the richest Libraries in Northern Italy, on a surface of 5.000 m2 and containing dedicated study spaces, reading rooms and IT facilities. Students are also entitled to an interlibrary loan allowance to support their studies.

The program is taught in English. We encourage our Students to learn Italian, once in Pavia, using the facilities on campus (lab and courses).


Job Profile

The Ancient Mediterranean World MA is designed to prepare you for a wide range of job careers. Graduates will find work opportunities in the fields of professional archaeology, managing and promotion of archaeological heritage and cultural management. The Ancient Mediterranean World MA graduates will also be fully acknowledged and prepared for a possible continuation of the study, towards a Specialization School or a Ph.D degree, for a career in the academic or research organizations, as well as in the national institutions (archaeological Superintendencies and museums).


Course regulation book