The Art of Divergence in Ancient Egypt (Hons) CLASSIC4092

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course sets out the governing principles of ancient Egyptian art, most of which developed alongside the centralised control of kingship in the 4th millennium BCE and stayed constant until the end of pharaonic history. However, its focus is on diachronic case studies where these principles are utterly violated. Examples of divergent art range from the display of 'imperfect' bodies through curtailment or the highlighting of features that are usually concealed, to deliberate deviations to show 'otherness'.


10x 1 hour lectures (first and last delivered f-2-f; others asynchronous) 10x 1 hour seminars exploring case studies of divergent art (possible one handing session in Kelvinhall) This is one of the Honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry in Classics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Set Exercise - critical analysis of 3 primary sources (2500 words) - 50%

Critical review of a key secondary source (1000 words) - 20%

Oral Presentation - to be submitted as a recording or poster (15 minutes & 1000 words) - 30%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Introduce students to the underpinning principles of Egyptian art

■ Explore both the characteristics that set certain artworks outside the established 'norm'

■ Discuss the possible reasons behind such deviations and reflect on the effects they might have had

■ Develop skills in critical analysis of both primary material in the form of artworks through time, and secondary sources that engage with those works.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Identify the characteristic aspects of conventional Egyptian art and contrast these with the defining features of 'deviant' art

■ Contextualise key case studies culturally and chronologically within Egyptian history and discuss them against possible historical influences

■ Critically analyse both primary and secondary sources relating to case studies discussed in class

■ Reflect on and present either visually (through a poster) or orally (through a pre-recorded presentation) the cultural impacts of artworks that deviated from the norm

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.