SOAS University of London

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Introduction to the Department of History of Art and Archaeology

Facts and figures

7th
in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide rankings for Art History 2022

Teaching

  • 94% overall satisfaction from students according to the National Student Survey 2021 for History of Art
  • 95% of students said that staff are good at explaining things and made the subjects interesting (NSS 2021)
  • 100% of students found the course intellectually stimulating (NSS 2021)

Research

In the 2014 REF more than 80% of the Department’s research was judged either world-leading or internationally excellent; the third highest proportion of any institution researching the history, practice and theory of art in the UK.

Alumni and student stories

  • "The connections I made at SOAS have been invaluable in furthering my education and career."

    In my first year, I was exposed to many foreign cultures such as South Asian, Islamic, and African arts and architecture which I had no knowledge of before.

  • "My years at SOAS doing MA History of Art and Archaeology have been most memorable, inspiring, and challenging."

    I particularly enjoyed the variety of classes offered and also being able to meet colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

  • "I chose SOAS because of their regional expertise and openness to interdisciplinary research."

    Studying at SOAS was an opportunity to refine my interests and methodologies in the study, care and handling of Asian material religion.

  • "SOAS encouraged me to apply interdisciplinary approaches to my research."

    I was able to meet students and scholars from all over the world researching different aspects of arts and cultures.

  • "SOAS has a long tradition of training future academics, linguists and leaders for the fields of Oriental, African and Middle Eastern cultures."

    SOAS has a long tradition of training future academics, linguists and leaders for the fields of Oriental, African and Middle Eastern cultures. The specialization, particularly in the areas of art, archaeology and language connected to these cultures is in my opinion almost unchallenged in the academic world

  • "When I heard about SOAS I immediately knew it was the school for me."

    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.

  • "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."

    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.

  • "Studying Islamic Art History at SOAS has been one of the most engrossing, pleasurable and rewarding pursuits I have undertaken."

    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.

  • "SOAS is a vibrant place filled with diversity."

    With the guidance of an eminent team of professors, and the support of the various resources SOAS has to offer, my time here has indeed been very productive, academically and professionally.

  • "The UK and especially London is a great place to study. SOAS in particular offers a warm and hearty atmosphere with the opportunity to study at a renowned university and get to know people from everywhere in the world."

    The public transport in London is just great as it is easy to get around and also to get to other cities in the UK. The beautiful cities Cambridge and Oxford are basically around the corner and definitely worth visiting and many other nice British cities and places are also easy to get to from London.

  • "My initial impression of SOAS was that it was extraordinarily different. I used to describe it as the ‘United Nations’ to friends and family, because of its diversity."

    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.

Read more alumni and student stories

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