SOAS University of London

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

MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia

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

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
£9,225
Overseas fees:
£18,980

Fees for 2018/19 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 in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2018 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. While knowledge of a relevant Asian or African language is not a requirement, for some modules it is an advantage for admission (see individual module descriptions for details). It is possible to include an element of language training within the MA programme by taking an Asian or African language as one of the two ‘minor’ modules. This option may be particularly desirable for those intending to progress to the PhD, who do not already have the necessary language skills.

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

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Introduction

This programme is an unrivalled opportunity to study the arts of China, Korea and Japan. Students consider a wide range of East Asian arts, from Chinese archaeology to Japanese prints, Korean installation works to Buddhist monuments, exploring their specificity and the links between them, in historical and contemporary periods. In many parts of East Asia archaeological evidence is key to understanding early societies. The programme therefore relates excavated materials to the history of art.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of East Asia, 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 East Asian Music, Film and Media. They can also select from modules in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of East Asia.

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.

This MA can also be pursued over a two-year period combined with intensive language study in Japanese or Korean.

Convenors

Structure

Students must complete 180 credits in total. 120 credits must be from MA taught modules and 60 credits are from the compulsory Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia (15PARC996).

Taught modules (120 credits) need to be taken as follows:

  • 15 credits from list A (China)
  • 15 credits from list B (Japan/Korea)
  • 15 credits from list C (Trans-regional)
  • 15 further credits from either list A, B or C
  • 15 credits from list 'Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology (non East Asian)'
  • 45 credits from the list of available History of Art and Archaeology options 

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis.

  • The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two 30 credit modules (or equivalent 15 credit modules) in the first year, and two 30 credit modules (or equivalent 15 credit modules) and the dissertation in the second year.
  • Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student can distribute the 120 credits modules evenly in each of the three years. The dissertation can be written in year two or three, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

 

Compulsory
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia 15PARC996 60 Full Year
List A: China
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Ancient Chinese Civilisation 15PARC026 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road 15PARC032 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 15 Term 2
Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries 15PARH046 15 Term 2
China and the Silk Road: Art and Archaeology 15PARH093 15 Term 2
Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception 15PARH064 15 Term 1
Painting and Visual Culture in China 15PARC043 30 credits
The Silk Road and its Origins: Art and Archaeology 15PARH095 15 Term 1
Visual Arts of Dynastic China (to 1800) (Cohort A) 15PARH051 15 Term 1
List B: Japan and Korea
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Art And Religious Experience In Premodern Japan 15PARH009 0.5 unit
Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea 15PARH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Japanese Ceramics Past and Present 15PARH047 0.5 unit
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 15 Term 1
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
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
List C: Transregional
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism 15PARH043 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route 15PARH057 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
Interpreting Visual Expressions of the Mandala 15PARH086 15 Term 2
Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 15 Term 2 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
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
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 Architecture of the Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries) 15PARH068 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Arts of the Tamil Temple 15PARH067 22.5 Term 1
Critical Theory in Art History and Material Culture 15PARH091 15 Term 1
Cross-Cultural Approaches to Aesthetics 15PARH092 15 Term 2
Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
The Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History 15PARH076 15 Term 2
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
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 2
Islamic Archaeology 15PARH081 15 Term 1
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
Painting and Visual Culture in China 15PARC043 30 credits
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Monuments and sculpture of Angkor 15PARH071 15 Term 1
Visuality and Islamic Art 15PARH065 15 Term 2
Persian Painting 15PARH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 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
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Options in Other Departments
Anthropology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
History
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese Modernity I 15PHIH013 15 Term 1
Japanese Modernity II 15PHIH014 15 Term 2
Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China 15PHIH024 15 Term 1
Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China 15PHIH022 15 Term 2
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Music
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Music on the Silk Road: travel and circulation (PG) 15PARH094 15 Term 1
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Study of Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Buddhism in Tibet 15PSRH008 15 Term 1
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 30 Full Year
Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar 15PSRH038 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year
China and Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) 15PCHH001 15 Term 1
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 15PCHH002 15 Term 2
Traditional Chinese Language and Literature 15PCHC005 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 30 Full Year
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 30 Full Year
Chinese 4 (PG) 15PCHC012 30 Full Year
Special Course in Chinese: Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (PG) 15PCHC010 30 Full Year
Japan and Korea
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese 1 (PG) 15PJKC008 30 Full Year
Korean 1 (PG) 15PJKC022 30 Full Year
Cinema, Nation and Transcultural Asia 15PJKC023 30 Full Year
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Japanese Television since 1953 15PJKC006 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1

 

This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants

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

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

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 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 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

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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

Madiina Daher

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