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BA History of Art (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The BA History of Art programme is an unrivalled opportunity to study the visual arts, architecture and material culture of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In the first year, students are introduced to the art and archaeology of different regions. They also receive theoretical and methodological training to prepare them for the study of Asian and African art. In years two and three students broaden and deepen their knowledge and have the chance to specialise in particular regions or themes. An emphasis is placed on training students’ visual memory through the study of images. Students are also provided with a critical introduction to the creative and cultural industries.

See Department of the History of Art and Archeology

Combine History of Art with other subjects

The choice of modules selected in the second and third years will determine whether the student sits for the BA History of Art or the BA History of Art and Archaeology. The BA History of Art and Archaeology can be combined with another subject to form a two-subject degree.

  • Other disciplines: History, East Asian Studies, Music, Languages and Cultures, Social Anthropolgy, World Philosophies
  • Languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese

Why study History of Art at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Arts and Humanities
  • 94.4% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2021)
  • our 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.
  • our graduates work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration.
  • the large portfolio of transferable skills students acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Many graduates decide to pursue postgraduate study in the History of Art and Archaeology or a related discipline.
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Study BA History of Art at SOAS

Programme Code: V350 BA/HAr

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • Mature students may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience.
A Levels:
AAB-ABB
IB:
35 (665 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements

BTEC: DDM

Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: AAABB

Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB

Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0

Euro Bacc: 80%

French Bacc: 14/20

German Abitur: 2.0

Italy DES: 80/100

Austria Mat: 2.0

Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Featured events

duration:
3 years

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

The structure and contents of modules reflect the importance given to conceptual and methodological clarity, and to the independent interests of students. Particular importance is given to the training of student’s visual memory through the study of visual images.

One purpose of the introductory year is to provide a basis for the student's selection of modules in the second and third years. The selection of modules in the third year is normally intended to develop the chosen specialisations of the second year. In addition, all third-year students are encouraged to write a 10,000 word Independent Study Project essay (on a subject of their choice) which counts as 30 credits.

Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.

Programme

Year 1
Core Module: Year 1
Module Code Credits Term
Theory and Method I 154900190 15 Term 1
Compulsory Modules: Year 1

Students will take the following 5 compulsory modules

Module Code Credits Term
Great Works: art, films, literature, music 158100003 15 Term 2
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of Africa 154900155 15 Term 1
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of the Near and Middle East 154900101 15 Term 2
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of South and Southeast Asia 154900156 15 Term 1
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of East Asia 154900163 15 Term 2
Optional Modules
Students can take EITHER

Modules to the value of 30 credits from the Language Open Option List or the Non-Language Open Option List

OR

Modules to the value of 30 credits from the list of School of Arts guided options below

Module Code Credits Term
Writing Across the Arts 158100012 15 Term 1
Introduction to Film Language, History & Theory 158100009 15 Term 1
Sounds and Cultures 155800071 15 Term 1
Decolonising Pop: K-Pop and Beyond 155800089 15 Term 2
OR

A 15 credit module from the Language Open Option List or the Non-Language Open Option List AND a 15 credit module from the list of History of Art and Archaeology guided options below.

Year 2
Compulsory Module: Year 2
Module Code Credits Term
Theory and Method II 154900206 15 Term 1
Guided Options: Year 2

Students will take modules to the value of 75 credits from the list below

Optional Modules
Students can take EITHER

Modules to the value of 30 credits from the Language Open Option List or the Non-Language Open Option List

OR

Modules to the value of 30 credits from the list of History of Art and Archaeology guided options below 

OR

A 15 credit module from the Language Open Option List or the Non-Language Open Option List AND a 15 credit module from the list of History of Art and Archaeology guided options below.

Year 3
Compulsory Modules: Year 3

Students will take the following module

Module Code Credits Term
Independent study project in History of Art 154900123 30 Full Year
AND

Students will take modules to the value of 60 credits from the list below 

Optional Modules
Students can take EITHER

Modules to the value of 30 credits from the Language Open Option List or the Non-Language Open Option List

OR

Modules to the value of 30 credits from the list of History of Art and Archaeology guided options below 

OR

A 15 credit module from the Language Open Option List or the Non-Language Open Option List AND a 15 credit module from the list of History of Art and Archaeology guided options below.

List of modules (subject to availability)
Modules available in Year 2 or Year 3
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese Art 154900110 30 Full Year
Contemporary Korean Arts in East Asia 154900150 15 Term 2
Chinese Contemporary Art 154900174 15 Term 1
Museums and Museology 154900178 15 Term 1
Mosque and Palace in the Muslim World 154900187 15 Term 1
Islamic Art and Architecture of Medieval Iran and Central Asia (10th-13th centuries) 154900188 15 Term 2
Collecting and Collections 154900189 15 Term 2
Art and Empire in Early Modern India 154900193 15 Term 1
Approaches to Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 154900204 15 Term 2
Arts, Culture and Commodification: Themes in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 158100001 15 Term 2
Key Concepts in Cultural Theory 158100002 15 Term 1
Curating Global Arts 158100004 15 Term 1
Modules available in Year 3 only
Module Code Credits Term
Independent study project in History of Art 154900123 30 Full Year

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

All first year modules involve a weekly lecture and tutorial. In the second and third year, where student numbers may be lower, a seminar may replace the lecture.

For most modules, assessment involves course work and an unseen examination.

Year 1: course work entails short, concentrated pieces of work.

Year 2 and 3: course work emphasis shifts to longer papers.

In the final year, students are normally required to complete an independent study project on a subject of their choice.

Materials

SOAS is exceptional in the regional expertise it offers with regard to languages and literatures, religious studies, history and anthropology. Students have access to an unrivalled range of art-historical and archaeological resources:

  • Main Library of the School
  • The Courtauld Institute
  • The Institute of Archaeology

Contact hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. In the School of Arts, most undergraduate modules have a one- or two-hour lecture or seminar every week. Some, but not all, also have a 1-hour seminar or tutorial every week.

More information is on the page for each module.

SOAS Library

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.

Employment

Employment

Students in the School of Arts develop a ​​critical and theoretically informed approach to global arts and culture. In addition to an intercultural awareness and practical expertise, graduates gain a wide portfolio of transferable skills which are especially sought after in the creative and cultural industries.

Recent School of Arts graduates have been hired by:

  • Christie’s
  • Christine Park Gallery
  • Crisis
  • Design Museum
  • Hong Kong Museum Of Art
  • India Foundation For The Arts
  • Japanese Gallery
  • Museum of East Asian Art
  • Music in Detention
  • National Gallery
  • Pan Arts
  • People Projects Culture & Change
  • Roundhouse Trust
  • Somerset House Trust
  • Songlines Magazine
  • Sotheby's
  • South Asian Art UK
  • Stratford Circus Arts Centre
  • Taiwan Embassy
  • The Alliance for Global Education
  • The British Embassy
  • The National Museum Of Korea
  • The Royal Collection
  • Victoria and Albert Museum

Find out more about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

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.

Vaishnavi Patil

Find out more