Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for beginners (online) ADED11693E

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

Aimed at complete beginners, this fully online course teaches you how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs at your own pace. You will build up your knowledge of Middle Egyptian grammar, starting with formulaic funerary texts, and then progressing to reading a wider array of inscriptions. Throughout the course, we will contextualise what we are reading against important themes and developments in ancient Egyptian culture.


Block 1

The equivalent of 20 contact hours delivered through online videos and discussion forums. Online activities do not have to be undertaken on a specific day but are more usually required to be completed within a specified length of time.

Materials posted online on Thursdays

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses

Ancient Egyptian Texts 1A and 1B cover much of the same material.




Engagement with online set exercises (vocabulary quizzes and grammar exercises) on Moodle (at least 3 out of 5): 20%

Translation exercise (previously unseen text): 60%

Reflective report of c. 1000 words (comparing and contrasting two texts studied in class as primary sources for a particular theme): 20%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to Egyptian hieroglyphs, focusing on Middle Egyptian

■ Contextualise the texts that students read against the backdrop of ancient Egyptian culture

■ Explore the ways in which ancient Egyptian texts as primary sources on ancient Egyptian history and ideology

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Read a variety of texts in Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs, from funerary formulae to royal inscriptions

■ Demonstrate mastery of key vocabulary and grammar

■ Comment on the underlying composition of texts, both grammatical and cultural

■ Evaluate primary texts as a direct source for discussing ancient Egyptian culture, and incorporate them into discussions about key themes in the course.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.