Bloomsbury Summer School (text)

Bloomsbury Summer School

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Fascinated by ancient civilisations?

We offer anyone with any level of knowledge, inspiring short courses on Ancient Egypt and other areas of the Ancient World.

About us

A brief introduction

Lucia Gahlin, BSS Co-Director, during a visit to the Valley of the Queens in Egypt

Founded in 1990, BSS endeavours to present the finest programme of summer courses in Egyptology and Ancient World history, languages, literature and archaeology, available in the United Kingdom.

In 2019 we are offering more courses than ever before – nine intensive summer courses in Hieroglyphs, Coptic, and Ancient Egyptian, Near Eastern, and Mesoamerican history, archaeology and culture. They are intended for interested adults of all ages: lifelong learners, students wishing to broaden their studies, and sixth-formers perhaps considering further study in these subject areas.

We are also excited to be staging a study day in June on the cultures of Central Asia and the Silk Road in antiquity, and look forward to our BSS in Egypt course on Astronomy in Ancient Egypt in Luxor in October/November.

At BSS we are enormously fortunate to have special access to UCL’s stunning collections of antiquities and excellent university facilities. Our classes taught in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology offer privileged access to this internationally important collection of Egyptian artefacts. The opportunity to handle ancient objects is not one to be missed, it is an exceptional experience. Our Bloomsbury location also allows us to include teaching sessions in the British Museum, just down the road from us.

We are proud to have organised at least one course in Egypt every year since 2009. These courses in Egypt combine lectures/classes with site visits - a perfect learning experience. This year we are excited to be offering another course in Luxor, this time on Ancient Egyptian Astronomy. It will be taught by Dr Bernadette Brady, Professor of Cultural Astronomy at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

We also enjoy staging at least one Study Day each year. This year we look forward to lectures on the Cultures of Central Asia and the Silk Road in Antiquity by Dr Paul Wordsworth, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and Dr Gai Jorayev, Research Associate at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology.

We have enjoyed welcoming you to BSS in 2019.

Our best wishes,
Lucia Gahlin, Co-Director



Programme and facilities

BSS courses offer you:



We are ideally located in the heart of Bloomsbury, with easy access to many of London’s best-known museums, galleries and West End theatres and cinemas.

BSS is easily reached by public transport. We are within walking distance of three mainline train stations (Euston, St. Pancras and King’s Cross), and of several underground stations.

Please note that there is no car park at UCL nor is there free parking nearby.



If you wish to book accommodation you will be expected to make your own arrangements.

Accommodation is available in reasonably priced university halls of residence close to BSS.

University of London Halls of Residence include: College Hall between the Vanbrugh Theatre and Waterstones Bookshop on Malet Street, Connaught Hall overlooking the gardens of Tavistock Square, Garden Halls opened in 2016 in Cartwright Gardens, and International Hall close to the shops and restaurants of the Brunswick Centre. All are located within a fifteen-minute walk of BSS. Prices start at £46/night (including breakfast).

You might also find a room in a UCL Hall of Residence.

There are of course also many hotels in the area.



Refreshments are available all day every day of your course, and a buffet lunch is provided on the Monday.

You can make use of the inexpensive catering facilities on the UCL site. These serve everything from breakfast through to sandwiches and hot meals in the early evening. Alternatively, you may wish to take your lunch alfresco in Gordon Square Gardens, or enjoy a range of local pubs, cafés and restaurants.

You will be sent a list of suggested local eateries with your course joining instructions.


We would like to express our gratitude to UCL’s Department of History for their continued support.
We value immensely our long-term affiliation with University College London.