Study abroad in Edinburgh

Course finder

Semester 1

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: The Basics and Beyond (ARCA10091)







Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Visiting students must have previously taken at least 3 Archaeology courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. **Architecture courses are very popular and have strict visiting student quotas, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the departments, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

This course introduces students to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script, focusing on Middle Egyptian which was in use from c. 2000 BCE until the end of Egyptian history. It assumes no prior knowledge and begins with the basics of sign function and word formation. By the end of the course, students will be able to read a variety of funerary inscriptions and have a firm grounding in their cultural context. There will be a special focus on hieroglyphic inscriptions in Scottish Museum collections.

Course Description

This course applies a context-based approach. Each week, students will build their knowledge of aspects of ancient Egyptian grammar and vocabulary until they are able to read full inscriptions. They will ground this experience with an exploration of the underlying cultural context of the texts they are learning to read. We will explore creation myths, beliefs about death and the afterlife, and the social and divine hierarchies that governed Egyptian life.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

view the timetable and further details for this course


All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

Visiting student disclaimer