SOAS University of London

History of Art and Archaeology

Denise Acford Access Scholarship

Deadline: Friday 06 August 2021


Denise Acford was the much-loved Programme Manager of the SOAS Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, who sadly passed away in 2020.

In testament to her impact on so many lives, many in our community of alumni, colleagues and friends have generously donated towards the Denise Acford Access Scholarship, which has been established as a tribute in her memory. This will provide financial support for students who wish to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art and, but who need additional funding to pursue this opportunity.

The part-fee scholarship will cover half the tuition fees for three modules (the full Postgraduate Diploma) to be taken consecutively in the 2021/22 academic year.

The scholarship is open to anyone, anywhere in the world who is not financially able to pursue the course without assistance.

Eligible Course of Study

The Denise Acford Access scholarship is available for the 2021/22 academic year running from 04 October 2021 to 17 July 2022. The year-long course includes three, 12-week modules including Indian Art, Chinese Art and either Islamic Art or Southeast Asian Art.

Candidate Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must possess or expect to be awarded a Lower Second-Class Honours Degree or above, an equivalent non-UK qualification, or equivalent professional experience. Students with a non-UK degree to be adjudged by their referees and transcript.
  • Applicants must provide a personal statement stating why they wish to take this programme and how this scholarship will make a difference to them.
  • Applicants must explain their eligibility in a separate statement of financial need.
  • For international students, English language proficiency must be evidenced and must meet IELTS level 6.5 overall and for all sub-scores (or equivalent).

Scholarship Application Procedure

Please apply for the Denise Acford Access scholarship by downloading the application form and returning a completed scanned copy to You must also submit:

  • A personal statement
  • A statement of financial need
  • Transcripts from your undergraduate degree (and any further degrees)
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (where applicable)
  • A recently submitted piece of academic work at least 1000 words in length, or equivalent piece of writing from a professional context (i.e. auction or museum catalogue essay). If you have not recently submitted a piece of academic work please produce a new piece of writing on an art historical topic of your choosing at approximately 1000 words in length.
  • A copy of the picture page of your passport
  • Two references providing an opinion on your suitability for this programme of study. Academic references are preferred, but one professional reference is acceptable. Two professional references can be provided if you have been out of academia for more than five years.

Referees can email references directly to Patrick Monger at

The deadline for applying for the scholarship for the 2021/22 academic year is 23.59 (BST) on Friday 06 August 2021. Scholarship applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by 13 August 2021.

Contact us

If you have any queries on the application process, eligibility requirements or any other aspects of the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art course, please contact Patrick Monger at

Terms and Conditions

Language Requirement
  • Where an applicant’s offer of admission to the SOAS Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art includes an English language condition, any scholarship award will be conditional on having met that condition at least one month prior to the start of the module.
Candidate Assessment
  • Candidates will be assessed by an Advisory Panel consisting of three members of SOAS staff.
  • Selectors will be looking at the applicants’ degree results, references, professional experience, supporting statement, writing sample, and other relevant information.
  • The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of a combination of academic potential, financial need, and impact of the scholarship on the applicant’s academic and professional development.
  • Successful applicants must be able to make the remaining half-fee payment four weeks in advance of each module’s start date.
  • Continuation of the award will be conditional on satisfactory attendance and contribution, which will be assessed at the end of every term as well as monitored throughout.