SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

BA History of Art

duration:
3 years

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
£9,000
Overseas fees:
£16,250


The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2016 Entry requirements

  • Mature students may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience.
A Levels:
ABB-BBB
IB:
33 (555 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements

BTEC: DDM

Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: AABBB

Scottish Advanced Highers: ABB

Irish LC: 320 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0

Euro Bacc: 80%

French Bacc: 14/20

German Abitur: 2.0

Italy DES: 80/100

Austria Mat: 2.0

Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Programme Code: V350 BA/HAr

Introduction

This programme is an unrivalled opportunity to study the visual arts, architecture and material culture of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In the first year, students are introduced to the art and archaeology of different regions. They also receive theoretical and methodological training to prepare them for the study of Asian and African art. In years two and three students broaden and deepen their knowledge and have the chance to specialise in particular regions or themes. An emphasis is placed on training students’ visual memory through the study of images. Students are also provided with a critical introduction to the creative and cultural industries.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in Asian and African art history and archaeology, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students studying the Music, Film and Media of Asia, Africa and the Middle East in historical and contemporary contexts. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of Asia and Africa.

A degree from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our graduates work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Many graduates decide to pursue postgraduate study in the History of Art and Archaeology or a related discipline.

Whether a student sits for the BA History of Art or the BA History of Art and Archaeology depends on the courses they select in their second and third years. See the ‘Structure’ tab for details. The BA History of Art and Archaeology can be combined with another subject to form a two-subject degree.

Convenors

Key Information Set Data

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

The structure and contents of courses reflect the importance given to conceptual and methodological clarity, and to the independent interests of students. Particular importance is given to the training of student’s visual memory through the study of visual images.

One purpose of the introductory year is to provide a basis for the student's selection of courses in the second and third years. In the first year, students must take three compulsory first year Art and Archaeology course units, including four half-unit courses introducing the arts of Asia and Africa, and a core course unit introducing theoretical issues about how and why art and archaeology are studied and discussed. In addition, students must take a fourth ‘open option’ course unit in another department.

In the first year, students are normally required to take courses to the value of four course units as follows:

  • Theory in Art History and Archaeology (core)
  • Great Works: Recordings, Objects, Films (compulsory)
  • Themes in the Art and Archaeology of Africa
  • Themes in the Art and Archaeology of East Asia
  • Themes in the Art and Archaeology of the Near and Middle East
  • Themes in the Art and Archaeology of South and South East Asia

  • A fourth ‘open option’ course unit
(students are required to choose a fourth course unit from another department).

Students who wish to take the BA History of Art and Archaeology must in their second and third years accumulate at least four units from the courses designated as having
archaeological content (selected from the list of second and year courses listed below). Other courses can be selected from the History of Art programme.

Any student who passes at least four units from the courses designated as having archaeological content will automatically be placed in the History of Art and Archaeology programme, while those who do not will be placed in the History of Art programme.

The selection of units in the third year is normally intended to develop the chosen specialisations of the second year. In addition, all third year students are encouraged to write a 10,000 word essay (on a subject of their choice) which counts as one unit.

