Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilisations Diploma Course

Certified Course
Accredited Course

Course Information

10 Modules
Lifetime Access
Study Group Access
Multiple Choice Assessments


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US$12.42 + 6 monthly payments of US$24.25
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What Will You Learn?

As long as 4,000 years ago, there was a region that was so advanced that some of the innovations that developed from there, such as the wheel and the zodiac, are still in use today. That place is Mesopotamia, an ancient land that covered modern-day Iraq, and the first civilisation it bore – which is also the first civilisation in the world – was called Sumer.

In the Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilisations Diploma Course, you will learn exactly how advanced these ancient people were. You will study their mastery of irrigation and agriculture, how they developed complex urban societies, and their incredible ways of thinking about the world through writing, art, literature, astrology and even warfare.

The Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilisations Diploma Course begins by laying the foundations of the subject with a geographical study of where Mesopotamia was and providing a chronological breakdown of the different people and empires that resided in ancient Mesopotamia.

From this overview, we dive straight into an exploration of some of the better-known Sumerian inventions, including the basic concepts of time and a city, the use of clay and the development of bricks, the wheel, the chariot, hydraulic engineering, and the sailboat.

You’ll be introduced to the development of the concept of a city and the city-state in Sumerian culture. You’ll study the different types of buildings that featured in a Sumerian city and the main features of this civilisation’s architecture.

We examine the role of religion in Sumerian civilisation, Sumerian cosmology, their Creation Myth and the primary deities they worshipped. We also look into the formation of cuneiform - the world’s first writing system - and discuss the rich literary tradition that cuneiform instigated.

You’ll learn of the importance of rivers in Sumerian and Mesopotamian culture, the rise of the city-states, the constant fighting for land and water, and how all three coalesced to cause the downfall of the world’s first civilisation.

We observe the rise and fall of the Akkadian Empire - learning about the first emperor, Sargon the Great, as well as the rich contributions the Akkadians made to the world. We look at the periods in which the Assyrians rose to power, the various kings who were most significant during these eras, and the contributions – good and bad – that they made to their own world and the world that continued long after their empire disappeared.

You’ll be introduced to two of the most important kings in Babylon and Mesopotamian history – King Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar II - who ruled during the Neo-Babylonian era. You will also study the contributions that this remarkable city made to humankind, from the first written laws to astronomy and the zodiac.

The course concludes with a look into the final few centuries of the Mesopotamian civilisation. This includes learning about the various foreign powers that overtook the region, including the Persians under Cyrus II  and the Greeks under Alexander the Great.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Know why Mesopotamia is so important to civilisation
  • Understand why Sumer was considered the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’
  • Be familiar with the different empires that formed Mesopotamian history
  • Appreciate the many innovations and inventions developed by the Sumerians that are still in use today
  • Be aware of the different features of art and architecture throughout the history of Mesopotamia
  • Understand the role of religion and the primary deities of Sumer and other Mesopotamian cultures
  • Be familiar with the world’s first writing system, cuneiform
  • Be aware of the major works of Mesopotamian literature
  • Comprehend the contribution the Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians made to the world
  • Know who the rulers of Mesopotamia were
  • Have knowledge of some of the most important Mesopotamian artworks and cultural artefacts
  • Understand what happened to the Mesopotamian civilisation
A statue of the Assyrian protective deity, Lamassu - a human-headed winged bull

Course Syllabus

What will I learn on the course?

