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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

BA History of Art

Programme Code: V350 BA/HAr Duration: 3 years

Overview

2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: ABB
  • IB: 33 (5/5/5)
  • 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

Minimum Entry Requirements: Mature students may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience.

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:

  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of Africa
  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of the Near and Middle East
  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of South and South East Asia
  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of East Asia

  • Theory and Method in the study of Asian and African art

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 Independent Study Project (ISP) which counts as one unit.

Combinations

May be combined with

BA History of Art may be taken only as a single subject degree. Applicants who wish to combine the study of Asian and African art with another subject should refer to the VV43 BA History of Art/Archaeology programme.

Students can also choose a programme that includes the study of Western art. Western art units are taught in the department of the History of Art at University College London (UCL) - see the entry for V351 - BA History of Art (Asia, Africa, Europe).

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.

Structure Overview

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:

  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of Africa
  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of the Near and Middle East
  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of South and South East Asia
  • Introduction to the art and archaeology of East Asia

  • Theory and Method in the study of Asian and African art
  • 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 either write a 10,000 word essay (on a subject of their choice) or to take the ‘Selected Sites in Asia and Africa’ unit. Each counts as one unit.

Year 1
Years 2 and 3
Year 3

Programme Specification

Teaching & 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.

Destinations

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

The insight provided, knowledge delivered and understanding transmitted during lectures, seminars and conferences at SOAS is impressive and requires real personal involvement in the topics.

Xavier Fournier