Taught course


University of Cambridge · Division of Archaeology

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree or its international equivalent. Applications for the MPhil in Assyriology are considered as they are received on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as programmes have a limited number of places each year.

Months of entry


Course content


This MPhil caters both for beginners in Akkadian and those with some previous knowledge of the language. A demanding course, this MPhil delivers competence in language and specialist knowledge of culture and history over a relatively short time. All MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology take a Research Skills Module and write a dissertation (15,000 words maximum). The MPhil in Assyriology also includes three taught modules, chosen in consultation with the supervisor according to the student's interests. The student's first choice must be a language course. The student's second and third modules can be chosen from the modules listed below, and with the consent of the module's instructor and the MPhil in Assyriology Coordinator one of these may be any other appropriate MPhil module offered in the Division of Archaeology. Modules typically offered include:

  • Akkadian (Akkadian language and texts or Advanced Akkadian language and texts)
  • Sumerian language and texts (Sumerian is only available to those with some previous knowledge of Akkadian).
  • Mesopotamian culture (Mesopotamian literature or Mesopotamian scholarship & religion)
  • Archaeology of Mesopotamia (Archaeology of Mesopotamia: Early period to 2000 BC or Archaeology of Mesopotamia: Late period, 2000-539 BC)
  • Topics in Mesopotamian history and archaeology
  • Any other appropriate MPhil module taught in the Division of Archaeology, consent of the module's instructor and the MPhil in Assyriology Coordinator.

Fees and funding

Fee Home: GBP10500, EU: GBP10500, Overseas: GBP20535

Qualification and course duration


full time
11 months



The dissertation is an extended piece of independent, original research. Students work with their supervisor to formulate a dissertation project, carry out research and write it up. The topic of the dissertation has to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee; the dissertation is of maximum 15,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) and is due at the end of August; it counts as 50% of the student’s final mark.


Students taking the MPhil in Assyriology are usually required to produce between 1 and 4 assessed essays depending on their chosen course of study and the modules they select. The essays are between 3000 and 4000 words and are submitted in Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms.


Students taking the MPhil in Assyriology are required to sit written examinations for some modules. Language modules are assessed through a written exam in Easter Term. For language modules, choice of module is subject to the student’s prior experience to make sure that they have the preparation to benefit from the module taken; the course co-ordinator will provide guidance upon this.

Other Assessment

Attendance at the relevant Research Skills Workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology. MPhil students are required to submit a 2000 word research proposal and give a presentation to teaching staff and peers which form the assessed part of the Research Skills module and are worth 5% of the overall MPhil degree.

Course contact details

+44 1223 337733