SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

MA History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East and Intensive Language (2018 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019 2018

duration:
Two years (full-time), four years (part-time)

Entry requirements

  • The normal qualification for admission to the MA programme is an upper second class honours degree. Other qualifications, however, may be acceptable and the Department welcomes mature students. Students taking the MA degree may or may not have previous experience of our subjects.

Featured events

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

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of the Islamic Middle East, 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 working in other related fields, such as Music, Film and Media in the Middle East and the wider Islamic world. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of the Middle East.

A Masters 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 postgraduates progress to 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. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Convenors

Combinations

May be combined with:

The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MA History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East:

Structure

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.

In their first year, students on the two-year Intensive Language programmes take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 60 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline. 

For information on the programme structure for the four-year part-time version of the programme, please see the pdf programme specification at the bottom of this page.

Please see the relevant web pages in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics for information on the Intensive Language part of the programme.

Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

History of Art & Archaeology modules relating to the Islamic Middle East from the lists below to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Modules (not limited to the Islamic Middle East) from the History of Art & Archaeology lists below to the value of 15 credits.

Plus

Modules from the lists below to the value of 45 credits.

Or

Modules from Postgraduate Open Options if approved by the programme convenor.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: History of Art and Archaeology of Islamic Middle East 15PARC997 60 Full Year
List of modules (subject to availability)
Options in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arab Painting 15PARH054 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 15 Term 1
Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road 15PARC032 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Art and Architecture of the Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries) 15PARH068 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism 15PARH043 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Discourses on Modern and Contemporary Art of the Middle East 15PARH096 15 Term 2
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 2
Islamic Art and Architecture of Eastern Mediterranean of the Period of the Crusades (11th-14th centuries) 15PARH080 15 Term 2
Islamic Art & Architecture of Medieval Anatolia and the South Caucasus (11-13th centuries) 15PARH070 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Islamic Archaeology 15PARH081 15 Term 1
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Visuality and Islamic Art 15PARH065 15 Term 2
Persian Painting 15PARH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Options in Other Departments
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 15 Term 1
Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea 15PARH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 15 Term 2
Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route 15PARH057 15 Term 1
Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries 15PARH046 15 Term 2
Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception 15PARH064 15 Term 1
Collecting and Curating Buddhist Art in the Museum 15PARH069 15 Term 2
Critical Themes in Tibetan Art 15PARH074 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 15 Term 1
Monuments and sculpture of Angkor 15PARH071 15 Term 1
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 15 Term 2
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
Representing Conflict: A Cross-Cultural and Inter Disciplinary Approach 15PARH039 15 Term 1
Sacred Art and Architecture of Ancient Korea 15PARH056 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period 15PARH007 15 Term 1
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Understanding Art East and West: from Asmat Shields to Tate Modern 15PARH058 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Visual Arts of Dynastic China (to 1800) (Cohort A) 15PARH051 15 Term 1
Options in Other Departments
Anthropology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 2
History
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period 15PHIH037 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners 15PHIH006 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Religions & Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 30 Full Year
Eastern and Orthodox Christianity 15PSRC055 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Pahlavi Language 15PSRC034 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 30 Full Year
Music
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Music, Urbanism and Conflict in Jaffa 15PMUH022 15 Term 1
Near & Middle East
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arabic Poetry and Criticism 15PNMC048 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 30 Full Year
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 15 Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 15 Term 2
Film and Society in the Middle East 15PNMC230 30 Full Year
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 30 Full Year
Israel and the Palestinians 15PNMC038 30 Full Year
New Cinemas of Turkey 15PNMH004 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019

 

This is the structure for applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

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.

Teaching

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.

Assessment

For each of the 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 module. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some modules 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.

Learning Resources

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

Employment

A Masters 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 postgraduates progress to 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. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

  • Asia House
  • Bonhams
  • British Museum
  • Christie's Hong Kong
  • Design Museum
  • Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
  • Hong Kong Museum Of Art
  • India Foundation For The Arts
  • Museum of East Asian Art
  • National Gallery National Museum of Singapore
  • People Projects Culture & Change
  • Schoeni Art Gallery
  • Sotheby's
  • Taiwan Embassy
  • The Alliance for Global Education
  • The British Embassy
  • The Chester Beatty Library
  • The National Museum Of Korea
  • The Royal Collection
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
  • Manager of Communications
  • Culture Programme Coordinator
  • Research Assistant
  • Social Anthropology Lecturer
  • Specialist - Indian Art
  • Architect
  • Art Historian
  • Development Specialist
  • Archivist
  • Gallery Director Innovation Programmes Learning Manager
  • Creative Director
  • Organisational Consultant
  • Travel writer
  • Art Collector
  • Chinese Painting Specialist
  • Professor of Silk Road History
  • Rights and Reproductions Officer
  • Public Education Coordinator
  • Senior Curator of Photographs

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

Studying Islamic Art History at SOAS has been one of the most engrossing, pleasurable and rewarding pursuits I have undertaken.The SOAS academics I encountered are exemplary. Their scholarship, first hand experiences and enthralling anecdotes brought their subjects to life. Within this rich and rigorous environment, also supported by access to other SOAS departments and the numerous co-curricular resources available in London, it is inevitable that students strive for excellence.

Elizabeth Kelly

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