The MRes includes two taught modules worth a combined 60 credits (one compulsory; one optional), and the 120 credit module ‘MRes Dissertation (Ancient)’.
Spaces, Places and Objects in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (30 credits; compulsory)
This module examines archaeological evidence for cult practices and religious activity in the ancient Mediterranean, drawing upon case studies from the Neolithic in the Near East through to Bronze Age Aegean, Cyprus and the Levant. Students interrogate the materiality of cult spaces and objects to interpret how an integrated approach to space and object can lead to a reconstruction of ceremonial cult practices.
Ancient Egyptian Religion (30 credits; optional)*
This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of ancient Egyptian religion and magic. The module uses both material culture and textual sources from the Naqada Period until the end of the Roman era (4000 BC – AD 400). to develop a critically informed understanding of the complex interrelationship between ancient Egyptian religious thought and other aspects of ancient Egyptian society.
Religious Change and Resilience: The case study of Amarna (30 credits; optional)*
This module introduces the ancient Egyptian religious system and its connections with other areas of life in ancient Egypt. You will develop your knowledge of religious change and resilience within the context of the Amarna Period of the Egyptian New Kingdom. Topics include the definition of divine kingship, the Aten cult, and the art and architecture of the Amarna Period as well as the role of private religion and personal piety.
Art and Representation in the Ancient Near East (30 credits; optional)
This module explores ancient art from Mesopotamia to the Aegean. It enables students to critically evaluate how ancient societies perceived of and presented themselves and their environment in a variety of art forms and how these images are received and represented in the modern world. It draws upon art historical and anthropological definitions and interpretations of art.
Religions in China, 1500 BCE – 500 CE (30 credits; optional)
This module examines ancient Chinese religion as a social, political and spiritual force within the fabric of ancient Chinese state and society. Students explore key themes and concepts in the study of ancient and medieval Chinese religion using Chinese texts in English translation. The aim is for students to develop a sophisticated understanding of ancient Chinese religion and its philosophical underpinnings.
Unravelling Heritage History, Theory and Methods (30 credits; optional)
This module enables students to explore the connections between Heritage activity and the political, legal and institutional contexts in which it is undertaken and to investigate how the past is conceived and represented in (and by) various Heritage agencies and providers. The module covers various methodologies, approaches and ethical issues faced in Heritage Studies and provides a critical understanding of the political, legal and institutional frameworks within which Heritage is conceived and practised.
Rome and the Indian Ocean: The Classical World in a Global Context (30 credits; optional)
This module explores Graeco-Roman engagement with the wider Afro-Eurasian world, looking at economic and cross-cultural exchange, transcultural adaptations, diplomatic contact, and the impact of wider world events on the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean. The module draws upon a wide range of sources (literary, epigraphic, archaeological, and iconography) to enable students to critically evaluate the cultural, religious, political, diplomatic, context of these exchanges.
Life in the Eastern Desert of Egypt (30 credits; optional)
This module considers the conditions of people, living, working and travelling through the Eastern Desert of Egypt (indigenous populations, travellers and the military. The module draws upon archaeological, textual and visual evidence.
MRes Dissertation (Ancient) (120 credits; compulsory)
The main focus of the degree is on a longer piece of individual research (30,000 words). Applicants are required to discuss their proposed research with the University before application, and the proposed research must be in one of the areas of supervision offered by the staff from ancient Egypt, the Neolithic Near East and Bronze Age Aegean, Cyprus or Levant, Mesopotamia and ancient China.
* These modules alternate with each other on an annual basis.