SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies

duration:
Full time one year, part time over 3 years

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£8,785
Overseas fees:
£18,075

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. 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

  • Candidates must normally possess a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent. (E.g. an equivalent bachelors degree from a good US university would have a GPA of 3.3 or above). The programme is interdisciplinary in nature so it is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to the programme. Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in the light of relevant professional experience, and where the applicant can show a practical commitment to their field of study. Candidates must also be able to provide two supporting references.

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

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 2017-18

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. It will suit practicing museum and heritage professionals who are interested in strengthening their knowledge of contemporary debates in critical museology, critical heritage studies and material culture studies. With its interdisciplinary focus, it will suit students interested in broadening their expertise across anthropology, art history and archaeology. It will also provide an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research concerned with museums, heritage, and material/visual culture in Asian, African, Middle Eastern and transnational/transcultural contexts.

This interdisciplinary programme brings together anthropological, art historical and archaeological perspectives to explore the interconnecting fields of museums, heritage and material culture studies. The MA disprivileges Western museum and heritage discourses and practices, and explores tangible and intangible cultural heritage as spheres of global interaction. 

The MA will equip students with a theoretically-informed critical understanding of museums, heritage and material/visual culture. Taught across the Department of Anthropology and School of Arts, the MA provides a unique opportunity to learn about current debates in World Art and World Heritage, combining ethnographic, art historical and archaeological approaches. 

Students will be introduced to a wide range of thematic and theoretical issues, and will have the opportunity to curate a small exhibition in the Curating Cultures module, and put into practice anthropological research techniques in the Ethnographic Research Methods course. 

Situated in London’s ‘Museum Mile’, a few hundred meters from the British Museum, and with its own Brunei Gallery, SOAS provides a unique environment in which to study the cultural heritage of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Convenors

Structure

Programme Overview


The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed below.

Students are advised to take one or both of the recommended modules listed below or may wish to select from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or the School of Arts (Departments of Centre for Media Studies, History of Art and Archaeology or Music) options lists.

The remaining credits can be selected from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology list or the School of Arts options.  See below for a detailed programme structure.

Language Entitlement Programme:

Many students choose to pursue a language through the SOAS Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Programme Detail

COMPULSORY MODULES

All students are required to take the compulsory modules, totalled at 120 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies 15PANC997 60 Full Year
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Approaches to Critical Interpretation & Aesthetic Theories 15PARC004 30 Full Year
CORE MODULE

All students must take the core module worth 30 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies 15PANC099 30 Full Year
OPTIONAL MODULES

Students are advised to take one or both of the recommended modules, worth 15 credits each, or may wish to select the remaining 30 credits from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and School of Arts options lists.

RECOMMENDED MODULES
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Curating Cultures Cohort B 15PARH088 15 Term 2
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 15 Term 2
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 15 Term 2
Media Production Skills 15PANH050 15 Term 2
Perspectives On Development 15PANH033 15 Term 1
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 15 Term 1
Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 15 Term 1
Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
SCHOOL OF ARTS
Centre for Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Digital traditional broadcasting communication 15PMSH022 15 Term 2
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 1
Studies in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSH029 15 Term 1
Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication 15PMSH007 15 Term 1
Studies in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development 15PMSH019 15 Term 1
The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use 15PMSH006 15 Term 1
Theoretical Issues in Media and Cultural Studies 15PMSH005 15 Term 1
Topics in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSC034 15 Term 2
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
History of Art
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 15 Term 1
Art and Architecture of the Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries) 15PARH068 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception 15PARH064 15 Term 2
Critical Themes in Tibetan Art 15PARH074 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 15 Term 1
Islamic Art & Architecture of Medieval Anatolia and the South Caucasus (11-13th centuries) 15PARH070 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Islamic Art and Architecture of Eastern Mediterranean of the Period of the Crusades (11th-14th centuries) 15PARH080 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Monuments and sculpture of Angkor 15PARH071 15 Term 1
Morocco and the Horizons of Visibility 15PARH065 15 Term 2
The Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History 15PARH076 15 Term 1
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 15 Term 1
Music
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Analysing World Music: Transcription & Analysis in Ethnomusicology 15PMUH004 15 Term 2
Analytical Approaches to the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 15PMUH023 15 Term 1
Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia 15PMUH017 15 Term 1
Ethnicity, Religion and Gender in Middle Eastern Musical cultures 15PMUH024 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Gender and Music (MMus) 15PMUH009 15 Term 2
Indian vocal music: Styles and histories 15PMUH025 15 Term 2
Music and Healing 15PMUH019 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Music, Nation and Conflict in Jerusalem 15PMUH022 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Music, Place and Politics in Cuba 15PMUH015 15 Term 1
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 15 Term 1
Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG) 15PMUH018 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Raga: concept and practice (PG) 15PMUH020 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Sacred Sound in South Asia 15PMUH021 15 Term 1
The Music Business (Masters) 15PMUH003 15 Term 2

