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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

MA Art and Archaeology of East Asia and Intensive Language

Duration: 2 years full time, 4 years part time

Overview

Minimum Entry Requirements: SOAS has general minimum entrance requirements for registration for a postgraduate taught degree and these can be viewed at http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

Those who had a BA degree in some aspect of East Asian Studies, or in Western art history. It would be suitable for those seeking employment in the international art market, or in museums, or who aspire to a Research degree.

The two-year language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language course would enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

This is the sole specialised MA programme is the art history and archaeology of East Asia offered anywhere in the English-speaking world. We offer generous coverage of China, Korea and Japan in most media and for most time periods.

It can also be taken with an intensive language pathway over two years, therefore making this programme unique in Europe.

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 Professor Drew Gerstle (ag4@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.

The Arabic pathway is designed for beginner learners of Arabic. Students will take four units of Arabic, one of them at the Qasid Institute in Jordan or another partner institution during the summer after year 1.  Programme convenor: Dr Mustafa Shah (ms99@soas.ac.uk)

Email: crispin.branfoot@soas.ac.uk

Structure

Students must take three courses (or the equivalent including half courses) from the courses listed in the programme structure diagram below. The Dissertation is History of Art & Archaeology of East Asia.

There is no work experience as such, but we predict internship possibilities with art dealers etc in London.

In the two-year language pathway, students take 2 intensive language units and one discipline unit in their first year.  During the summer, they will participate in a summer school abroad.  Upon their return, they will take one intensive language unit in their second year and two discipline units.  They would also be expected to choose a Major in which to write the dissertation.  In the intensive-language pathway, the same rules apply as for the usual MA.

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 Professor Drew Gerstle (ag4@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.

The Arabic pathway is designed for beginner learners of Arabic. Students will take four units of Arabic, one of them at the Qasid Institute in Jordan or another partner institution during the summer after year 1.  
Programme convenor: Dr Mustafa Shah (ms99@soas.ac.uk)

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

Yes (summer)

Teaching & Learning

Aims and Outcomes

  • To offer in-depth and research-based teaching on the art and archaeology of East Asia
  • To instruct in visual analysis and in modes of writing about visual material
  • To offer the opportunity to conduct individual research and writing in a chosen aspect of the Art and/or Archaeology of East Asia
  • To hone critical and writing skills
  • In the two-year pathway, the student will also be provided with a near proficient ability in a language.

 

Knowledge

  • Broad knowledge of the history and art and archaeology of East Asia
  • Specialist knowledge of the art and archaeology of at least two areas (via course selection)
  • Profound knowledge of one area, based on independent research and writing (via the Dissertation)
  • General knowledge via class discussion and access to Departmental seminars (non-compulsory)

Intellectual (thinking) skills

  • To analyse visual materials and learn a terminology to express opinions and assessments of them
  • To write critically about visual, and also historical materials relating to East Asia, with its various specificities and differences
  • To read critically in a wide range of sources, and to synthesise views
  • To discuss and debate in seminar contexts, and to present materials to peer groups

Subject-based practical skills

  • To communicate about the history of art and archaeology of non-Western cultures in cogent English
  • To learn to discuss visual materials and in analyse them
  • To read and critique the writing of prior researchers
  • To discuss and communicate, including the ability to use AV technology and make presentations
  • In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language

 

Transferable skills

  • To write clearly and lucidly
  • To understand and critique the mechanics of visual representation
  • No address non-Western cultures with knowledge and openness
  • To function effectively as a researcher and presenter of visual and other materials

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