Classics (Classical Civilisation) MA/MA(SocSci)

Basic ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for Honours CLASSIC4089

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

From the simple recognition of key hieroglyphic signs to the intricacies of word formation (orthography) and grammar, this course serves as a basic introduction to the Middle Egyptian hieroglyphic script. Our aim is to learn to read a variety of funerary and royal inscriptions, setting examples from these genres within their broader cultural context.


10 * 2 hour lectures and 10 * 1 hour seminars as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this year are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Moodle quizzes (vocabulary, grammar): 20%

Unseen translation and commentary exercise: 60%

Reflective report ( 1000 words) using two primary sources to explore a key cultural topic: 20%

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 principles of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script, building skills in interpreting orthography and grammar

■ Enable students to read a variety of funerary and royal inscriptions in Middle Egyptian

■ Contextualise primary sources read in the original against their cultural background.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Display a reflective knowledge of the Egyptian hieroglyphic script and the Middle Egyptian language through translation and commentary skills

■ Contextualise funerary and royal texts studied within the broader ancient Egyptian culture, comparing and contrasting different examples

■ Critically analyse key topics in religion and royal culture pertaining to the textual material studied within the course

■ Engage with primary sources and use them to argue opinions.

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.