Certified Course
Accredited Course
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Where is Mesopotamia?
  • Part 2: Stone Age to the First Civil Age in Mesopotamia
  • Part 3: The Rise and Fall of Sumer and the Akkadian Period
  • Part 4: By the Rivers of Babylon
  • Module 1 Assessment
  • Part 1: The ‘39 Firsts’
  • Part 2: Time, Numbers, Astrology and Writing
  • Part 3: The Concept of the City
  • Part 4: Mass Production, the Wheel and Chariot, Hydraulic Engineering and the First Sailboat
  • Module 2 Assessment
  • Part 1: Urban Planning
  • Part 2: Houses and Temples in Ancient Sumerian Cities
  • Part 3: City-States
  • Module 3 Assessment
  • Part 1: The Power of Priests
  • Part 2: Cosmology and the Sumerian Creation Myth
  • Part 3: Humankind’s Place in the World
  • Part 4: Primary Deities
  • Module 4 Assessment
  • Part 1: Sumerian Cuneiform and Token System
  • Part 2: The Beginning of Literature
  • Part 3: Similarities Between Sumerian Literature and Biblical Stories
  • Module 5 Assessment
  • Part 1: The Importance of the River and How City-States Came to Be
  • Part 2: The Sumerian King List
  • Part 3: The Beginning of the End of the Sumerians
  • Module 6 Assessment
  • Part 1: Introduction to the Akkadian Empire
  • Part 2: King Sargon the Akkadian, First Emperor of Mesopotamia
  • Part 3: Achievements of the First Empire
  • Part 4: The Akkadian Empire Under Naram-Sin
  • Part 5: The Third Dynasty of Ur and the Birth of Abraham
  • Module 7 Assessment
  • Part 1: Introduction to the Assyrians
  • Part 2: The Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom
  • Part 3: The Neo-Assyrian Empire and the Fall of the Assyrian Empire
  • Module 8 Assessment
  • Part 1: The Origins of Babylon
  • Part 2: Hammurabi and the Rise of Babylon
  • Part 3: The End of the Rule of Hammurabi and the Dark Ages
  • Part 4: Rebuilding Babylon
  • Part 5: Maths, Science and Astrology
  • Part 6: How Babylon Became (In)Famous
  • Module 9 Assessment
  • Part 1: The Persian Invasion of Babylon
  • Part 2: The Demise of Mesopotamia
  • Part 3: Classical Antiquity (500 BCE – 7th Century AD) and the Legacy of the Mesopotamians
  • Conclusion
  • Module 10 Assessment
Who Would Benefit from This Course?

If you love history and discovering other cultures, but don’t know about the Sumerian and Mesopotamian civilisations, you’re really missing out. This course will fill in the blanks of your historical understanding and open you up to a whole new world that is the foundation of our own.

For so long, Mesopotamia has been in the shadow of other fascinating cultures such as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome but their histories are actually closely tied. This course will take you on a journey through the Sumerian and Mesopotamian civilisations and all the inventions and innovations that they are responsible for that we still use today.

A restored Sumerian temple ziggurat in ancient Ur (Iraq)

Upon completion of your course assessments, you receive 2 certificates. A certificate from the Centre of Excellence and a CPD certificate displaying the number of CPD points earned from the course.

Upon successful completion of this course, learners can also receive a certificate of achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary, which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course. (This certificate is optional and costs an additional £15).

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high-quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries.

This course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality Licence Scheme.

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Richard Neftin
You are on top of it in terms of getting my courses to me and communicating. I appreciate the structure of your website and how accessible and easy to maneuver around in it. Cheers. 5 stars!
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Kim Milich
Centre of Excellence have been fantastic! I am really enjoying my course and finding the materials and videos really helpful. I would highly recommend Centre of Excellence.
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Marianna D
The Spiritual Life Coach course was informative and easy to follow. I feel like it's a unique course and I'm proud to have this certificate in my profile now!
Spiritual courses are a great resource and provide an excellent foundation for moving forward on your spiritual journey.
Paul Routledge
Paul Routledge
Brilliant set of courses. I recently completed an Egyptology course with them and was so impressed I enrolled into Greek mythology diploma. (I'm doing a masters in classical studies so the Greek mythology course will help). I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to learn new things at their own pace
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Bellinda Dunn
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There is no time limit for completing your course it can be studied in your own time at your own pace.

All of our courses vary in length but most of our courses will take you between 50 - 250 hours to complete. The length of this course can be found in the Accreditations section above.

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Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilisations Diploma Course
Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilisations Diploma Course
Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilisations Diploma Course
Certified Course
Accredited Course
570 Users Enrolled