SOAS University of London

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

MA History of Art and/or Archaeology

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

2016 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.

Featured events

  • 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

This programme is a unique opportunity to study the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Students concentrate on architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts and have the option of pursuing topics and approaches more archaeological in focus. They consider theoretical and methodological questions and are invited to question the relevance of the disciplinary distinction between History of Art and Archaeology to the study of the non-Western world. Courses cover a time period spanning from antiquity to present-day, contemporary art.    

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 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.

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 listed below. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from MA options offered by other SOAS departments, also listed below. Students must complete the Dissertation in Art and Archaeology (15PARC999).

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 courses in the first year, and one taught course and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught course 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 is submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.
Compulsory
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Dissertation in Art and Archaeology 15PARC999 1 Unit Full Year
History of Art and Archaeology Options
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
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 Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 0.5 Unit Term 2
Arts of the Tamil Temple 15PARH067 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
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
Contemporary Art and the Global 15PARH085 0.5 Unit Term 1
Critical Themes in Tibetan Art 15PARH074 0.5 Unit Term 1
Curating Cultures 15PARH079 0.5 Unit Term 2
Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
(En)gendering Southeast Asia: Aesthetics and Politics of Sexual Difference 15PARH084 0.5 Unit Term 2
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Islamic Archaeology 15PARH081 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
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
Morocco and the Horizons of Visibility 15PARH065 0.5 Unit Term 2
Museums, Anthropology and the Arts of Asia and Africa 15PARH072 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Painting and Visual Culture in China 15PARC043 1.0 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
Persian Painting 15PARH053 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 Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History 15PARH076 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 China 15PANH062 0.5 Unit Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 0.5 Unit Term 1
Culture and Society of JAPAN 15PANH065 0.5 Unit Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 0.5 Unit Term 1
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 0.5 Unit Term 2
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 0.5 Unit Term 1
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
Histories of Ethnicity and Conflict in South East Asia 1 - Making States and Building Nations 15PHIH011 0.5 Unit Term 1
Histories of Ethnicity and Conflict in South East Asia 2 - Non-National Perspectives 15PHIH012 0.5 Unit Term 2
Japanese Modernity I 15PHIH013 0.5 Unit Term 1
Japanese Modernity II 15PHIH014 0.5 Unit Term 2
Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China 15PHIH024 0.5 Unit Term 1
Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China 15PHIH022 0.5 Unit Term 2
Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners 15PHIH006 0.5 Unit Term 2
Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhism in Tibet 15PSRH008 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Basic Pali (PG) 15PSRC176 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 1 Unit Full Year
Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar 15PSRH038 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 0.5 Unit Term 2
Eastern and Orthodox Christianity 15PSRC055 1 Unit Full Year
Features of Buddhist Monasticism 15PSRH014 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
History and Doctrines of Indian Buddhism 15PSRC059 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Mystical Traditions 15PSRC068 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Modern Bengal: the Evolution of Bengali Culture and Society from 1690 to the Present Day (MA) 15PSAC289 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Non-Violence in Jain Scriptures, Philosophy and Law 15PSRC062 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Pahlavi Language 15PSRC034 1 Unit Full Year
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 1 Unit Full Year
The Buddhist Conquest of Central Asia 15PSRH009 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 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
Media Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 1 Unit Full Year
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 0.5 Unit Term 2
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 0.5 Unit Term 1
Music
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia 15PMUH017 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (PG) 15PMUC009 1 Unit Full Year
Central Asian Music 15PMUH008 0.5 Unit Term 2
Music in Selected Regions of Africa: Contexts and Structures 15PMUC006 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Music, Nation and Conflict in Jerusalem 15PMUH022 0.5 Unit Term 1
Music, Place and Politics in Cuba 15PMUH015 0.5 Unit Term 1
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 0.5 Unit Term 2
Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG) 15PMUH018 0.5 Unit Term 2
Raga: concept and practice (PG) 15PMUH020 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Africa
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 0.5 Unit Term 1
Afrophone Philosophies (PG) 15PAFH009 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Amharic 1 (PG) 15PAFC130 1 Unit Full Year