Year 1
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Theory in Art History and Archaeology 154900190 0.5 Unit Term 2
Great Works: recordings, objects, films 158100003 0.5 Unit Term 1
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of Africa 154900155 0.5 Unit Term 1
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of East Asia 154900163 0.5 Unit Term 2
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of South and Southeast Asia 154900156 0.5 Unit Term 1
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of the Near and Middle East 154900101 0.5 Unit Term 2
Years 2 and 3
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
African Art I: Context and Representation 154900105 1 Unit Full Year
African Art II: West Africa & the Atlantic World; History, Historiography and the Visual Arts. 154900124 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
African Art III: the Art and Architecture of North Eastern Africa 154900132 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Africans in the Americas: Identities and Representation 154900166 0.5 Unit Term 1
Art and Archaeology of Medieval China 154900142 0.5 Unit Term 2
Art and Archaeology of Ancient China 154900143 0.5 Unit Term 1
Art and Architecture of Medieval Islamic Turkey: the Slejuks and their Neighbours 154900195 0.5 Unit Term 1
Art and Architecture of Tibet 154900192 1 Unit Full Year
Art and Culture in Imperial China 154900140 0.5 Unit Term 2
Art and Culture in Modern China 154900141 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Art and empire in India 1300-1800 154900193 1 Unit Full Year
Art and Material Culture of the Islamic World: 7th to 14th Centuries 154900138 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Arts, Culture and Commodification: Themes in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 158100001 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Chinese Art and Modernity 154900167 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Chinese Contemporary Art 154900174 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Collecting and Collections 154900189 0.5 Unit Term 1
Contemporary Korean Arts in East Asia 154900150 0.5 Unit Term 2
Critical Readings in Arts and Cultures 158100002 0.5 Unit Term 1
Curating Global Arts 158100004 0.5 Unit Term 2
Early Indian Art 154900184 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Gandharan Art and its Heritage 154900183 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Gender, Art and Visual Culture: Explorations in the Representation of Southeast Asia 154900181 0.5 Unit Term 2
Global Cultures of Chinese Ceramics 154900170 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Hindu Art in Medieval India 154900162 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
House and Tomb in the Muslim World 154900186 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhas in South Asia (1) 154900182 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhas in South Asia (2) 158000191 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Islamic Art and Architecture of Medieval Iran and Central Asia (10th-13th centuries) 154900188 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Islamic Art & Architecture of the Medieval Mediterranean (12th-15th centuries) 154900179 1.0 Unit
Islamic Urbanism: 7th - 14th century 154900196 0.5 Unit Term 2
Japanese Art 154900110 1 Unit Full Year
Mosaics, Manuscripts, and Wall Painting in Islamic Art 154900134 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Mosque and Palace in the Muslim World 154900187 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Museums and Museology 154900178 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Ottoman Art and Architecture (14th-17th centuries) 154900185 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Painting in Africa 154900172 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Paintings of Korea 154900157 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Representing China in Museums 154900177 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Royal Arts of Korea 154900152 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Southeast Asia in the Modern Imagination: Art, Visuality, Exchange 154900194 0.5 Unit Full Year
The `Historical` Buddha: Explorations in Southeast Asian Arts 154900180 0.5 Unit Term 1
The Visual Culture of Eighteenth-Century Japan 154900120 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Traditional Art and Modern South Asia 154900161 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Undoing Asia: Artistic Perspectives from the 20th and 21th Centuries 154900191 0.5 Unit Term 2
War and Peace in the Eastern Mediterranean: Art and Architecure of Medieval Syria and Palestine 154900197 0.5 Unit Term 2
Year 3
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Independent Study Project in Archaeology 154900169 1 Unit Full Year
Independent study project in History of Art 154900123 1 Unit Full Year

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Materials

SOAS is exceptional in the regional expertise it offers with regard to languages and literatures, religious studies, history and anthropology. Students have access to an unrivalled range of art-historical and archaeological resources:

  • Main Library of the School
  • The Courtauld Institute
  • The Institute of Archaeology

Teaching & Learning

All 1st year course units involve a weekly lecture and tutorial; in the 2nd and 3rd year, where student numbers may be lower, a seminar may replace the lecture.

For most course units, assessment involves course work and an unseen examination.
In the 1st year, course work entails short, concentrated pieces of work; in the 2nd and 3rd years, course work emphasis shifts to longer papers.

In the final year, students are normally required to complete an independent study project on a subject of their choice.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Fees and funding

Employment

A BA in History of Art from SOAS gives graduates the essential skills needed to work in a range of arts related jobs such as galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing, arts administration, heritage management.  Students also gain highly valued transferrable skills that can be applied to other types of professions.  These skills include: research skills, written and oral communication skills, visual awareness and the ability to select and organise information.

Careers include employment in museums, galleries, conservation organisations, commercial galleries, auction houses and art journalism. Other areas include the heritage industry, specialist travel companies, NGOs with cultural programmes such as UNESCO, UNOP, ICOMOS and the World Monuments Fund. It also gives access to a range of jobs available for any humanities degree graduate such as teaching and the media.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

I really wanted to study History of Art and I knew that was my calling. After research, I found out that SOAS was a prestigious school with notable alumni and also that I could study History of Art and Law as a joint degree, which is perhaps the only school in the world that offers this at the BA level.

Guillaume Vandame

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Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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