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Postgraduate Study


The MPhil in Egyptology delivers competence and a detailed knowledge of the cultures of ancient Egypt and Nubia, emphasising historical archaeology, landscape and the built environment, material culture, and the language and literature of ancient Egypt. All MPhil students in the Department of Archaeology take a Research Skills module and write a dissertation (maximum 15,000 words). In addition, students taking the MPhil in Egyptology select either three two-term modules from a list of modules in Egyptology, or two two-term modules selected from a list of modules in Egyptology and one two-term module or two one-term modules from a list of optional modules in the Department of Archaeology chosen in consultation with the supervisor.

Modules on offer may include:

  • Introduction to Egyptian Language
  • Advanced Egyptian Language
  • Old and Late Egyptian Texts
  • Coptic
  • Demotic
  • Landscapes, Built Environment, and Material Culture of Ancient Egypt
  • Historical Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

Not all modules will be offered each year.

Students taking the MPhil in Egyptology must take a minimum of one Egyptian Archaeology module from the list of modules in Egyptology offered in this year of study. Students may learn an Ancient Egyptian language at either introductory or more advanced levels depending on previous experience. For language modules, the choice of module is subject to the student’s prior experience to make sure that they have the preparation to benefit from the module taken; the course coordinator will provide guidance on this.

One to one supervision

Supervisions with module coordinators or their regular supervisors give the student the opportunity to discuss general and specific issues in the conduct of the course. A supervisor, possibly but not necessarily the same one, will also be appointed for the dissertation, to help with the choice of topic and monitor the progress of the student’s research for the dissertation throughout the year. Supervisions provide the student with an opportunity to seek academic information and advice and a forum to monitor students' progress.

Students can normally expect to have around 6-8 supervision sessions per year depending on the nature of their course and dissertation.

Seminars & classes

Seminars are designed to provide students with intensive engagement with academic staff across a wide range of specialisms relevant to the courses selected. Seminars are designed to be interactive and preparation, and participation in seminars is expected of all students. In all taught modules, students may be required to give seminar-style presentations from time to time. Most modules include a number of seminars during Michaelmas and Lent terms.

The amount of time dedicated to seminars and classes will vary depending on the student's module choices, but typically students can expect 1-2 hours per week of seminars in Michaelmas and Lent terms.


Lectures are designed to present and discuss the major academic topics covered in each module. Most modules are structured around lecture-based teaching.

The amount of time spent in lectures will vary depending on the student's module choices, but typically students can expect around 5-6 hours per week of lectures in Michaelmas and Lent terms.


Students may have some practical sessions: typically around 8 hours per year, depending on their choice of module. Practical sessions make use of material and artefacts held in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Posters and Presentations

All MPhil students are usually required to make a presentation to staff and peers as part of the assessed component of their Research Skills module.


Students receive written feedback on all assessed coursework via the Teaching Administrator. Final marks are made available to students following the final examiners' meeting in September.

Students are invited to group meetings throughout the year to discuss progress and concerns in order to address issues as and when they arise.

All students will undergo regular supervision sessions with their dissertation supervisor.


Thesis / Dissertation

The dissertation is an extended piece of independent, original research. Students work with their supervisor to formulate a dissertation project, carry out research and write it up. The topic of the dissertation has to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee. The dissertation is of maximum 15,000 words (excluding bibliography, tables, figures and appendices) and is due at the end of July; it counts for 50% of the student's final mark.


Students taking the MPhil in Egyptology are usually required to produce between one and four assessed essays depending on their chosen course of study and the modules they select. The essays are between 3,000 and 4,000 words in length and are submitted by deadlines which will be listed on the appropriate Moodle site.

Written examination

Students taking the MPhil in Egyptology are required to sit written tests for some modules. Language modules may be assessed through a written test in Easter Term or through two written tests in Lent and Easter. 


Attendance at the relevant Research Skills workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Department of Archaeology. Its mode of assessment may include a research proposal of specified length and an oral presentation (supported by visual aids) to teaching staff and peers.

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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