Aspects of African film and video 2 15PAFH007 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals 15PAFH010 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Hausa 1 (PG) 15PAFC136 1 Unit Full Year
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 1 Unit Full Year
Somali 1 (PG) 15PAFC132 1 Unit Full Year
Swahili 1 (PG) 15PAFC140 1 Unit Full Year
The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa 15PAFH006 0.5 Unit Term 1
Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo 15PAFC139 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Visual Cultures in South Africa: Past and Present 15PAFC143 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Yoruba 1 (PG) 15PAFC134 1 Unit Full Year
Zulu 1 (PG) 15PAFC128 1 Unit Full Year
China and Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Intensive Elementary Tibetan (PG) 15PCHC018 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Introduction to Classical Literary Tibetan (Masters) 15PEAC020 1 Unit Full Year
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) 15PCHH001 0.5 Unit Term 1
Special Course in Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 4 (PG) 15PCHC012 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese: Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (PG) 15PCHC010 1 Unit Full Year
Traditional Chinese Language and Literature 15PCHC005 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Japan and Korea
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Basic Japanese 1 (PG) 15PJKC008 1 Unit Full Year
Basic Korean (PG) 15PJKC022 1 Unit Full Year
Cinema, Nation and the Transcultural 15PJKC023 1 Unit Full Year
Japanese Television since 1953 15PJKC006 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 0.5 Unit Term 2
Japanese Traditional Drama (Masters) 15PEAH013 0.5 Unit Term 1
Literary Traditions and Culture of Korea (Masters) 15PJKH005 0.5 Unit Term 1
Topics in Modern Korean History 15PEAC059 1 Unit Full Year
Topics in the History of Traditional Korea 15PEAC053 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Trajectories of Modernity in 20th Century Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 0.5 Unit Term 2
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
Classical Ottoman Literature (Masters) 15PNMC385 1 Unit Full Year
Classical Persian Poetry (Masters) 15PNMC401 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 Written Persian 15PNMC387 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Persian Texts (PG) 15PNMC384 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Written Turkish 15PNMC386 1 Unit Full Year
Film and Society in the Middle East 15PNMC230 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Intensive Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC395 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC407 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Modern Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC383 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
Medieval Arabic Thought: the Philosophical and Theological Traditions 15PNMC388 1 Unit Full Year
New Cinemas of Turkey 15PNMH004 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Ottoman Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC397 1 Unit Full Year
Persian Language 2 (PG) 15PNMC033 1 Unit Full Year
Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography 15PNMC378 1 Unit Full Year
South Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Bengali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC303 1 Unit Full Year
Bengali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC304 1 Unit Full Year
Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya 15PSAC291 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC296 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC295 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 3 (PG) 15PSAC297 1 Unit Full Year
Imagining Pakistan: culture, politics, gender (MA) 15PSAC313 1 Unit Full Year
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 0.5 Unit Term 1
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) 15PSAH005 0.5 Unit Term 1
Modern Bengal: the Evolution of Bengali Culture and Society from 1690 to the Present Day (MA) 15PSAC289 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Nepali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC298 1 Unit Full Year
Nepali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC299 1 Unit Full Year
Sanskrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC294 1 Unit Full Year
Sanskrit Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC306 1 Unit Full Year
The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia 15PSAC314 1 Unit Full Year
Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 1 Unit Full Year
Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 1 Unit Full Year
South and South East Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Burmese Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC039 1 Unit Full Year
Burmese Language 2 (Postgraduate) 15PSEC045 1 Unit Unit
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Indonesian Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC033 1 Unit Full Year
Indonesian Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC032 1 Unit Full Year
Jawi and the Malay Manuscript Tradition (Masters) 15PSEH006 0.5 Unit Term 2
Khmer (Cambodian) Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC043 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Thai Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC041 1 Unit Full Year
Vietnamese Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC036 1 Unit Full Year
Thai Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC040 1 Unit Full Year
Vietnamese Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC037 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
AKS Postgraduate Bursaries

Application Deadline: 2016-05-03 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-12 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-01-29 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

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-22 17:00

Sochon Foundation Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-05-03 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

The insight provided, knowledge delivered and understanding transmitted during lectures, seminars and conferences at SOAS is impressive and requires real personal involvement in the topics.

Xavier Fournier

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    By email:
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