PhD Egyptology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2024

Programme description

Our PhD Egyptology programme offers you the chance to make a genuine scholarly contribution to the field through your thesis. You may undertake your PhD either full-time or part-time.

Egyptology at Manchester has a long history dating back to the late 19th century, and we have a broad range of world-class resources which you can use as part of your research programme, including the following.

  • The Manchester Museum Ancient Egypt and Sudan Collection : Numbering more than 18,000 artefacts from Egypt and Sudan, ranging from the Neolithic to the Islamic Period, the museum offers students access to a large and well-provenanced collection of research materials.
  • The John Rylands Library : The Library holds an enviable collection of ancient texts, including hieratic, demotic and Coptic papyri, which can also be made available to researchers.

Egyptological research at Manchester is characterised by several themes:

  • the role of women in ancient Egypt;
  • new Kingdom and Late Period material culture;
  • ancient Egyptian ceramics and ceramic analysis;
  • Amarna Period royal ideology;
  • the reception of ancient Egypt from the Medieval Period to modern times.

Egyptology is part of the Department of Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Egyptology and, as such, our doctoral students will be able to participate in a vibrant academic environment and engage with specialists across a wide range of disciplines. For a comprehensive list of our research interests, please click here

Papyrological research is also conducted within Ancient History, and projects focused on the papyrus resources located in the Manchester Museum and the John Rylands Library would be welcomed.

At the end of your time at Manchester, you will produce and submit an 80,000 word thesis and defend it in an oral examination (a viva).


We aim to:

  • further your development as a scholar, and help you achieve your academic career ambitions as part of a vibrant, wide-ranging and vibrant research community;
  • provide a supportive and inclusive environment for all students;
  • encourage you to publish relevant research and participate in conferences and workshops as part of your academic development;
  • encourage you to undertake undergraduate teaching where appropriate, with guidance and support throughout.

Special features

Graduate School Video

Graduate School

All of our postgraduate students become members of the Graduate School when you start at Manchester. It has dedicated facilities for students and offers opportunities to collaborate with other postgraduates.

The Manchester Museum

Egyptology enjoys close cooperation with the Ancient Egypt and Sudan collections of the Manchester Museum, and you will have the opportunity to volunteer in different roles within the museum to expand your skill-set and employability.

Additional programme information

Equality, diversity and inclusion  is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. 

We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. 

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

All appointments are made on merit. 

The University of Manchester and our external partners are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Teaching and learning

The programme is based on contact and meetings between the student and supervisor.

At Manchester, you will have a supervision team consisting of a primary supervisor, a co-supervisor and an independent reviewer.

This panel will meet biannually to discuss research progress, participation in conferences, publication strategies and setting realistic and achievable objectives.

Students will also receive support from the Postgraduate Research Officer on more general terms.

As part of your PhD, you will be able to undertake generic research training through programmes of talks, workshops and events running throughout the academic year, exploring approaches to research, research methods and the dissemination of research 

Coursework and assessment

The maximum length of a PhD thesis is 80,000 words. Assessment is based on the thesis and an oral examination.

Programme unit details

There are no compulsory taught units as part of this PhD programme.

However, where appropriate, you may audit undergraduate and MA-level courses subject to the approval of your supervisory panel.

You will also receive research training from a range of workshops and short courses where appropriate and relevant to your research and career development.


Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Fly Through

The Manchester Museum houses a wide-ranging collection of artefacts from Egypt and Sudan spanning the Neolithic to the Islamic Period.

The John Rylands Library holds significant collections of hieratic, demotic and Coptic papyri, and the Whitworth Art Gallery holds a large collection of Coptic textiles from Egypt.

Some of our academic staff have associations with organisations such as the International Association of Egyptologists, the Egypt Exploration Society and various Egyptological societies and groupings both nationally and internationally, as well as working relationships with organisations such as the British Museum and National Museums Liverpool.

Postgraduate students wishing to undertake fieldwork in Egypt, or archival research in other institutions as part of their thesis, may wish to engage with these organisations during your time on the programme.

Manchester houses one of the UK's five National Research Libraries - one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country.

Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research. There are extensive computing facilities across campus, with access to standard office software as well as specialist programmes, all connected to the campus network and internet.

The Graduate School offers dedicated state of the art facilities to research students, including common rooms and workstations.

As world-leading specialists in distance learning, Egyptology at Manchester also offers students the chance to learn about cutting edge pedagogical methodologies within the field of distance education.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: