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Graduate Admissions


The MPhil in Egyptology delivers competence in a language and a detailed knowledge of the cultures of ancient Egypt, emphasising historical archaeology, landscape and the built environment, art, 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 (15,000 words maximum). The MPhil in Egyptology also includes taught modules, chosen in consultation with the supervisor according to the student's interests. Students will learn an Ancient Egyptian language at either an introductory or more advanced level depending on previous experience.

One to one supervision

Supervisions with module coordinators or their regular supervisor 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 they provide the forum to monitor students' progress.

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

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

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.


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.


Students may have some practical sessions: typically around 12 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.

Small group teaching

MPhil class sizes tend to be small for most modules and a significant portion of teaching is therefore delivered
in small groups.

Journal clubs

Students are encouraged to involve themselves in the department's graduate-run journal, the 'Archaeological Review from Cambridge'.


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 essays and reports from internal markers via the Graduate Administrator. Final coursework and exam 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.



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 August.

The dissertation makes up 50 per cent of the 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 in the graduate handbook.

Written examination

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


Attendance at the relevant Research Skills workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Department of Archaeology. The Research Skills module is worth 5 per cent of the overall MPhil degree. 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

11 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2020

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
April 30, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 9, 2019

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