SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

MA History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East

duration:
One year (full-time). Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
£7,985
Overseas fees:
£17,215

This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 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. While knowledge of a relevant Asian or African language is not a requirement, for some courses it is an advantage for admission (see individual course descriptions for details). It is possible to include an element of language training within the MA programme by taking an Asian or African language as one of the two ‘minor’ courses. This option may be particularly desirable for those intending to progress to the PhD, who do not already have the necessary language skills.

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  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Introduction

The Islamic Middle East has given rise to an impressive material culture that continues in the present. This programme covers an area stretching from Islamic Spain through the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia in diverse historical periods. It offers students an unmatched opportunity to study particular regions or categories of art, including Fatimid art; the architecture and urbanism of Morocco; Arab, Persian and Turkish painting; the calligraphy and illumination of the Qur'an; Mamluk art and architecture; the arts and architecture of the Ottomans in Turkey and the Balkans; and the material culture of western Iran. Archaeological issues of the Islamic Middle East are also considered.

In addition, the degree engages with trans-regional topics that extend beyond the Middle East, such as cultural and artistic relationships between the Islamic Middle East and Europe.

Students can decide to study complementary courses on non-Islamic traditions of the Middle East and/or the Islamic traditions of other regions.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of the Islamic Middle East, 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 Music, Film and Media in the Middle East and the wider Islamic world. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of the Middle East.

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. 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.

Convenors

Structure

Students must complete three units (or 0.5 unit equivalent) of taught MA modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation. A minimum of two units (or equivalent) must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East listed below. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from the other MA modules in the department or from MA options offered by other SOAS departments, also listed below. Students must complete the Dissertation in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East (15PARC997). 

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis. The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two taught modules in the first year, and one taught module and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught module in each year. The dissertation can be written in any year, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Compulsory
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: History of Art and Archaeology of Islamic Middle East 15PARC997 1 Unit Full Year
Options in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Approaches to Critical Interpretation & Aesthetic Theories 15PARC004 1 Unit Full Year
Arab Painting 15PARH054 0.5 Unit Term 1
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Art and Architecture of the Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries) 15PARH068 0.5 Unit Term 2
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Islamic Art and Architecture of Eastern Mediterranean of the Period of the Crusades (11th-14th centuries) 15PARH080 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Islamic Art & Architecture of Medieval Anatolia and the South Caucasus (11-13th centuries) 15PARH070 0.5 Unit Term 1
Islamic Archaeology 15PARH081 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Morocco and the Horizons of Visibility 15PARH065 0.5 Unit Term 2
Persian Painting 15PARH053 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road 15PARC032 1 Unit Full Year
Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea 15PARH059 0.5 Unit Term 1
Arts of the Tamil Temple 15PARH067 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 0.5 Unit Term 2
Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route 15PARH057 0.5 Unit Term 1
Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries 15PARH046 0.5 Unit Term 1
Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception 15PARH064 0.5 Unit Term 2
Collecting and Curating Buddhist Art in the Museum 15PARH069 0.5 Unit Term 1
Critical Themes in Tibetan Art 15PARH074 0.5 Unit Term 1
Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 0.5 Unit Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 0.5 Unit Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 0.5 Unit Term 2
Monuments and sculpture of Angkor 15PARH071 0.5 Unit Term 1
Museums, Anthropology and the Arts of Asia and Africa 15PARH072 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Painting and Visual Culture in China 15PARC043 1.0 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 0.5 Unit Term 2
Representing Conflict: A Cross-Cultural and Inter Disciplinary Approach 15PARH039 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Sacred Art and Architecture of Ancient Korea 15PARH056 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period 15PARH007 0.5 Unit Term 1
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 1 Unit Full Year
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 0.5 Unit Term 2
Visual Arts of Dynastic China (to 1800) 15PARH051 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Options in Other Departments
Anthropology
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 0.5 Unit Term 2
History
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period 15PHIH037 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners 15PHIH006 0.5 Unit Term 2
Media Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 1 Unit Full Year
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 0.5 Unit Term 1
Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Eastern and Orthodox Christianity 15PSRC055 1 Unit Full Year
Mystical Traditions 15PSRC068 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Pahlavi Language 15PSRC034 1 Unit Full Year
Theory and Method in the Study of Religion 15PSRC010 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 1 Unit Full Year
Music
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Central Asian Music 15PMUH008 0.5 Unit Term 2
Music, Nation and Conflict in Jerusalem 15PMUH022 0.5 Unit Term 1
Near & Middle East
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Arabic 2 (PG) 15PNMC382 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic 300 (Postgraduate) 15PNMC390 1 unit - 45 cats Unit
Arabic 4 (PG) 15PNMC391 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic Poetry and Criticism 15PNMC048 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 1 Unit Full Year
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 0.5 Unit Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 0.5 Unit Term 2
Elementary Persian Texts (PG) 15PNMC384 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Written Persian 15PNMC387 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Written Turkish 15PNMC386 1 Unit Full Year
Film and Society in the Middle East 15PNMC230 1 Unit Full Year
Intensive Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC395 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Modern Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC383 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC407 1 Unit Full Year
Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC032 1 Unit Full Year
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 1 Unit Full Year
Israel, the Arab World and the Palestinians 15PNMC038 1 Unit Full Year
New Cinemas of Turkey 15PNMH004 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Persian for Readers of Arabic Script (PG) 15PNMC422 1 Unit Full Year
Persian Language 2 (PG) 15PNMC033 1 Unit Full Year
Persian Language 3 (PG) 15PNMC408 1 Unit Full Year

Disclaimer

Teaching and 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.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£7,985 £17,215 £3,993 £8,608 £2,662 £5,738
Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-12 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-01-29 17:00

H.E. Dr Issa Ghanim Jassim Al-Kawari Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

Santander Taught Master’s Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

The Prospect Burma - Hla Pe Memorial Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. 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

Studying Islamic Art History at SOAS has been one of the most engrossing, pleasurable and rewarding pursuits I have undertaken.The SOAS academics I encountered are exemplary. Their scholarship, first hand experiences and enthralling anecdotes brought their subjects to life. Within this rich and rigorous environment, also supported by access to other SOAS departments and the numerous co-curricular resources available in London, it is inevitable that students strive for excellence.

Elizabeth Kelly

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    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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