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Cambridge is an intellectually vibrant and supportive environment for MPhil study and research on Mesopotamia. We offer two different MPhil degrees: one with a substantial taught component for students early in their exploration of the languages and culture of the region, and one more research-intensive for those with significant prior knowledge and a well-developed research idea.

MPhil students are actively encouraged to attend the Ancient Near Eastern seminar series, after which they are also welcome to come to dinner with the speakers.

MPhil in Assyriology

The one-year MPhil in Assyriology aims both to introduce students with little or no previous experience of the subject to the study of ancient Mesopotamia and to allow those already with some knowledge of the region's archaeology or languages to enhance this by studying one or more aspects to greater depth.

For further details, see the Assyriology MPhil webpage.

MPhil by research

The Department of Archaeology offers an MPhil by Research, which can be done on Mesopotamian topics. Assessment is primarily based on an extended dissertation. Applicants should have a well-developed proposal for independent research at application, as well as substantial existing knowledge of the region.  

For further details, see the Research MPhil page.

MPhil in Archaeology

Students interested in Mesopotamia but without wanting to study the languages can take the Mesopotamian Archaeology "track" within the MPhil in Archaeology


For advice on funding to support your studies, see here and here. Note that the deadlines for receipt of your application, in order to be eligible for many funding opportunities, may be mid-December or mid-January of each year, for admission the following October. Early application will also give you a better chance at a place at your chosen College.

Once in Cambridge, Mesopotamian MPhil students are eligible to apply to a number of funds for small grants in aid of discrete projects (including conference attendance).

How to apply

Admission to the University of Cambridge for MPhil degrees is handled through the Student Registry. You are, however, very welcome to write directly to the Postgraduate Administrator at the Department of Archaeology, or directly to any of the teaching officers, for information and advice about the academic content and structure of the courses and about your research ideas and interests.

Proceeding to the PhD

Current MPhils wishing to proceed to the PhD apply to the PhD programme separately, during their MPhil year.  In addition to standard entry requirements, those intent on pursuing doctoral research with a strong language component will normally be required to get at least a Merit mark in the relevant language paper (Akkadian or Sumerian).