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Egyptology and Coptic Studies (M.A.)

The M.A. degree programme at Göttingen offers plenty of possibilities for your studies: Depending upon whether you strive towards doctoral studies in Egyptology or Coptic Studies or whether you wish to enrich your studies in another subject, you can select different combinations of modules. You can expand upon your knowledge of Egyptian languages - or you can make first contact with the subject in a comparative cultural history approach. Courses in archaeology, religion and literature will provide you with deeper insights into the pharaonic and Coptic cultures.

Programme: Egyptology and Coptic Studies
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Standard period of study: 4 semesters
Start: summer and winter semester
Degree programme options: Joint Honours MA in Egyptology and Coptic Studies (42 C); Module packages: Egyptology and Coptic Studies as MA minor subjects (18 C); Egyptology as MA minor subject (36 C); Coptic Studies as MA minor subject (36 C)
Admission requirements for Joint Honours MA: Overview
Entrance requirements for module packages: Overview
Note for international applicants: For the enrolment at the Faculty of Humanities certified proficiency in German language is required!
Application: application procedure (application to the faculty of humanities)
Language of the programme: German

Programme description:
Egyptology and Coptic Studies at the institute in Göttingen
The science of Egyptology researches the culture of pharaonic Egypt. The topic of Coptic Studies is Late Antique Christian Egypt. Both foci are represented in Göttingen in a single institute and are taught as one subject. Therefore students can gain a particularly comprehensive view of the characteristics and development of architecture, figurative art and literature in pre-modern Egypt. The research foci at the Göttingen Institute currently are the history of religion and language, the history of the Coptic Church, archaeology, architectural history, cultural theory and "gender studies", as well as the history of Egyptological and Coptic science.
The institute is closely connected to the Egyptian collections in Hildesheim and Hannover, granting students possibilities to work with original objects from early on in their education. The institute publishes an important academic journal, the "Göttinger Miszellen", and initiated the long-term project „Digital Edition of the Coptic (Sahidic) Old Testament“. The institute is fostering a lively exchange with international scientists, scholars and research institutions, and is regularly organising guest lectures and conferences.

Programme contents
A look at another culture poses questions about the people, the nature of their co-existence and also about their thoughts and beliefs. With the objective of gaining information from archaeological finds and findings and discovering their own answers, students learn how to deal with the scientific approaches of archaeology, the history of religion, art and literature, linguistics and cultural, social and church history. The geographical region of ancient Egypt approximately corresponds to that of modern-day Egypt. In addition, its sphere of influence extended to West and South Africa as well as to the Near East. Its timeline spans several millennia from the prehistory of the Nile Valley up to the High Middle Ages.

During their Master's studies, students have the option of focusing on "Egyptology" or on "Coptic Studies". During 4 semesters, they will acquire a total of 120 ECTS credit points (abbreviated to "C"). This consists of 42 C in their core subject studies, in addition to a subject-external module package of 36 C (two 18 C module packages are also possible) and 12 C from the key competencies section. In the final semester, they will write a Master's thesis with which they will acquire 30 C. More detailed information about which type of course and which type of examination is scheduled for each module can be found in the catalogue of modules in the examination and study regulations.
The core subject of "Egyptology and Coptic Studies" offers language specialisation in either focus ("Egyptology" or "Coptic Studies"). This specialisation is expanded upon by modules concerning cultural history. Depending upon the academic objectives or focus, the selection of modules from the key competencies section regarding

  • competence in academic methods (academic writing; text and communication management; religious sociology; on-site internship);
  • academic expertise (e.g. foreign language competence such as French for cultural scientists; Arabic; Latin; Greek);
  • creativity and media literacy

is recommended.

Within other suitable Master's degree courses, the "Egyptology and Coptic Studies" field can be selected as the "Egyptology" module package, or the "Coptic Studies" module package each totalling 36 C, or as the "Egyptology and Coptic Studies" module package totalling 18 C. The 36 C module package contains an equal balance of language-based training and information concerning cultural history. The 18 C module package contains a focus purely based on cultural history.

Language skills
As a rule, it will be a great advantage to students on the Master's degree programme in Egyptology and Coptic Studies if they can already read English and French well. If necessary, these and further language skills, for example basic knowledge of ancient Greek for Coptic Studies, can, however, be acquired during the course of studies at the University. A wide range of courses are readily available for this objective. Current information regarding this can be found on the homepage of the Central Institution for Languages and Key Competencies (German abbreviation: ZESS).

Possible subject combinations
The "Egyptology and Coptic Studies" degree programme belongs to the Faculty of Humanities. Due to the variety of faculties at the University of Göttingen and the miscellaneous subjects they offer, there are numerous possible subject combinations. Combinations with content-related subjects are recommended. Examples of these include Ancient Oriental Studies, Archaeology of the Classical and Byzantine World, Prehistory and Early History, History, Classical Philology, Art History, Theology, Religious Studies, and General Linguistics. Other recommendations include combinations with method-oriented subjects such as Literature, Modern Linguistics and Modern Cultural Studies (e.g. German Studies, Cultural Anthropology).

Graduates of this degree programme will have mastered the script and language of the Egyptians and can independently acquire and interpret ancient Egyptian texts.
During the Master's degree course, students will further expand their abilities for independent subject-specific and interdisciplinary academic work. They will acquire advanced language competencies by learning further language levels and written forms and analysing difficult texts. They will be able to handle specialised literature written in various modern languages, practise the use of academic language and deepen their knowledge of Egyptology and Coptic Studies.

After studying
Students will qualify for a subject-related academic career at a university, in non-university research establishments, libraries, museums and collections at home and abroad. The Master's degree course lays the foundation for subject-related professionalisation and is an entrance requirement for research training groups and continuing doctoral degree course programmes. Outside university or academic fields, professions in publishing houses and other media establishments as well as in further education skills come into consideration.