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 professor of Egyptology in the Department of Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Egyptology (CAHAE), within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. She writes and teaches the three year online Certificate in Egyptology, the two year online Diploma in Egyptology and the two year online Master's in Egyptology plus a suite of online Short Courses in Egyptology. She also supervises PhD students and does occasional face-to-face teaching.
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 and is a Research Associate of the Manchester Museum. Prior to joining the University of Manchester 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 Egyptology book, published in 2018, is Nefertiti's Face: the Creation of an Icon.
In 2020, in colaboration with Dr Nicky Nielsen, Joyce published From Mummies to Microchips: A Case Study in Online Learning at the University of Manchester.