MRes Egyptology

This programme offers an opportunity to deepen and develop expertise in Egyptology. This may be as preparation for doctoral study,  to undertake scholarly research as an enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

It comprises a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and taught modules designed to equip you for research in this subject.

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top five departments of Classics in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

 Dr Christopher Naunton

Dr Christopher Naunton

“I had developed a real passion for Egyptology as an undergraduate student of Ancient History and Archaeology at Birmingham, and knew towards the end of my second year that I was going to want to continue my studies beyond a first degree. I think as much as anything else I just wanted more of the same – the University, the campus, the city, the Department, my tutors and of course the subject – but in more depth.”
Ask Christopher a question

The programme is made up of 60 credits of taught modules (see the modules section) and 120 credits achieved through a 20,000 word supervised research project on a topic of your choice.

We recommend that you discuss your proposed research project with a potential supervisor before applying.

Why study this course

  • Based on an agreement with The German Archaeological Institute, Cairo, every year two postgraduate students have the opportunity to gain practical excavation experience on the site of Elephantine/Aswan. Postgraduate students also have the chance to study Egyptian artefacts kept in the Eton Myers Collection of ancient Egyptian art held at the University of Birmingham’s Barber Institute.
  • The department celebrated excellent Research Assessment Exercise 2014 results . 38% of research at the University of Birmingham for Classics was top 4* rated ‘world-leading’. A further 43% was rated 3* ‘internationally excellent’
  • We have an outstanding research collection in the University Library, with strong holdings in periodicals and other scholarly publications, including those in relevant European languages, and subscriptions to all major online databases and e-resources.
  • Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AOC Archaeology Group; Blakesley Hall Museum; British Museum; City and Borough Councils; Egypt Exploration Society; English Heritage; Freie Universität Berlin; Komazawa University; KPMG; Mahidol University; National Trust; Pitt Rivers Museum; Sotheby’s; University of Birmingham; University of Vienna


Three modules to be chosen, as well as 120 credits achieved through a 20,000 word supervised research project on a topic of your choice.

Ancient Egyptian Language

This module furthers your knowledge of whichever phase of the ancient Egyptian language is most relevant to your chosen research project.

Texts and cultural construction

This module looks into unpublished texts such as papyri or tomb inscriptions, developing your editing skills and grammar analysis. At the heart of this module is contextualising texts within their original setting through comparison with archaeological data. By the end of the course you will have the linguistic knowledge necessary to edit and publish ancient Egyptian texts for the purposes of historical research or religious or cultural studies.

Theory and Practice of Archaeology

This module incorporates unpublished objects in the Eton Myers Collection of Ancient Egyptian Art at the University of Birmingham. It includes archaeological stratigraphy; relative and absolute chronology; field survey and geophysical techniques; archaeological recording on site and in the museum; pottery typology; draughting and photography; data presentation and publication techniques. 

Ancient Egyptian Religion

This module explores diverse aspects of religion in ancient Egypt, from ideas about creation, the gods and the afterlife, through personal religion, temple cult, and the interrelationship between religious and political authority to funerary religion and its literature.  It will draw on all available sources, including textual, archaeological and pictorial as appropriate and on all periods of ancient Egypt.

Egyptian Culture in Context, 1100-200 BC

This module provides a thorough grounding in all aspects of Egyptian political, social and cultural history from the end of the New Kingdom to the creation of a Macedonian Greek dynasty. This is a fascinating era and one that has only really begun to be explored in recent decades. This is a period during which the country witnessed the settlement of Libyans, invasions of Nubians, Assyrians and Persians, and the arrival of Greeks as traders and soldiers, yet remained essentially pharaonic while constantly responding to the new stimuli.

Research Skills

This module will help you to develop the skills necessary for graduate level research, introduce you to the latest methods and techniques for interpreting primary sources, and demonstrate how to make critical use of scholarly works. You will learn how to define and approach interesting research questions, and develop an overview of the fields of scholarship most relevant to your research.

Other modules

Other modules, for example on Egyptian ceramics or on personal religion in Ancient Egypt, may also be available. You will be advised on the choice of topics appropriate to your level of knowledge and your research interests when you apply.

Please note that the optional modules listed on the website for this programme are intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2017/18:

  • Home / EU £4,180 full-time; £2,090 part-time*
  • Overseas: £15,210 full-time

* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2017.

The above fee quoted is for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • If you are applying for a PhD then you will usually also need to hold a good Masters qualification.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

The University has been recognised for its impressive graduate employment, being named ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

University of the Year for employability

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Over the past three years, over 97% of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AC archaeology; University of Birmingham; National Trust; and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.


Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

Support in your studies

We offer an Academic Writing Advisory Service, which aims to help your transition to postgraduate research. The service offers guidance on organising your ideas and structuring an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, being clear and coherent and editing your work for academic style and linguistic accuracy. Individual support is provided by a professional academic writing advisor via tutorials or email, as well as through the provision of online materials.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.