Egyptology covers the geographical area of the Nile Valley of Egypt and the Sudan during a period starting with the Prehistoric era up to Roman times (ca. 12 000 BC – 300 AD). Egyptology additionally encompasses the study of the Coptic culture (ca. 300 AD to the present time). The student is introduced to the culture, language and monuments of Ancient Egypt through various methodological approaches, such as those of history, philology, art history, comparative religious studies and archaeology.
Language and culture should be studied in parallel from the very beginning. About half of the courses consist of studies of the hieroglyphic script and language, as these will equip the student with the ability to work independently with primary textual source material. Finland has only a relatively modest Egyptian collection and has not previously (see current research) engaged in archaeological excavations in Egypt. Thus the emphasis in advanced egyptological studies has been on philological rather than on archaeological skills. The student should be in possession of reading skills in German in order to be able to acquaint her- or himself with the required Egyptological exam literature.
As a main subject in its own right, Egyptology focuses on research. As a minor subject it supports other fields, such as Near Eastern studies, history, papyrology, art history, archaeology and comparative studies of religion.