Master's Programme in Egyptology

120 credits

Ancient Egypt is perhaps the world's best-known example of a complex society in the past. The area is studied with a focus on the roles played by gods and humans, accessible through texts, art and archaeology during more than three millennia. Through this Master's programme in Egyptology, you will learn how to combine different types of sources, methods and perspectives to better understand the lives of the people in one of the earliest literate cultures known to humankind.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

This programme is for anyone interested in combining texts, art and material remains in the exploration of Ancient Egypt.

You will learn how a scholar works in this field by studying a fascinating set of sources. You will become an expert in identifying problems and suggesting possible solutions from a fragmentary record by analysing and combining different types of evidence. In this programme, language and text studies are combined with history, art and archaeology.

The programme entails a solid foundation for PhD studies in Egyptology at various universities in the world. It also prepares you for a career that involves aspects of cultural heritage management or administrative roles. The courses are normally comprised of seminars that sharpen your skills in oral presentations and communication. Academic writing is practised continuously, preparing you for a range of situations where complex problems are analysed.

The programme is international; Swedish students represent the majority, with others coming from nationalities from elsewhere in the world (e.g. India). Students come from a background in Egyptology. The programme is based in Uppsala with up to 10 students enrolled per year.

The Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University strives for excellence in its teaching and research and is currently ranked in the top 100 departments worldwide in the subject of Archaeology (QS World University Rankings 2023).


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with Egyptology as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The programme includes mandatory courses equivalent to 75 credits and thesis work equivalent to 30 credits within the discipline of Egyptology. You also take elective courses equivalent to up to 15 credits.

At the beginning of the programme, you will establish an Individual Study Plan (ISP) together with the programme coordinator. The mandatory courses are briefly described and a list of elective courses for the second semester is presented. The ISP is revised if necessary in consultation with the Director of Studies.

The first compulsory course is Perspectives on the Past. It runs at 50% of a full-time study load and includes students who study the Master's Programmes in Archaeology and Classical Archaeology and Ancient History.

The department offers several courses, which normally run at half-speed. You will mostly study two courses in parallel. In addition to mandatory courses in Egyptology, you can also do internships (7.5 or 15 credits) or take an individually designed in-depth method course (7.5 credits) relevant to the field. Alternatively, you can read two courses in other subjects equivalent to 15 credits in total.

In the final semester, you will write a degree thesis comprising 30 credits. All courses are taught in English.

Courses within the programme

The following list is an example of courses. The course names are generic and can vary over time but their overarching themes will not change. Some courses (which are given in alternating years) are taken together by students both in year 1 and year 2 of the programme.

First semester

  • Perspectives on the Past: Applied Theory and Method
  • Egyptian Social History: Architecture in Context
  • Archaeology of Nubia
  • Advanced Late Egyptian

Second semester

  • Elective course or internship
  • Religion in Ancient Egypt
  • Introduction to Coptic

Third semester

  • GIS for the Humanities and the Social Sciences
  • Egyptian Social History: Art in Context
  • Archaeology of Egypt
  • Advanced Earlier Egyptian Texts

Fourth semester

  • Thesis work

Seminars and lectures are the most common forms of teaching. Mandatory course literature is mainly in English, but German and French texts may also be included. At the seminars, you will present your ideas and discuss the reading you have done in preparation for the seminar with your classmates (a course book or other study material). The teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

Assessments vary between courses, but normally consist of oral presentations, written assignments and essays.

A Master's degree in this subject makes you eligible to pursue PhD studies in Egyptology. Above all, it is a certificate that you possess several skills required to analyse and administer complex questions without simple answers. Previous students work as, for example, archivists, museum curators or guides, analysts, aid workers, travel guides, cultural writers, editors as well as researchers and teachers at universities.

Although you may think it is difficult to predict what your future career will look like, the survey we made with our alumni shows that a majority of previous students in the programme value their studies in Egyptology regardless of their present occupation.

The department holds networking events in the areas of archaeology, museums and cultural heritage management where you can meet alumni who can provide insights into the job market as you prepare to graduate.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.