[skip to content]

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

BA History of Art (Asia, Africa and Europe)

Programme Code: V351 BA/HArAAE Duration: 3 years


Featured events

Tania Tribe

Tania Tribe


2015 Entry Requirements

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

This programme is taught jointly by the School of Oriental and African Studies and the History of Art Department of University College London. The official title of this degree is History of Art (Asia, Africa, Europe) in order to distinguish it from the History of Art degrees taught elsewhere in the University e.g. the Courtauld Institute or UCL, where a History of Art degree which concentrates on Western art is offered.

Students have to take four courses in each year. In the first year the student will take two course units at UCL and two in the department. They must take a minimum of one and a half units from either side in the second year, and a minimum of one unit from either side in the final year. Thus they bring together the study of European, Asian and African Art in a flexible manner unique within the British University system.

The course units in the UCL part of this degree include, in the first year, general courses which survey the history of art and introduce students to a range of the intellectual, observational and professional skills demanded of the art historian.

In the second year students work on more focused study of aspects of the history of western art since c.1200, and take at least one course concerned with the development of the western idea of art and current approaches to art history, or with the history of the methods and materials of artists.

In the final year students take a Special Subject (a course which treats a theme or career in detail), and may do another special subject and/or an Undergraduate Report (similar to a SOAS Independent Study Project).

Anyone requiring further information on the UCL part of this course should contact Mr Charles Ford at University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, Telephone 020-7679 7541, Email charles.ford@ucl.ac.uk


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 History of Art/ Archaeology programme.

Students can also choose a degree that focuses entirely on Asia and Africa, see the entry V350 - BA History of Art for further details.


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 BA History of Art offers students two routes through the degree programme. Students can choose a degree that focuses entirely on Asia and Africa (V350) or one 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). 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 History of Art/Archaeology programme.

Students take 4 units (one unit being the equivalent of a full year course, a half unit being a course that runs for one term only) each year.  The course units taken at SOAS are as follows:

Year 1
Year 2
  • at least 1.5 SOAS units:
    • may include 1 open option course
  • at least 1.5 UCL units
Year 3
  • at least 1 SOAS unit:
    • normally including an Independent Study Project
    • may include 1 open option course
  • at least 1 UCL unit

SOAS Course Units

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

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 study.

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.


A BA History of Art (Asia, Africa & Europe) 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.  As well as regional expertise and knowledge, 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.

A degree in art history 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