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Ancient Near Eastern Studies (M.A.)


The world cultural heritage from ancient Iraq and Syria includes hundreds of thousands of clay tablets and monumental inscriptions, written between 3000 BC and the turn of the century between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Among them are numerous everyday and economic texts or texts on political history as well as the earliest written myths of humankind, a rich literature on dream theory and dream practice, texts by the earliest known author in the world (En-hedu-Ana, ca. 2300 BC) or the famous Gilgamesh epic. This bilingual advanced civilisation has developed fascinating concepts about man, his life and his world within its chequered history; for today's reflection and discussion, they represent a great challenge.

The Master's programme in Ancient Near Eastern Studies offers an introduction to the scientific study of the ancient languages and texts of these cultures as well as a direct approach to current research topics. The focus of the programme is on cultural studies of myths and narratives (hylistics), which is unique in the world.

Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Full-time studies or Part-time studies
Language of the programme:
Standard period of studies:
4 Semesters
Start of studies:
summer and winter term

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Ancient Near Eastern Studies is a young science that is currently making fundamental new discoveries in many areas in the study of the early advanced civilisations of Mesopotamia and whose material is constantly growing through excavations and decipherments in museums. The study programme in Göttingen focuses in particular on the cultures of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians - with a globally unique emphasis on myth research and narrative science (hylistics).

The Master's programme aims to deepen philological and cultural-historical knowledge in the fields of literature, religion, history and mythology, to expand competence in the application of philological-historical, literary-theoretical, religious studies and narrative science (hylistic) methods in order to penetrate complex cultural issues, to independently develop solutions to problems and to acquire the ability to transfer knowledge. At the same time, the programme offers an introduction to current topics in ancient orientalist research and mythology.

The Master's programme "Ancient Near Eastern Studies" can be studied as a combined Master's programme with one or two other subjects. The variety of subjects offered by the Faculty of Humanities opens up numerous combination possibilities. However, connections with subjects from other faculties are also conceivable.

When choosing an individual combination of subjects, personal interest is the first priority, but the admission regulations of the respective subsidiary subjects must be taken into account. A combination with subjects related to content, geography and/or methodology, such as Egyptology or Classical Philology, is just as sensible as a combination with more methodologically oriented subjects, such as Religious Studies, German Studies, Linguistics, Comparative Literature, Digital Humanities, Cultural Anthropology or a combination with subjects that research the medieval and modern Orient, such as Arabic Studies and Iranian Studies. Finally, a combination with subjects with an artistic orientation can also open up interesting perspectives.

The degree of Master of Arts in Ancient Near Eastern Studies qualifies for a subject-related academic career at universities, non-university research institutions, libraries, museums and collections in Germany and abroad. It is an entry requirement for graduate colleges and doctoral programmes. Outside the university or science-related field, qualified activities in journalism, publishing, tourism, foundation management, science management and the arts are the main areas of consideration.

Related and consecutive programmes

Related programmes

Consecutive/graduate programmes


Structure of degree programme

This degree programme can be studied in 2 different profiles.

  • Joint Honours MA totalling 42 credits in combination with one module package (minor) totalling 36 credits
  • Joint Honours MA totalling 42 credits in combination with two module packages (minors) totalling 18 credits each

You can apply for one study profile.

1. - 4. Semester

4. Semester

Master’s thesis

4. Semester

Master’s thesis

Regulations and module directory


Single/Joint Honours MA

Ancient Near Eastern Studies can be studied as a Joint Honours MA totalling 42 credits in combination with one or two external module packages (36/18 credits).

Admission requirements:

  • B.A.-degree in the subject Ancient Near Eastern Studies or a equivalent degree
  • or proof of subject relevance:
    achievements in Ancient Oriental Studies, Assyriology, Ancient Oriental Philology, Ancient Oriental Archaeology or Near Eastern Archaeology amounting to at least 45 credits, including achievements in the field of Akkadian or Sumerian and cuneiform writing amounting to at least 15 credits with proof of consolidated knowledge of Akkadian or Sumerian grammar and lexis as well as consolidated knowledge of cuneiform writing.

Language requirements

  • If your native language is not German, you must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the German language at level C1.

Module package

Ancient Near Eastern Studies can also be studied as a module package of 36 credits or 18 credits in combination with a Master's programme (Joint Honours MA).

Admission requirements for the module package of 36 credits

  • Coursework of at least 15 C in the Sumerian or Akkadian language.

Admission requirements for the module package of 18 credits (Ancient Near Eastern Studies/Accadistics or Ancient Near Eastern Studies/Sumerology):

  • none, but general subject-specific previous knowledge is recommended


Our Campus

Your Studies


Study and examination advice Faculty of Humanities

Tina Seufer and Eva Wolff

Humboldtallee 17
DE-37073 Göttingen

Phone: +49 (0)551 39 21888 (Seufer)
Phone: +49 (0)551 39 26713 (Wolff)



Academic Advising

Dr. Brit Kärger

Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14 (KWZ)
37073 Göttingen

Phone: +49-551 39 21248


Questions regarding applications

Snezana Weber M.A.

Humboldtallee 17
Room 1.110 (1st floor)
DE-37073 Göttingen

Phone: +49 (0)551 39 26717
Fax: +49 (0)551 39 4010