SOAS University of London

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

MA Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2020 2019

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

Overview

Introduction

On this programme students engage with some of the most dynamic and contemporary aspects of Asian and African art, as well as issues of collection, display, representation, tourist art, and shifts between regional, national and global identities. By focusing on theoretical and methodological questions, they are equipped with the terms and approaches needed for in-depth study of contemporary art. This is combined with the study of contemporary art from a range of Asian and African contexts.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in contemporary Asian and African art, 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 contemporary global Media, Film and Music. They can also select from modules in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in, for example, the film, cinema, languages and modern history of Asia and Africa.  

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

  • 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.

Featured events

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

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU fees:
£9,685
Overseas fees:
£19,930

Fees for 2019/20 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

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

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa 15PARC995 60 Full Year
Taught Component

Choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to Contemporary Art and Art Theory listed below.

AND

Choose modules to the value of 15 credits from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department - not limited to Contemporary Art & Art Theory.

AND

Choose modules to the value of 45 credits from the list of recommended options below or from the Open Options list if approved by programme convenor

List of modules (subject to availability)
History of Art and Archaeology - Contemporary Art and Art Theory Options
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 15 Term 2
Contemporary Art and the Global 15PARH085 15 Term 1
Discourses on Modern and Contemporary Art of the Middle East 15PARH096 15 Term 2
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 15 Term 1
Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 15 Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Theory and Method in Art History 15PARH097 15 Term 1
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arab Painting 15PARH054 15 Term 2
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 15 Term 1
Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea 15PARH059 15 Term 2
Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries 15PARH046 15 Term 1
Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception 15PARH064 15 Term 2
(En)gendering Southeast Asia: Aesthetics and Politics of Sexual Difference 15PARH084 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 2
History
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 1.0
Music, Urbanism and Conflict in Jaffa 15PMUH022 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 1
The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa 15PAFH006 15 Term 1
Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals 15PAFH010 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 30 Full Year
Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo 15PAFC139 30 Full Year Not Running 2019/2020
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG) 15PCHH001 15 Term 1
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 2
Traditional Chinese Language and Literature 15PCHC005 30 Full Year Not Running 2019/2020
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2
Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (PG) 15PJKH006 15 Term 2
Arabic 300 (PG) 15PNMC390 30 Full Year
Intensive Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC395 60 Full Year
Intermediate Persian Language (PG) 15PNMC033 30 Full Year
Bengali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC304 30 Full Year Not Running 2019/2020
Culture and Conflict in Nepal 15PSAH017 15 Term 1
Hindi Language 3 (PG) 15PSAC297 30 Full Year
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 15 Term 1
Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 30 Full Year
Southeast Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Indonesian Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC033 30 Full Year
Thai Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC041 30 Full Year Not Running 2019/2020
Vietnamese Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC037 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 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.

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 2019/20 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
£9,685 £19,930 £4,843 £9,965 £3,228 £6,643 £4,843 £9,965

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

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 of Singapore
  • 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

I really wanted to study History of Art and I knew that was my calling. After research, I found out that SOAS was a prestigious school with notable alumni and also that I could study History of Art and Law as a joint degree, which is perhaps the only school in the world that offers this at the BA level.

Guillaume Vandame

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Find out more

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