Institute of Archaeology


Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East MA

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in archaeology or a related subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), two or three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

All students must take the following: 

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

Optional modules

Students choose to follow further optional modules up to the value of 45 credits from an outstanding range of Master's programme options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. At least 30 credits derive from the list of options below. 

  • Archaeologies of Asia
  • Aegean Prehistory: major themes and debates
  • Egyptian Archaeology: An Object-Based Theoretical Approach
  • Introductory Akkadian (by arrangement with SOAS)
  • Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Language
  • Mediterranean Prehistory
  • Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Near East: City-States and Empires
  • The Archaeology of the Silk Roads
  • The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
  • Themes and Debates in Egyptian Archaeology
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: the emergence of villages and urban societies

Detailed descriptions of the core courses and modules  can be found here. Please note not all modules are available every year. 


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.

Most modules for the MA Archaeology & Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East are taught through weekly 2-hour seminars. Precise format may vary to include lectures, roundtable discussions or small group-work, and occasional field trips. Some optional modules involve practicals and laboratory sessions. Full details of the timetable are included in each module handbook. Students are expected to use the remaining months to work on their dissertation, with the support of an assigned academic supervisor or supervisory team. Progress meetings take place termly, and individual discussions with tutors can be arranged in office hours or by appointment. 

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2021/22. 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 Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.

UCL Institute of Archaeology International Masters Student Award: thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor the scholarship will enable one international fee paying student to undertake a year of study. It will provide support of up to £26,000 for the duration of their degree and funds can be used to support fees and/or maintenance costs at the recipient’s discretion. Further details can be found here. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.

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


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. Our institute includes over 20 researchers with regional expertise in these areas, from prehistory to the present, and has a long and ongoing history of active fieldwork throughout the study region. 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.

With its international staff and student body, the UCL Institute of Archaeology (IoA) is well known for its welcoming atmosphere, challenging intellectual climate, and supportive feedback structure. It is regularly rated in first place among UK archaeology departments for student experience.

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Application and next steps


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

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

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

All applicants
31 May 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021