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Students taking the MA in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies will have the opportunity to achieve:

  • A critical awareness of contemporary theoretical debates in museum studies, cultural heritage studies, and material/visual culture studies;
  • A familiarity with the distinctive contributions of anthropology, art history and archaeology to these interdisciplinary fields;
  • A critical awareness of World Art/World Cultures/World Heritage, with an emphasis on SOAS’s regional specialisms (Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as transnational/diasporic contexts;
  • An understanding of ethnographic approaches to tangible and intangible heritage research;
  • Experience of object-based knowledge and museological research methods.

Knowledge:

Acquisition of Programme Learning Outcomes (above) through participation in the core modules, Museums, Heritage and Material Cultures Studies over two terms, including attending lectures, seminars and other teaching sessions. Students are required to attend all classes, study and engage in library and online research extensively on their own, and prepare coursework or complete research projects each term. Most modules are assessed by essay and project work, and some by exam and slide test. 

The programme provides for a detailed analysis of key debates regarding the interpretation of the role of museums, heritage and material culture around the world, historically and in the present. The core module, Museums, Heritage and Material Cultures Studies, combined with the two required modules - Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology and Approaches to Critical Interpretation and Aesthetic Theory - as well as the two recommended half-unit option modules, Curating Cultures and Ethnographic Research Methods, provides the variety needed to understand the complexity of the issues involved in the fields of museum studies, heritage studies and material/visual culture studies. 

The two-term core module and the two two-term compulsory modules provide broad understandings of traditions, methodologies and debates in anthropology, art history and archaeology, while the shorter option modules deal with more practical issues, including processes of curating non-Western material and ethnographic research methodologies. The option module, Curating Cultures, in particular, provides an in-depth knowledge of the practical, intellectual and ethical issues involved in the interpretation and display of the SOAS teaching collections, and culminates in student-led, group exhibitions in the Lady David Gallery. Here, students will gain knowledge of practices and issues arising from researching, interpreting and displaying SOAS’s collections from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The option module, Ethnographic Research Methods, includes various practical sessions (e.g., on interview technique and research design) and short fieldwork assignments to generate critical awareness among students of their own observational and data recording processes. 

Students are also encouraged through modules in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Arts to move beyond their core area of interests and explore other options. 

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

Acquisition of Programme Learning Outcomes (above) is fostered in all modules offered in the programme, in that modules will introduce theories and/or information that will need to be assessed critically and engaged with in essay and dissertation writing, exams, slide tests, research project work and seminar presentations. The programme emphasises active learning processes, such as seminar/tutorial discussions and debates, and guided group fieldtrip sessions to museums and heritage sites in London and elsewhere. For skills-based option modules, students work on team-based portfolios, exhibitions, interviews, and presentations. 

Subject-based practical skills:

The programme will develop the skills needed for further independent research, writing and thinking in relation to museums, heritage and material culture studies. Students will engage with the study of museums, heritage and material culture in a global perspective, through seminar and class discussions, group-based project work, and the writing of long essays and a dissertation. 

The recommended option module Curating Cultures provides a range of hands-on, vocational skills training in object interpretation, exhibition development, text and label-writing, case design and collections management. It will appeal to students wishing to gain academic and professional knowledge of the field of curating. The Ethnographic Research Methods recommended option develops skills in ethnographic research methods and project design. It puts into practice anthropological research techniques, and includes practical sessions on interview techniques, observation and data recording. 

Transferable skills:

  • the capacity to express their own ideas orally, visually and in writing, to summarise
  • the arguments of others, and to distinguish between the two
  • independence of thought and analytical, critical and synoptic skills
  • research skills in collecting and collating primary and secondary data
  • communication and presentation skills (using oral, visual and written materials and information technology)
  • the ability to make a structured argument, reference the works of others, and
  • assess historical evidence
  • time, planning and management skills
  • the ability to engage, where appropriate, in constructive discussion in group situations and to work constructively and productively in groups
  • independent learning and critical thinking
  • a reflexive approach to cultural assumptions and premises developed
  • through a deep understanding of other ways of being in the world
  • the ability to recognise and challenge ethnocentric assumptions

 Overall, graduates of this programme will gain a range of critical, theoretical and practical skills suitable for those seeking employment as professionals in museums, cultural and heritage organisations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. It will also provide an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research concerned with museums, heritage, and material/visual culture in Asian, African, Middle Eastern and transnational/transcultural contexts.

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.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£8,785 £18,075 £4,393 £9,038 £2,928 £6,025
Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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

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