Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time
The BA History of Art and Archaeology 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 subsequent years 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.
On this two-subject programme, the study of the History of Art and Archaeology is combined with another subject. See the ‘Combinations’ tab for the list of subjects that can be taken. Some two-subject programmes are completed in three years while others take four years and include a year abroad.
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 degree 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 graduates 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. Many graduates decide to pursue postgraduate study in the History of Art and Archaeology or a related discipline.
Key Information Set Data
Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.
May be combined with:
- African Studies, (TV53 BA/ASHAA)
- Arabic+, (TV63 BA/AHAA)
- Burmese++, (TV33 BA/BGAA)
- Chinese+, (TV13 BA/CHAA)
- Geography**, (LV73 BA/GHAA)
- Georgian, (TV93 BA/GHArtA)
- Hebrew+, (QV43 BA/HebHAA)
- History, (VV13 BA/HisHAA)
- Indonesian++, (VT33 BA/HAAI)
- Japanese+, (VT32 BA/HAAJ)
- Japanese Studies, (TV23 BA/JSHAA)
- Korean+, (VT34 BA/HAAK)
- Law, (VM31 BA/HAAL)
- Linguistics, (VQ31 BA/HAALing)
- Middle Eastern Studies, (TV6H BA/MESHAA)
- Music, (VW33 BA/HAAM)
- Persian, (VT36 BA/HAAP)
- Social Anthropology, (VL36 BA/HAASA)
- South Asian Studies (3 years), (VTH3 BA/HAASAS)
- South Asian Studies (4 years)+, (TV3H BA/HAASAS)
- South East Asian Studies, (VTJ3 BA/HAASEAS)
- Study of Religions, (VV36 BA/HAASR)
- Swahili+, (VT35 BA/HAASw)
- Thai++, (VT3H BA/HAATh)
- Tibetan++, (VT3J BA/HAAT)
- Turkish+, (VTH6 BA/HAATurk)
- Vietnamese++ (VTHJ BA/HAAViet)
+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of one year abroad
** Taught at King’s College London
Key Information Set data
Click on a combined programme to load KIS data
The structure of modules reflects the importance given to conceptual and methodological clarity, and to independent interests of students. Particular importance is given to the training of the student’s visual memory through the study of slide images. Special emphasis is given to the exploration of arts and artefacts as evidence in historical, religious and cultural studies of societies and cultures.
Please note that a 15 credits module corresponds to a 0.5 unit (taught over one term) and a 30 credits module corresponds to a full unit (taught over both terms).
Two-subject students are expected to take two survey modules (15 credits each), along with the courses on Theory in Art History and Archaeology (15 credits) and Great works: Recordings, Objects, Films (15 credits) and two modules from their other subject.
- Two modules from other subject
Students can pursue modules of their interest, building towards a cumulative knowledge of their chosen subject/region. Two-subject degree students take 120 credits modules in total, of which 60 credits modules must be from this department.
- Two Art/Archaeology modules
- Two modules from other subject
The choice of modules is presumed to build upon those of the previous year. A variety of module combinations is possible: Two-subject degree students normally take one 30 credits module (or two equivalent 15 credits modules) from the department’s options, along with the Independent Study Project.
- One Art/Archaeology module (30 credits)(or two equivalent 15 credits modules)
- Independent Study Project
- Two modules from other subject
Years 2 and 3
Year abroadA 4 year combined degree involves a year abroad
Teaching & Learning
All 1st year modules involve a weekly lecture and tutorial; in the 2nd and 3rd year, where student numbers may be lower, a seminar may replace the lecture.
For most modules, assessment involves coursework and an unseen examination.
In the 1st year, coursework entails short, concentrated pieces of work; in the 2nd and 3rd years, coursework emphasis shifts to longer papers.
In the final year, students are required to complete an Independent Study Project on a subject of their choice, and are also encouraged to undertake projects, supervised by members of staff, in the form of an essay-based advanced.
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 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.
Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.
Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
|BA, BSc, LLB
|BA/BSc Language Year Abroad
Application Deadline: 2018-04-30 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
A degree from the department of History of Art & Archaeology provides students with a number of transferrable skills that can be applied to other types of professions. These include: research skills; written and oral communication skills; visual awareness; and specialist subject knowledge of Asian and African art. Former History of Art & Archaeology students have gone on to employment in a range of professional roles in business and public sectors, as well as continuing in the field of research either at SOAS or other institutions
Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.
Careers include employment in museums, galleries, conservation organisations, commercial galleries, auction houses and art journalism. Other areas include the heritage industry, specialist travel companies, NGOs with cultural programmes such as UNESCO, UNOP, ICOMOS and the World Monuments Fund.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
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.