MA Antiquity: Egyptology pathway

The Antiquity MA: Egyptology pathway provides training in archaeological and historical approaches to the study of Ancient Egyptian civilisation across its long history, as well as in Egyptian language.

Working with leading experts in the field, you will study the history, culture, religion and evolving thought-systems of Ancient Egypt, with a strong focus on the interpretation of primary evidence, both textual and archaeological. This is one of several pathways available on the Antiquity MA.

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

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date: September

Details

You will choose two core language modules, at least one should be Egyptian, from a range which includes:

  • Egyptian
  • Beginners Greek
  • Beginners Latin
  • Advanced Greek
  • Advanced Latin
  • Sumerian Language
  • Akkadian Language

You will also study a third core module in Research and Scholarship.

You will also choose three optional modules, at least two of which should relate to the Egyptology pathway. Options available include:

  • Ancient Egyptian Religion
  • Egyptian Culture in Context

Full module descriptions are available below.

You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, with one-to-one expert supervision.  

Why study this course

Egyptology at the University of Birmingham is led by internationally-renowned scholars and commands an impressive record of research and of achievement at postgraduate level. Dr Leahy is co-director of a survey project at Saqqara, west of the step pyramid, while Dr Bommas is conducting research on the remains of the Temple of Chnum on the island of Elephantine. 

With such a range of expertise available, you will be supported to explore your specific interests, particularly through the dissertation.

Modules

You will study two core language modules, at least one of which should be Egyptian, from a range which includes:

Egyptian Language

This is a beginners’ course in Middle Egyptian, so you will start from scratch learning to read ancient Egyptian texts and translate sentences written in hieroglyphs into English. Two contact hours per week will enable us to make fast progress so that you are able to translate even unseen texts from the age of the Pharaohs into English by the end of term 2. Concentrating purely on what is called Middle Egyptian, which was the language introduced during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 BC), will build a strong basis for any further studies of Egyptian language.

Ancient Greek or Latin Language

Available at beginner or advanced levels.

The beginners' module provides an intensive introduction to either Greek or Latin. It aims to provide you with the basic linguistic skills needed to acquire a reading knowledge of Greek/Latin for the purposes of research.

The advanced module consolidates linguistic skills to enable you to work independently on Latin/Greek texts in the original language, building upon existing knowledge. It develops analytical and critical skills by means of advanced grammar and reading classes focusing in detail on a text or texts.

Sumerian Language

The module provides an introduction to the Sumerian language and to the cuneiform literature written in that language.

Akkadian Language

The module provides an introduction to the Akkadian language and to the cuneiform literature written in that language.

You will also study a third core module:

Research and Scholarship

This module ensures that students across the range of sub-disciplines in Classics and Ancient History acquire the necessary generic and specific skills needed for further research. These will include advanced bibliographic skills, familiarity with theoretical and critical approaches and schools of thought, technical skills such as techniques of epigraphy or numismatics where appropriate. Delivery will take place in seminar formats, with sub-disciplines offering different break-out sessions as needed.

You will also choose three optional modules, at least two of which should relate to the Egyptology pathway. Options available include:

Ancient Egyptian Religion

This course will cover diverse aspects of religion in ancient Egypt, including ideas about creation, the gods and the afterlife, religious practice in the community as well as in the temples, the interrelationship between religious and political authority, and funerary religion. Three different kinds of evidence, each with its own problems of interpretation, in combination provide as rounded a view of the subject as is possible: 1) texts, whether monumental or on papyrus; 2) pictorial evidence from temples, tombs, stelae etc; 3) other archaeological artifacts and contexts.

Egyptian Culture in Context, 1100-200 BC

This module provides you with a thorough grounding in this key period for Egyptian history and culture. It covers the dramatic shifts in power and ideology as Pharaonic Egypt clashed first with Persia, then with Alexander the Great, before it finally came into contact with the new superpower: Rome.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £6,210 full-time; £3,105 part-time
  • Overseas: £14,140 full-time

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

Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme

For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.

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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Learning and teaching

The research modules will train you to a professional level in bibliographic research, project development, information management and retrieval, oral presentation, active listening, and a range of subject-specific skills tailored to this pathway.

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.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support through the English for International Students Unit (EISU).

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

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.

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.