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Course options

  • Qualification

    MPhil - Master of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    25-APR-21

  • Duration

    21 months

Course summary

About the course

This MPhil in Cuneiform Studies is designed to function as a self-contained course in its own right that will provide a satisfying and advanced study of the languages, culture and history of ancient Mesopotamia. It is also intended to take you to the point where you can consider embarking on doctoral research in cuneiform studies (in Akkadian and/or Sumerian).

The range of options available makes the MPhil Cuneiform Studies suitable both for graduates who have already studied Cuneiform, and for those with no previous experience in the field.

If you have a Cuneiform background, you will be able to build on your previous studies and gain specialised expertise. If you have graduated in another discipline, you will be able to convert to Cuneiform studies through a course that offers a progression from beginning the Akkadian and Sumerian languages to individual research. The course will provide the opportunity to develop a research area of your choice and elements of the course will be tailored to your individual interests.

The study of Akkadian and Sumerian, the two principal ancient languages of Mesopotamia, lies at the heart of the course. The principal focus throughout is on detailed familiarity with the primary sources, studied in the original languages and scripts. The course is designed to equip you with a sound knowledge of Akkadian and Sumerian grammar, vocabulary, and cuneiform script, as well as developing your ability to tackle published, but unedited Cuneiform texts.

Familiarity with the secondary literature and study aids such as dictionaries and sign lists, as well as historiographical and literary-critical approaches, are integral to the course. In addition to this textual focus, the cultures, history, and archaeology of Mesopotamia and neighbouring areas are fundamental course components. You will have the opportunity to develop your skills working with ancient Near Eastern artefacts, including cuneiform tablets, in the Ashmolean Museum.

Assessment

You will have a qualifying examination at the end of your first year, and a final examination at the end of the second.

In order to progress to the second year of the course, you will also need to demonstrate a reading knowledge of French and German as much of the secondary literature on the subject is written in these languages. You will have the opportunity to undertake the necessary training at the University’s Language Centre in the your first year if required.

Graduate destinations

Oriental studies graduates have found employment in many diverse fields including business, finance law, civil service, journalism, government and industry.

Many graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with Oriental studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world, education and in museums.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 26,405per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table

    2nd

  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 32

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    193 96%

    2nd

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    80 80%

    2nd

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    n/a

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