SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Art of the World in London (2021 entry)

Academic Subject Summer Course

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


This course provides not only an excellent introduction to European art via London’s outstanding galleries and museums, but also draws connections between it and the great art traditions of Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Americas. It is intended particularly for students who are new to the study of art, but its wide scope and questioning approach is also stimulating and informative for those who already have some knowledge of the subject.

Students Visiting an Art Gallery
©Duygu Okumus

The syllabus follows both a chronological and a thematic pattern and maintains a global perspective. Students will have the chance to encounter a wide range of references, from the art of the ancient Greeks and Indians, to French Impressionism and Japanese prints, to Pablo Picasso and West African art, to contemporary art in London.

The course ends with students giving their own short presentation on an aspect of art history that has most interested them. This allows students to develop their confidence in public speaking. Assistance with vocabulary and guidance on giving presentations is provided throughout the course.

This is a very practical course, studying art of the world in the virtual classroom as well as using online resources of galleries and museums in central London to illustrate theories and histories of art.

For those thinking of further studies in the UK, the course provides a relaxed, friendly and exciting introduction to a British university environment.

As well as being educational it is good fun and a great way to make friends with fellow students from around the world.

Mode of Attendance: Online Learning

Entry requirements

Featured events



Block One

This 3-week course focuses on the art of the ancient period up until the end of the nineteenth century.

  • Art of the Ancient Period (Classical Greece and Classical India)
  • Mediaeval Art (Europe of the Middle Ages and the Art of the Islamic Caliphate)
  • Renaissances West and East (The Italian Renaissance and Golden Ages in East Asia)
  • The European17th Century (Baroque Art and the Dutch Golden Age)
  • The European 18th Century (The Rise and Fall of the Aristocratic Age)
  • 19th Century Modernity (Impressionism, Van Gogh, the Japanese ukiyo-e school, and 19th century Indian art)

Gallery and museum resources used include The Victoria & Albert Museum, The British Museum, Tate Britain, and The National Gallery.

Block Two 

(N.B. In 2021 Art of the World in London is running only in Block One).

This 3-week course, which can either be taken independently or together with Block One, focuses on art of the world transformed by modernity and comes up to date with art and debates responding to post-modernism and new modernities.

  • The Beginnings of Modern Art (Picasso, Matisse, Epstein, and the Importance of African Art)
  • Modern Art, Anti-art, and the Rise of the Surrealists (Abstract Art, Dada and Surrealism)
  • The Art of the Cold War (Jackson Pollock and Abstract Expressionism, Soviet Realist Painting)
  • Pop Art and Postmodernism in Visual Art and Architecture (Andy Warhol, Nam Jun Paik, Cindy Sherman, and more)
  • Global Art at the Turn of the Century (The Young British Artists Movement, Yinka Shonibare, Jimmie Durham, Yayoi Kusama)
  • Contemporary Art in London and the World (The Art of the Now)

Gallery and museum visits in Block 2 include Tate Modern, The Courtauld Institute, The National Gallery, White Cube, and many of London’s fashionable private galleries.

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

Subject courses with English support are taught by two teachers, a subject specialist and a language expert. The subject classes use lectures, seminars and cases studies, whereas the integrated language classes focus on skills development (especially speaking and listening) using the subject content.

This is a full-time course with interactive live classes every day (mornings UK time), plus daily independent guided study. Students work towards delivering a presentation at the end of the course. You can expect to strengthen language skills and deepen subject knowledge, whilst gaining greater confidence in communicating in English in an academic setting.

All teaching takes place online using easy-to-use platforms. You will need a computer with a webcam and mic.

The maximum number of students per class is 15.

You will receive a certificate for successful course completion.

Students will also have access to SOAS library including our wide range of e-books and e-journals.

Entry Recommendations

Students should be at an intermediate level of English in order to follow and participate in classes. We do not require proof of English level, but as a guideline IELTS 5.5, TOEFL IBT 76 (or equivalent) are recommended.


For further information please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Fees and funding

2021 Tuition Fees

• 3 weeks (1 block): £1,200 GBP
• 6 weeks (2 blocks): £2,250 GBP (save £150*)
• 9 weeks (3 blocks): £3,075 GBP (save £525*)

*Compared to the cost of multiple individual blocks. The reduced fees for multiple blocks above are available for 2 or 3 blocks booked at the same time. The fee for any additional blocks booked after the initial application will be £1,200 for one extra block and £2,250 for two.


How to Apply

Apply through the Summer Online Application, or if you have problems with the online form, the application form is also available in PDF and Word format to download on the right side of the main Summer Programme Page.

Please ensure you send a scanned copy of a suitable identity document (see form for details).

You will be sent an invoice and receipt for the course fees when you have accepted the offer and paid for your place on the course. Refunds of the course fees are only made at the discretion of SOAS in exceptional circumstances. If you have any queries, please see the FAQs or email

For instructions on how to pay, see IFCELS Fees. Please also see the full Terms and Conditions