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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

BA History of Art and Archaeology and...

Duration: 3 or 4 years

Overview

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Tania Tribe

Tania Tribe

Convenor

2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: ABB-BBB
  • IB: 33 (555 at HL)
  • 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.

Interview Policy: We welcome applications from mature candidates with relevant work experience. No particular background is expected for the programme, although for those wishing to specialise in East Asia, some knowledge of the languages of the region is an advantage.

Introduction

The BA History of Art and Archaeology 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 subsequent years 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.

On this two-subject programme, the study of the History of Art and Archaeology is combined with another subject. See the ‘Combinations’ tab for the list of subjects that can be taken. Some two-subject programmes are completed in three years while others take four years and include a year abroad.

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 History of Art and Archaeology department provides students with linguistic and cultural expertise, and a large portfolio of transferable skills. Our graduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, or forge careers in a range of fields across the world, including international development, diplomacy, banking and finance, language services, the legal sector, education and policy research. Many decide to pursue postgraduate study in the History of Art and Archaeology or a related discipline.

Combinations

May be combined with

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of one year abroad
** Taught at King’s College London

Structure

The structure of courses reflects the importance given to conceptual and methodological clarity, and to independent interests of students. Particular importance is given to the training of the student’s visual memory through the study of slide images. Special emphasis is given to the exploration of arts and artefacts as evidence in historical, religious and cultural studies of societies and cultures.

Year 1:

Two-subject students are expected to take 2 survey courses (half-units), along with the course on theory and method, and 2 courses from their other subject.

Year 2:

Students can pursue courses of their interest, building towards a cumulative knowledge of their chosen subject/region. Two-subject degree students take 4 units in total, of which 2 must be from this department.

  • 2 Art/Archaeology option units
  • 2 units from other subject
Year 3:

The choice of courses is presumed to build upon those of the previous year. A variety of course combinations is possible: Two-subject degree students normally take 1 unit from the department’s option courses, along with the Independent Study Project.

  • 1 Art/Archaeology units
  • Independent Study Project
  • 2 units from other subject

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

A 4 year combined degree involves a year abroad

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 coursework and an unseen examination.

In the 1st year, coursework entails short, concentrated pieces of work; in the 2nd and 3rd years, coursework emphasis shifts to longer papers.

In the final year, students are required to complete an extended essay on a subject of their choice, and are also encouraged to undertake projects, supervised by members of staff, in the form of an essay-based advanced.

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 degree from the department of History of Art & Archaeology provides students with a number of transferrable skills that can be applied to other types of professions.  These include: research skills; written and oral communication skills; visual awareness; and specialist subject knowledge of Asian and African art.  Former History of Art & Archaeology students have gone on to employment in a range of professional roles in business and public sectors, as well as continuing in the field of research either at SOAS or other institutions

Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.

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.

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

A Student's Perspective

When I heard about SOAS I immediately knew it was the school for me. An institution like SOAS is the ideal platform for students who want to learn a language and gain insight into a culture. It is also a leading school in Tibetan studies.

Beatriz Cifuentes