Undergraduate Courses in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Oxford

Image of hero with lion

Assyrian hero with lion. Dur-Sharrukin, Iraq c. 710 BC. Musée du Louvre. Photo: Philip Binns.

The three-year B.A. course in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies offers two distinct routes of study, one concentrating on Ancient Near Eastern Studies and the Akkadian language of Babylonia and Assyria, and the other route on Egyptology and the Egyptian language.

For further information about each of these routes please see the two individual webpages, accessible via the menu on the right.

This course gives the opportunity to study in depth one the earliest world civilizations, which contributed much to later cultures in both the West and the East. Study of Egypt spans c. 3500 BC–300 AD and can include Coptic language and the culture of Christian Egypt. Study of the Ancient Near East focuses on the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians in Mesopotamia and spans c. 3500 BC–100 BC, and can include Sumerian language. The core of the course is language study, with the aim of using the language as a means of understanding the civilization. History and general civilization are also studied intensively. Students choose a second language or other subject from a range of options, including combinations of Egyptology with Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

Photograph of bracelet

Beaded Wadjet bracelet from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

It is possible to apply for the B.A. in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies through any of three UCAS codes: Q400 BA/Egy; Q402 BA/ANES; or Q401 BA/EANES. Each of these codes gives access to both routes within the degree.

Students taking Arabic or Hebrew as a main subject may choose to take Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies as a second subject, specializing in either Egyptian or Akkadian.

Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies is also available as a main or second subject in the joint degree of Classics and Oriental Studies.

The course pages, accessible via the menu on the right, include relevant information.

No prior knowledge of Egyptian, Akkadian, or any other Ancient Near Eastern language is expected. Apart from a commitment to the subject, the basic prerequisite is an aptitude for learning languages, although candidates need not have advanced qualifications in languages. The skills involved in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies are comparable with those needed for other courses in the humanities, but perhaps more varied.