SOAS University of London

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

MA Religious Arts of Asia

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.

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

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Introduction

This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. It includes within its scope diverse countries, regions and time periods from antiquity to the present, with a particular emphasis on Buddhism in South, Central and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea and Japan. Hinduism, Shinto and animistic and syncretic practices are also studied. Students consider iconography, ritual, faith and pilgrimage in their multiple regional and historical guises. They study temple buildings, statues and paintings, formal, informal and popular.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of Asia, many of whom are principally concerned with religious art. Their 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 and religion in Asia, historically and in the present. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the religions, languages, history and cultures of Asia.

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 Religious Arts of Asia 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 Archaeology: Religious Arts of Asia (15PARC998). 

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.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: Religious Arts of Asia 15PARC998 1 Unit Full Year
Options in Religious Arts of Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road 15PARC032 1 Unit Full Year
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
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
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Monuments and sculpture of Angkor 15PARH071 0.5 Unit Term 1
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
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
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 Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries) 15PARH068 0.5 Unit Term 2
Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
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
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
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
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
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
Persian Painting 15PARH053 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
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
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 South Asia 15PANC087 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANC088 1.0 Unit
History
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
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
Media Studies
Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Basic Pali (PG) 15PSRC176 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhism in Tibet 15PSRH008 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 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
Jainism: History, Doctrine and the Contemporary World 15PSRC024 1 Unit Full Year
Mystical Traditions 15PSRC068 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
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
Music
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia 15PMUH017 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Central Asian Music 15PMUH008 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
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 1 (PG) 15PSAC295 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC296 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
Literatures of South Asia 15PSAC284 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
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
Southeast 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 1 (PG) 15PSEC032 1 Unit Full Year
Indonesian Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC033 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 1 (PG) 15PSEC040 1 Unit Full Year
Thai Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC041 1 Unit Full Year
Vietnamese Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC036 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
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

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-22 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

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

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    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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