SOAS University of London

History of Art and Archaeology

Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art

Minimum Entry Requirements: Candidates are expected to hold a good undergraduate degree in any subject or equivalent experience. Prior knowledge of Asian art history or archaeology is not a requirement, though candidates are expected to have an interest in the area.

Start of programme: September, January or April

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Asian Art Diploma Image

The Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS University of London offers a programme renowned for its excellence. We lead you on a journey of object-based study through lectures and contributions from a wide range of leading scholars, curators, and art market professionals.

We have a formal association with the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which allows us to offer exceptional access to the collections and curatorial expertise of both institutions.

The Postgraduate Diploma will appeal to all those with a serious interest in Asian art, regardless of your personal, professional or academic background. It is also a proven pathway to further postgraduate study in Asian art and careers in museums, the commercial art world and academia.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art offers seven immersive modules, each 12 weeks in length. Students can take any number or combination of modules and you can begin the programme in October, January or April.

This year we’re launching a new online module, Asia’s Art Histories, which you can join from anywhere in the world.

We also offer two new supporting courses, Analysing & Exploring the Arts and Independent Study Project in Asian Art History. These are available both in person and online.

Issues and themes dealt with in weekly lectures are developed further through tutorials, review sessions, seminars, discussion forums and visits to museums, galleries and other collections.

For more information please see our 2022/23 Prospectus or our website:

The modules offered are:

Our supporting courses include:

Programme learning outcomes

  1. Acquire a contextualised understanding of diverse artistic traditions, and visual and material cultures from multiple regions across Asia
  2. Develop skills and confidence in object-led visual and material analysis
  3. Reflect critically on the contexts in which you encounter objects studied on this course
  4. Engage critically with current and past scholarship in relevant fields
  5. Develop rigorous academic skills for postgraduate study, research, writing and argumentation, moving toward autonomous, independent study
  6. Relate your newly developed skills and knowledge to global opportunities for vocational and voluntary contributions to the arts

Academic qualifications and credit points

The award of Postgraduate Diploma is made on the successful completion of three modules and two supporting courses. A student who completes a single module and both supporting courses can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate award at any point within their four year period.
Each of our twelve-week modules carries 30 credit points at FHEQ level 7. Each of our supporting courses carries 15 credit points. The Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art requires 120 credit points within four academic years. The Postgraduate Certificate in Asian Art requires 60 credit points.


In 2022/23 we are offering two scholarships for the October start date.

  • The Heather Elgood Scholarship – This scholarship covers full tuition fees for the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art and an allowance to cover living costs during term time.
  • Half-Fee Scholarship – This part-fee scholarship covers half the tuition fees for three modules (the full Postgraduate Diploma) to be taken consecutively in the 2022/23 academic year.

These scholarships are competitive and awarded on a combination of academic merit and financial need. For more information regarding the eligibility criteria, application process and deadlines, please visit the pages at the above links.


The fee for the 2022/23 academic year is £5,350 per module. To secure their place on the course, candidates must pay a deposit of £500 when accepting their offer of a place on the programme. Deposits are non-refundable. The remaining fee balance is payable four weeks before the start of each module.

The fee for the 2023/24 academic year will be confirmed in due course.

Alumni Discount

A 10% reduction in tuition fees is available to all students who have an Undergraduate degree in any subject from SOAS, but no higher qualification. (Please note that you cannot receive the SOAS Alumni discount if you have already received another discount / scholarship from the University.)


We also offer spaces on the programme to those who are not seeking an academic qualification. Those who choose to audit the course enjoy full access as a SOAS student but are not required to complete the assessments. Auditors pay the full module fee.

Virtual Open Day

Join us for a virtual open day (via Zoom) to meet our Programme Director, Dr Malcolm McNeill, and hear more about our programme and the Hettie Elgood scholarship as well as ask any questions you may.

We have two virtual open days scheduled for Tuesday 7th June at 15.30 (UK time) and Monday 13th June at 10.00 (UK time). To register to attend, please click this link.

Application Procedure

Please apply by downloading the application form and returning a completed copy to You must also submit:

  • Your undergraduate degree transcript or certificate
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (where applicable)
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport

Language Requirements

All international applicants where English is not their first language must be able to show that their English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete the course. The required standard for direct entry is IELTS Level 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in all sub-scores.

More information about these requirements, including details regarding exemptions and alternative forms of evidence, can be found at:

Contact us:

Programme Director - Dr Malcolm McNeill
Programme Manager - Mr Patrick Monger


Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4445