Faculty of PhilosophyPre- and Protohistory – Master

Pre- and protohistory is an archaeological discipline. The subject (re)constructs history by using material culture as a unique historical source of information about past societies, from the first appearance of man to the most recent past.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman (in exceptional cases also English)
Fees and contributions171.75 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with access restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
May be studied as a minor subjectYes

Course Content

Prehistory covers the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, the Copper Age (Chalcolithic or Aeneolithic period), as well as the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Sources are of an archaeological nature (archaeological monuments, artefacts), meaning that prehistory is quite different to other purely historical subjects. Due to its significant overlap with the natural sciences, research of the Palaeolithic period has developed into a separate, specialized discipline. Protohistory considers the development of early literate societies, for instance of Mycenaean Greece or of Late Antique and Early Medieval Europe. Research of these periods draws on archaeological, as well as historical sources. Pre- and Protohistory – although not generally defined by regional or geographical demarcations – generally focusses on Europe, taking the neighbouring continents of Asia and North Africa into consideration where relevant.

Course Structure

The Master’s degree programme in Pre- and Protohistory may be studied as a minor or major subject.  The first three academic semesters serve to advance the knowledge and practical skills students have gained in the Bachelor’s degree programme, and enable them to develop an area of specialisation within the field of Pre- and Protohistory. As in the Bachelor’s degree programme, practice classes (participation in field projects, surveying, use of CAD - programmes and databases) and excursions form a significant part of the course.

Where the degree programme is studied as a major subject, students must complete a Master’s thesis and an oral examination.  Students write their Master’s thesis in the fourth semester.