SOAS University of London

History of Art and Archaeology

MA Curating Cultures (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The MA Curating Cultures programme provides an unrivalled opportunity to explore methods and approaches taken to the curating of the arts of Asia and Africa. It is particularly suitable for those who wish to develop in the arts sector or cultural industries whether that be in the context of museums, galleries, festivals, online platforms, biennales, and other display contexts. It will also appeal to practicing professionals in these areas who are interested in strengthening their knowledge and critical outlook. Themes and issues addressed include but are not limited to: histories and ideologies of curating and exhibitions, theories of collecting, interpreting objects, contemporary issues and debates regarding postmodernism, postcolonialism, repatriation and decolonization, curating and writing of exhibition texts and interpretation.

Additionally, the MA Curating Cultures programme provides an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research in the fields of curating and/or Art History/Archaeology of Asia and Africa in general. The aims and objectives of this MA programme is for students to:

  • develop the ability to critically evaluate interpretative frameworks of museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, public art, online platforms/digital curating, and other display contexts.
  • critically analyse the role practices of collecting, display, and interpretation have in the production of meaning and value of objects.
  • study the methods, practices and key issues surrounding ways in which Asian and African cultures and objects have been presented from both within their own traditions and from the European perspective with a particular focus on decolonisation.
  • develop an understanding of both the theory and practice of curating.
  • acquire in-depth knowledge of the specific areas of Asian and African art and/or archaeology that the student chooses to study, as seen in their course selection.

See Department of History of Arts and Archeology

Why study MA Curating Cultures at SOAS

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. Many of them are also experienced curators and contribute to the vibrant programming in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, students also profit from the insights of scholars and students studying the Music, Film and Media of Asia and Africa in historical and contemporary contexts. They can also select from modules from within the School of the Arts and in other departments across SOAS, taking advantage of its unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of Asia and Africa.

  • SOAS is ranked 13th in the UK in the 2022 QS World University Rankings for Arts and Humanities
  • unrivalled expertise and focus on the curating of the cultures of Asia and Africa
  • ideal for those planning to enter a career in the arts sector and cultural industries
  • coverage and exploration of the most pertinent debates and issues today facing museums, galleries, exhibitions, and the sector in general

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in a relevant subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications. 

    Please see our 'postgraduate entry requirements' page for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Featured events

duration:
One year (full-time). Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2022/23

Home students fees:
£11,980
Overseas students fees:
£23,400

Fees for 2022/23 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found on the Postgraduate tuition fees page

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Students must complete 120 credits of MA taught modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation (60 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

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: Curating Cultures 15PARC994 60 Full Year
Taught Component

Students will take the following compulsory modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Asia and Africa On Display 15PARH043 15 Term 1
Curating Cultures 15PARH079 15 Term 2

AND

Students take modules to the value of 45 credits from List A.

AND

Students take modules to the value of 45 credits from List A and/or the list of Postgraduate Open Options.

List A

Module Code Credits Term
Curating the Sacred: Buddhism and Hinduism on display 15PARH069 15 Term 1
Theory and Method in Art History 15PARH097 15 Term 1
Contemporary Art and the Global 15PARH085 15 Term 2
Analytical Approaches to the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 15PMUH023 15 Term 1
Loot, Collecting and Restitution 15PARH104 15 Term 2
Heritage in Asia: Intangible Cultural Heritage in Theory and Practice 15PARH105 15 Term 1

 

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

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Contact hours

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. 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, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. 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. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information is on the page for each module.

Assessment

For each of the three taught modules, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per modules. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other modules, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2022/23 entrants, per academic year (Band 1 tuition fee) 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
Home
Students
Overseas
Students
Home
Students
Overseas
Students
Home
Students
Overseas
Students
£11,980 £23,400 £5,990 £11,700 £3,955 £7,725

Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

For full details of postgraduate tuition fees see our postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – The Americas

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Saraswati Dalmia Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2022-04-05 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

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 Careeers Service.

A Student's Perspective

This excellent programme focusses on objects of visual art and architecture from the arts and cultures in my specialist region of Southeast Asia.

Nan Htaik

Apply

Find out more