SOAS University of London

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

Mosque and Palace in the Muslim World

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2019/2020
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 2

This course surveys the architecture of the mosque and palace in the Muslim world by exploring the relationship between the two, looking at: a) what the former took from the latter, not just in terms of architectural elements but also ceremonial ritual; and b) how the latter often sought the sanctification of the former, fusing thereby sacred and royal power. The goal of the course is not to cover every palace and type of mosque in the Muslim world, but to engage with both as a material expression of bodily (palace, viz. the royal body) and spiritual (mosque) power.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • The ability to identify different palaces and types of mosques in the Muslim world and to compare different approaches to the study of mosque and Muslim palace architecture.
  •  Knowledge of the social contexts for the construction and differing, intermingled uses of mosques and palaces from ca. 630 C.E. to the early modern period.
  • The ability to analyse architecture from the Muslim world using appropriate vocabulary.
  • The ability to assess critically the materials and themes explored in the course.

Method of assessment

One 1000 words essay (worth 15%);one 3 000 words essay (worth 35%); one final exam (worth 50%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules