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 (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

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

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.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

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

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

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.

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)
Students choose:

60 credits from the List of Options in the History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East

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
  • 15 credits from EITHER the List of Options in the History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East OR Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology

  • 45 credits from List of Options in the History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East, Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology AND/OR List of Options in Other Departments AND/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
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
Arab Painting 15PARH054 15 Term 2
The Silk Road and its Origins: Art and Archaeology 15PARH095 15 Term 1
China and the Silk Road: Art and Archaeology 15PARH093 15 Term 2
Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism 15PARH043 15 Term 1
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 1
Art and Architecture of the Seljuks and Ottomans (12th -15th centuries) 15PARH070 15 Term 2
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
Module Code Credits Term
Arts of Goryeo and Joseon Korea 15PARH059 15 Term 1
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 15 Term 2
Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism 15PARH043 15 Term 1
Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries 15PARH046 15 Term 2
Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception 15PARH064 15 Term 1
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 15 Term 2
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period 15PARH007 15 Term 1
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 15 Term 1
Theory and Method in Art History 15PARH097 15 Term 1
Themes in the Visual Arts of Dynastic China (before 1800) 15PARH051 15 Term 1
Options in Other Departments
Anthropology
Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 1
History
Module Code Credits Term
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 2
Religions & Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 30 Full Year
Music
Near & Middle East
Module Code Credits Term
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
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 30 Full Year

 

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

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

Scholarships
Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Ghana

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Japan

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Nigeria

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – South Korea

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2020-06-05 15:00

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

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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