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

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

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£8,785
Overseas fees:
£18,075

Fees for 2017/18 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.

Featured events

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

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

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.

Convenors

Structure

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

  • A minimum of 60 credits must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to Contemporary Art and Art Theory listed below.
  • Up to 15 credits may be selected from the other MA modules in the department listed below.
  • Up to 45 credits may be selected from the MA options offered by other SOAS departments, also listed below.Please note that not all option modules may run every year.
  • Students must complete the Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa (15PARC995). 
     

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.

History of Art and Archaeology - Contemporary Art and Art Theory Options
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Approaches to Critical Interpretation & Aesthetic Theories 15PARC004 30 Full Year
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 15 Term 2
Contemporary Art and the Global 15PARH085 15 Term 1
Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 15 Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060 15 Term 1
Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arab Painting 15PARH054 15 Term 1
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 2017/2018
Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea 15PARH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
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
Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia 15PARH073 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 15 Term 1
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 2
Islamic Archaeology 15PARH081 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts 15PARH008 15 Term 2
Sacred Art and Architecture of Ancient Korea 15PARH056 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
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 1
History
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Japanese Modernity II 15PHIH014 15 Term 2
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 30 Full Year
Emerging Digital Cultures in Asia and Africa - Theory and Practice 15PMSH018
Music, Nation and Conflict in Jerusalem 15PMUH022 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG) 15PMUH018 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Raga: concept and practice (PG) 15PMUH020 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 2
Amharic 1 (PG) 15PAFC130 30 Full Year
The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa 15PAFH006 15 Term 1
Aspects of African film and video 2 15PAFH007 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals 15PAFH010 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Hausa 1 (PG) 15PAFC136 30 Full Year
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 30 Full Year
Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo 15PAFC139 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Yoruba 1 (PG) 15PAFC134 30 Full Year
Zulu 1 (PG) 15PAFC128 30 Full Year
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) 15PCHH001 15 Term 2
Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Traditional Chinese Language and Literature 15PCHC005 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Special Course in Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2
Japanese Television since 1953 15PJKC006 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 15 Term 1
The Making of Modern Korea 15PEAC059 30 Full Year
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1
Arabic 300 (Postgraduate) 15PNMC390
Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Intensive Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC395 30 Full Year
Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC032 30 Full Year
Persian Language 2 (PG) 15PNMC033 30 Full Year
Bengali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC303 30 Full Year
Bengali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC304 30 Full Year
Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya 15PSAC291 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 3 (PG) 15PSAC297 30 Full Year
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 15 Term 1
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 15 Term 2
Nepali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC298 30 Full Year
Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 30 Full Year
Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 30 Full Year
Southeast Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Burmese Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC039 30 Full Year
Indonesian Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC032 30 Full Year
Indonesian Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC033 30 Full Year
Thai Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC040 30 Full Year
Thai Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC041 30 Full Year
Vietnamese Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC037 30 Full Year

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

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

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

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

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

The insight provided, knowledge delivered and understanding transmitted during lectures, seminars and conferences at SOAS is impressive and requires real personal involvement in the topics.

Xavier Fournier

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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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