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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia and Intensive Language

Duration: Two years (full-time). Four years (part-time, daytime only)

Overview

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Minimum Entry Requirements: The normal qualification for admission to the MA programme is an upper second class honours degree. Other qualifications, however, may be acceptable and the Department welcomes mature students. Students taking the MA degree may or may not have previous experience of our subjects. The Japanese pathway is available for students who have an intermediate level of Japanese. Students will be required to take a placement exam in the week before classes begin in order to determine if their level is suitable. Please contact Dr Barbara Pizziconi (bp3@soas.ac.uk) for further information. The Korean pathway is designed for beginner learners of Korean. Students with prior knowledge of Korean are advised to contact the programme convenor, Dr Anders Karlsson (ak49@soas.ac.uk). Students will take four course units in the Korean language, one of them at a Korean university during the summer after year 1.

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Introduction

This two-year programme combines the strengths of the MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia with intensive language training in Japanese or Korean. Students study the arts of China, Korea and Japan, exploring a wide range of East Asian arts, from Chinese archaeology to Japanese prints, Korean installation works to Buddhist monuments, in historical and contemporary periods. Instruction in the language of their choice is provided by teachers in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. By the end of the programme, which includes a summer language school abroad, students have received sufficient instruction to reach near-proficiency in the language.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of East Asia, 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 working in other related fields, such as East Asian Music, Film and Media, as well as the expertise of specialist language teachers.

A Masters from the department provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates stand out for their cultural and linguistic proficiency. Many progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including employment in museums, galleries and the international art market. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Structure

Students take two intensive language units and one East Asian History of Art and Archaeology unit in their first year. During the summer, they participate in a summer school abroad. Upon their return, they take one intensive language unit in their second year and two East Asian History of Art and Archaeology units. The dissertation is written on East Asian History of Art and Archaeology and submitted in September of year 2.

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September of year 2.

Learning Resources

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 Masters from the department provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates stand out for their cultural and linguistic proficiency. Many progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including employment in museums, galleries and the international art market. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Asia House
Bonhams
British Museum
Christie's Hong Kong
Design Museum
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Hong Kong Museum Of Art
India Foundation For The Arts
Museum of East Asian Art
National Gallery National Museum of Singapore
People Projects Culture & Change
Schoeni Art Gallery
Sotheby's
Taiwan Embassy
The Alliance for Global Education
The British Embassy
The Chester Beatty Library
The National Museum Of Korea
The Royal Collection

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Manager of Communications
Culture Programme Coordinator
Research Assistant
Social Anthropology Lecturer
Specialist - Indian Art
Architect
Art Historian
Development Specialist
Archivist
Gallery Director Innovation Programmes Learning Manager
Creative Director
Organisational Consultant
Travel writer
Art Collector
Chinese Painting Specialist
Professor of Silk Road History
Rights and Reproductions Officer
Public Education Coordinator
Senior Curator of Photographs

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