MRes Egyptology

This programme offers an opportunity to deepen and develop expertise in Egyptology, whether as preparation for doctoral study or 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.


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.

Related staff

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2016/17:

  • Home / EU £4,110 full-time; £2,055 part-time*
  • Overseas: £13,680 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

* 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 2016.

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 tuituion fees and funding.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

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

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.

Making your application

Learn more about applying

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

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You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant 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.

In addition, the global edition of The New York Times has ranked the University 60th in the world and 9th in UK for post-qualification employability. The rankings illustrate the top 150 universities most frequently selected by global employers and are the result of a survey by French consulting firm Emerging and German consulting firm Trendence.

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.

In 2013, over 92% 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: AOC Archaeology Group; Blakesley Hall Museum; City and Borough Councils; English Heritage; KPMG; National Trust; and Sotheby's.

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.

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.