Do you want to study Egyptology but are unable to commit to a degree programme? Or do you want to focus on just one specific aspect of Ancient Egyptian history or culture? If so, you may be interested in the University of Manchester’s short courses in Egyptology.
These non-credit bearing courses are 10 weeks long – 6 weeks of taught modules plus 4 weeks to allow for late completion and further discussion – and are taught entirely online through a combination of video lectures, written learning modules, group discussions, quizzes, and independent research.
These courses were devised by Egyptologists Dr Joyce Tyldesley and Dr Nicky Nielsen and attract students from all over the world. There are two intake sessions each year – May 15th and October 15th – and students who successfully complete all of the activities and regularly take part in the group discussions will be awarded a certificate of completion.
The university currently offers the following short courses:
- Discovering Ancient Egypt – This course is perfect introduction to Egyptology and the history of mankind’s fascination with the study of Ancient Egypt.
- Queens of Ancient Egypt – This course explores the developing role of Egypt’s queens and royal women throughout Egyptian history, with a particular emphasis on the queens of the New Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Empire.
- Gods & Goddesses of Ancient Egypt – This course explores the nature of some of Egypt’s main gods and goddesses as seen through art, literature, and archaeology.
- Tutankhamen – This course explores the life and times of Tutankhamen through a combination of textual, archaeological, and biomedical evidence and even touches upon the subject of ancient Egyptian curses.
- Speech of the Gods I – III – A three-part introductory course on hieroglyphs and Middle Egyptian. Part I deals with the decipherment of hieroglyphs and teaches students how to read basic formulaic inscriptions. Part II delves into Middle Egyptian grammar and enables students to read basic sentences from literary texts. Part III builds upon all this and prepares students to read longer portions of literary texts and military biographies.
More information about the courses, fees, and application procedure can be found on the website. Keep in mind that these courses tend to fill up quickly. So if you’re thinking of taking any of these courses, make sure you register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Author’s comments: I took the Tutankhamen course last year and recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the art and history of the Amarna Period. The course materials were all carefully thought out and suitable for most learners regardless of age and academic background. The virtual learning environment is easy to use and access and the discussion forums are a great way to interact with the tutor and fellow students. Although you won’t receive any university credit for completing this course, it’s an enjoyable and affordable way to learn more about the history, culture, and politics of Ancient Egypt.