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 (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2020 2019

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

Overview

Introduction

The Islamic Middle East has given rise to an impressive material culture that continues in the present. This programme covers an area stretching from Islamic Spain through the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia in diverse historical periods. It offers students an unmatched opportunity to study particular regions or categories of art, including Fatimid art; the architecture and urbanism of Morocco; Arab, Persian and Turkish painting; the calligraphy and illumination of the Qur'an; Mamluk art and architecture; the arts and architecture of the Ottomans in Turkey and the Balkans; and the material culture of western Iran. Archaeological issues of the Islamic Middle East are also considered.

In addition, the degree engages with trans-regional topics that extend beyond the Middle East, such as cultural and artistic relationships between the Islamic Middle East and Europe.

Students can decide to study complementary courses on non-Islamic traditions of the Middle East and/or the Islamic traditions of other regions.

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 modules 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 intake only

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

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU fees:
£10,170
Overseas fees:
£20,930

Fees for 2020/21 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

Convenors

Structure

Please note that modules need a minimum number of students to run. Should the module not run, students will be notified of an alternative.

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

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 credits modules (or equivalent 15 credits modules) in the first year, and two 30 credits modules (or equivalent 15 credits 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.

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
Taught Component
Students choose:
  • 60 credits from the List of Options in the History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East

  • 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.

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 2
Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 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 2 Not Running 2020/2021
Art and Architecture of the Seljuks and Ottomans (12th -15th centuries) 15PARH070 15 Term 2
Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 15 Term 2
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arts of Goryeo and Joseon Korea 15PARH059 15 Full Year
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 1
China and the Silk Road: Art and Archaeology 15PARH093 15 Term 2
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
The Silk Road and its Origins: Art and Archaeology 15PARH095 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 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 2020/2021
Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners 15PHIH006 15 Term 2 Not Running 2020/2021
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 1.0
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 1
Study of Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 30 Full Year
Eastern and Orthodox Christianity 15PSRC055 30 Full Year
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2
Pahlavi Language 15PSRC034 30 Full Year
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 30 Full Year
Music
Near & Middle East
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arabic 400 (PG) 15PNMC382 30 Full Year
Arabic 600 (PG) 15PNMC391 30 Full Year
Arabic Poetry and Criticism 15PNMC048 30 Full Year Not Running 2020/2021
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
Arabic 200 (PG) 15PNMC407 30 Full Year
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 30 Full Year
Persian 2 (PG) 15PNMC033 30 Full Year
Persian 3 (PG) 15PNMC408 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

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 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second & subsequent years of study will be higher. Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,170 £20,930 £5,085 £10,460 £3,390 £6,975 £5,085 £10,460

Scholarships
Anthony Dicks Memorial Scholarship

Anthony Dicks Memorial Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

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

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

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

Apply

Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
  • Got a question?

    If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.

    Ask a question

  • Apply

    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

    Start your application