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Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East MA

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UCL is a world-leading centre for research and teaching in the archaeology and cultural heritage of Egypt and the Middle East. The programme is ideally suited to students seeking to combine advanced study of these regions with new technical and interpretative skills, and offers an ideal grounding for doctoral research.

About this degree

UCL’s wide range of archaeological expertise provides a unique opportunity to study Egypt and the Middle East in a truly comparative context, and for students to develop a programme and research dissertation tailored to individual interests. These may include the application of new skills in archaeological science, exploring new theoretical perspectives, or the significance of archaeology for the wider cultural heritage of these regions.

Compulsory modules

All students must take the following: 

  • Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East: A Comparative Approach
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
  • Heritage Ethics and Archaeological Practice in the Mediterranean and Middle East

Optional modules

You are then able to choose further optional modules to the value of 45 credits. The most popular choices are: 

  • Ancient Cyprus: Colonisations, Copper and City-States (by arrangement with King's College London)
  • Archaeologies of Asia
  • Aegean Prehistory: major themes and debates
  • Egyptian Archaeology: An Object-Based Theoretical Approach
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Introductory Akkadian (by arrangement with SOAS)
  • Mediterranean Dynamics
  • Mediterranean Prehistory
  • Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Near East: City-States and Empires
  • Middle Egyptian Language
  • Themes and Debates in Egyptian Archaeology
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: the emergence of villages and urban societies

Students may also elect options from the wide range of other graduate courses in world archaeology, ancient languages, archaeological sciences, or cultural heritage offered at the Institute of Archaeology, subject to availability


All students undertake an independent research project, with guidance from an assigned supervisor, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

Teaching at the IoA is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars to support student interaction, and examination is primarily through module-based essays and the individual dissertation. Depending on the options taken, teaching may also include object handling, museum work, and laboratory practicals.


UCL Institute of Archaeology (IoA) Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2019/20. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email . The deadline for applications is 1 March 2019.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The first cohort of students on the Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East MA is due to graduate in 2018, therefore no specific career destinations are currently available.

Previous UCL graduates in these areas have regularly gone on to undertake doctoral research, or found employment in related areas of the public, museum and heritage sector.


In addition to receiving advanced training in their chosen subject areas, students will have the opportunity to acquire a strong combination of general research skills, communication skills, skills in teamwork and networking and overall personal effectiveness.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Egyptian and Middle Eastern archaeology at UCL are embedded in the vibrant research environment of London's Bloomsbury Campus, in the centre of one of the most exciting cities in the world. The research facilities and collections of the British Museum, the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, and the Institute of Archaeology's own extensive collections from these regions will be on your doorstep. We are also an international centre for research in cultural heritage and museum studies, where the study of the past is critically related to the concerns of the present.

UCL’s wide range of expertise in archaeology and cultural heritage will allow you to study the Egyptian and Middle Eastern past under the instruction of world-leading experts, and with a sensitivity to the contemporary circumstances of the study region. In addition to taught modules, students are given the opportunity to develop a programme of research tailored to their individual interests, including hands-on work with collections from Egypt and the Middle East. New skills you may acquire include the application of techniques in archaeological science, new theoretical perspectives, and critical approaches to the use of museum collections and archives in research. The legacy of colonialism, and the ethical challenges of archaeological research in regions of current conflict, are also core topics in the teaching of the programme.


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

Who can apply?

The degree is ideally suited for students seeking a strong foundation for a research degree, and offers unique opportunities to combine specialist regional knowledge with the acquisition of new skills in archaeological methods and techniques, or in the wider field of cultural heritage studies.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

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What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Archaeology of Egypt and the Middle East at graduate level
  • why you want to study Archaeology of Egypt and the Middle East at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Visit the Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East MA page on the University College London website for more details!