Joyce is a teaching-focused Egyptologist who teaches almost entirely on-line.
Her research interests include the development of distance-learning (on-line) Egyptology, Egyptian historiography, and the role of women in ancient Egypt. She is currently involved in a research project in collaboration with the Open University, investigating the use of meteorite iron in ancient Egypt.
Joyce is a Reader in Egyptology in the faculty of Biology, Medicine and Heath, where she writes and teaches the three year on-line Certificate in Egyptology, the two year on-line Diploma in Egyptology, and a series of on-line Short Courses in Egyptology. She does occasional teaching for the Archaeology department, runs occasional courses for UCIL, and supervises PhD students.
Joyce studied the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean at Liverpool University, then obtained a D.Phil in prehistoric archaeology from Oxford University. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton. She is a Research Associate of the Manchester Museum. Prior to joining Manchester University she taught prehistory and Egyptology at Liverpool University. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Reflecting her interest in outreach, Joyce has published a series of books and articles on ancient Egypt: these include three television tie in books and Cleopatra, Last Queen of Egypt, which was a Radio 4 "Book of the Week". She has published three books for children, and her play for children, The Lost Scroll, premiered at Kendal Museum in April 2011. Tutankhamen's Curse: The Developing History of an Egyptian King (USA title Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King, won the Felicia A Holton Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America. Her most recent book, published in 2018, is Nefertiti's Face: the Creation of an Icon.