Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Ancient History and Egyptology BA

This three-year specialist degree enables you to study the history, culture and language of ancient Egypt in the wider framework of the history of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern world from the early third millennium to the end of the first millennium BC.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Ancient History and Egyptology BA
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Total intake (by subject area)
175 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
5 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

History, Ancient History or Classical Civilisation required.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C; Ancient European Language at grade B also welcomed. For UK-based students a foreign language at grade B is required.

IB Diploma

A score of 18-19 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in History, with no score lower than 5. A minimum of 5 is required at standard level in a modern or ancient European language.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23-28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D3,D3 - D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including History

A1,A,A-AAA at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including History at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades A*A-AA, including History, Ancient History or Classical Civilisation.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • UCL is uniquely equipped to offer this degree, since a first-class Egyptology library and an important study collection of Egyptian antiquities (the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology) are housed here.
  • The programme invites you to approach Egypt in three distinct ways: as an historian, as an archaeologist (through its material culture) and as a philologist (through its language).
  • Drawing upon UCL History, related UCL departments and relevant University of London colleges, the programme offers a wide variety of options and an unrivalled range of ancient language courses.
  • Exceptional resources, including the British Museum and British Library, are within walking distance, and other London-based museums and organisations provide unrivalled opportunities for accessing primary source material.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The programme includes six compulsory first-year courses, a research project of 5,000 words in the second year, a final-year dissertation and options chosen from a range of full-year and half-year courses.

All students learn the Egyptian language, hieroglyphic and demotic scripts, and the history of the peoples living on the banks of the Nile, the Euphrates and the Tigris, as well as their neighbours in Nubia, Anatolia and Iran.

When choosing optional courses in the second and third year, you can focus on languages, ancient history and/or archaeology.

The range of ancient languages available at UCL and related University of London colleges is unrivalled anywhere in the UK. You can, for example, learn Ancient Hebrew in UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies or Akkadian, Sumerian or Hittite at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Concepts, Categories and the Practice of History
Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Language
Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology
Late Egyptian Language and Texts
Texts in Archaeology
Writing History

Optional courses

The Near East to 1200 BC: The Earliest States
The Near East, 1200-336 BC

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
Research Seminar (5,000-word Research Project)
A further Egyptian language course

Optional courses

The Near East to 1200 BC: The Earliest States
The Near East, 1200-336 BC.

Plus a further 1.0 credit from a wide range of optional courses in ancient history, ancient languages, egyptology, history or from another approved interdepartmental programme. You must have taken courses to a minimum of 4.0 credits in Egyptology and 4.0 credits in ancient history (or an approved related discipline) by the end of your degree programme.

Final Year

Compulsory courses


Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional courses in ancient history, ancient languages, archaeology, Egyptology, history or from another approved interdepartmental programme. You must have taken courses to a minimum of 4.0 credits in Egyptology and 4.0 credits in ancient history (or an approved related discipline) by the end of your degree programme.

Your learning

Many of our courses include lectures, but our approach to learning mainly places emphasis on active student participation in seminar discussion (usually in groups of 15). Essays you write will be returned to you in individual face-to-face tutorials to provide constructive, personal feedback.


Your work will be assessed by a mixture of examinations and written coursework. Significant weight is given to an extended essay based on original sources produced in your final year.


The programme is designed to teach many transferable skills: how to gather and organise evidence; how to analyse it and present a structured argument; how to express yourself clearly, both in writing and orally.

UCL's History graduates have excelled in a wide range of occupations, as lawyers, financial advisers, stockbrokers, television producers, diplomats, journalists, bankers, teachers, museum curators, and in the health service, the police and overseas development programmes, as well as in progressing to further study.


First destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Full-time student, MA in Egyptology at the University of Oxford (2012)
  • Intern, Dorset County Museum (2011)
  • Full-time student, MA in Ancient History at UCL (2011)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Cassell and Stein History Bursary

25,000 over duration of programme
Based on financial need

The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

Each candidate's profile is considered as a complete picture, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree, as shown in your personal statement and referee's report, as well as achieved and predicted grades. Your ability to present an argument, evidence of intellectual curiosity and your enthusiasm for and commitment to studying history will also be assessed.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


Promising applicants will be asked to supply further information to help us in determining whether to offer a place.

We are keen to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds, finding this helps to maintain an intellectually and socially stimulating community. Applicants will normally have studied History; English or a language taken to a higher level is also an advantage.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students