MA Egyptology

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Academic Skills and Research Design in Egyptian Archaeology Part 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code CAHE66011
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This 30 credit module is a compulsory part of the part-time online Master’s in Egyptology and will be taught during the first semester of the first year. The module provides firstly a basic introduction to the skills required to function within a taught postgraduate environment (successful academic writing skills, good academic practice, assessment and marking criteria) before progressing to an in-depth dual study of the development of the methods and practices of archaeology (antiquarianism, formalised archaeological practices, major archaeological theories, feminism and archaeology, the impacts of colonialism, Nazism and eugenics, modern pseudo-archaeology) and Egyptology (history of collecting in Egypt, the impact of the Napoleon’s savants on the field, historical and modern tourism, the shift from funerary to urban archaeology).

The final portion of the module deals with practical concerns of a) designing, curating and managing museum collections and exhibitions and b) conducting field-work in Egypt (including ethics, site management and national heritage management). Along with the lectures students will partake in weekly discussion seminars conducted on the Blackboard™ discussion boards.



The unit aims to:

1. introduce students to the advanced study of Egyptology and Archaeology in Egypt.

2. provide students with the opportunity to learn about the major issues which have helped to shape the field of archaeology and Egyptology by focusing on the development of both fields.

3. provide the students with a basic awareness of the range of technical skills involved in a) designing and curating museum exhibitions and b) conducting archaeological field-work.

4. provide the students with an overview of the range of intellectual activities which comprise the field of Egyptology.

5. provide the students with the relevant tools to conduct and properly disseminate independent research in an academic environment.


Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lectures and podcasts recorded by members of staff.  

Two weekly seminar topic provided on the Blackboard™ discussion boards. These seminar topics are designed to stimulate debate between the students. A member of staff will monitor and guide the discussion. 


Knowledge and understanding

Display a detailed understanding of the development of archaeological methods and theories and their implications as they pertain to the study of ancient Egypt.

Intellectual skills

Formulate a cogent academic argument expressed in an essay format.

Contribute to written discussions and debates with salient and concise points.

Practical skills

Create, edit and proof-read a piece of original written research. 

Display an understanding of relevant and suitable source material (primary and secondary) for inclusion in original research.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Construct a salient argument in a written format.

Conduct independent research.

Communicate differences of opinion in a friendly and constructive manner.

Assessment methods

Discussion Boards 0%
Essay 3000 words 75%
Book Review 1000 words 25%

Feedback methods

Discussion Boards 10% - ongoing feedback
Essay 75% - written feedback within 30 working days
Book Review 15% - written feedback within 30 working days

Recommended reading

Bard, K. A. 2015 (2nd ed.) An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Wiley: Somerset.

Bowden, M. 1991. Pitt Rivers: The Life and Archaeological Work of Lieutenant-General Agustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. Cambridge University press: Cambridge.

Carruthers, W. (ed.) 2014. Histories of Egyptology: Interdisciplinary Measures. Routledge: New York.

Drower, M. S. 1995. Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison.

Fagan, B. M. 2004 (2nd ed.) The Rape of the Nile: Tomb Robbers, Tourists and Archaeologists in Egypt. Westview Press: Oxford.

Hawkes, J. 1982. Mortimer Wheeler: Adventurer in Archaeology. Weidenfeld and Nicholson: London.

Jeffreys, D. (ed.) View of Ancient Egypt since Napoleon Bonaparte: Imperialism, Colonialism and Modern Appropriations. UCL Press: London.

Reid, D. M. 2003. Whose Pharaohs? Archaeology, Museums and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I. University of California Press: Berkeley.

Renfrew, C. and P. Bahn. 2012 (6th ed.) Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. Thames and Hudson: London.

Thompson, J. 2015. Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology, Volume 1: From Antiquity to 1881. American University in Cairo Press: Cairo.

Forrest, H. 2011. Manufacturers, Mummies and Manchester: Two Hundred Years of Interest In and Study of Egyptology in the Greater Manchester Area. Archaeopress: Oxford.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 300

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Joyce Tyldesley Unit coordinator

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