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Postgraduate Admissions

This MPhil caters both for beginners in Akkadian and those with some previous knowledge of the language. A demanding course, this MPhil delivers competence in the language and specialist knowledge of culture and history over a relatively short time.

All MPhil students in the Department of Archaeology take a Research Skills module and write a dissertation (15,000 words maximum). For the MPhil in Assyriology students also choose either three modules selected from a list of modules in Assyriology or two modules selected from a list of modules in Assyriology and one two-term module or two one-term modules from a list of optional modules in the Department of Archaeology. Students taking the MPhil in Assyriology must take a minimum of one Language module from the list of modules in Assyriology published by the Degree Committee. The module choices must be approved by the Director of the MPhil in Assyriology.

Modules typically offered include:

  • Akkadian (Akkadian language and texts or Advanced Akkadian language and texts)
  • Sumerian language and texts (The combination of Sumerian and Akkadian is normally only permitted to those with previous knowledge of language learning).
  • Mesopotamian culture (Mesopotamian literature or Mesopotamian religion and scholarship)
  • Archaeology of Mesopotamia ('Prehistory to early States' or 'States to Empires' )

Not all modules will be available in all years.

Learning Outcomes

To provide the student with a good working knowledge of one or both of the principal languages of ancient Mesopotamia (Akkadian and Sumerian) and the cuneiform script, combined with a detailed study of aspects of the archaeology and culture of Mesopotamia, and (where appropriate) other regions. Students also learn to participate in academic discussion at postgraduate level and to produce a substantial piece of independent written original research (the dissertation).


Continuing

Students taking the MPhil in Assyriology who wish to continue to the PhD in Archaeology are required to
achieve a mark of at least 68 overall and no less than 68 in their dissertation. They must obtain the support of an
appropriate supervisor before making an application. In some circumstances, additional academic conditions may be set to ensure that appropriate skills, such as language competence, are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme.

Students wishing to continue with language-based PhD topics must also have a mark of at least 68 in Akkadian and/or Sumerian.


Open Days

The Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details

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Key Information


11 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
April 26, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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