SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art

Online Postgraduate Certificate in Asian Art

Key information

Start of programme
January 2024
Attendance mode
Online, Distance Learning

Course overview

Offered as part of the SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art programme, the Online Postgraduate Certificate in Asian Art brings our esteemed programme to you, wherever you are in the world, for flexible, full-time study.

Explore the arts of Asia through a thematic object based postgraduate course, accessible from anywhere in the world.

This Postgraduate Certificate award requires completion of our 11-week module, Asia’s Art Histories, as well as our two supporting courses, Analysing and Exploring the Arts and an Independent Study Project in Asian Art History, within one calendar year.

About Asia's Art Histories

This online course will introduce you to the latest ideas, concepts and approaches shaping art history today through focused case studies from across Asian history. Each week Asia’s Art Histories will present you with six pre-recorded lectures from a diverse range of speakers, including leading scholars, curators, and art market professionals.

Every week you will have one lecture on each of the following regions and religions: South Asia, China, Japan & Korea, Southeast Asia, Buddhism, and the Islamic world. All six weekly case studies will focus on a common theme. Themes include: art historical narratives, excavated objects and monuments, material cultures, visual cultures, architecture, space and place, religious practice and belief, gender and agency, modernities and the contemporary, collection histories, and curation & display.

In live weekly seminars you will explore a set text on the weekly theme, examined alongside the wide range of materials and approaches considered in your lectures. In weekly online discussions you will work with your classmates to catalogue and analyse a single object from the previous week’s lectures. You could be discussing a Ming blue and white vase from Jingdezhen one week, a miniature portrait of a Mughal emperor the next, or a resist dyed Balinese Batik the week after that. The module also includes professionally filmed, pre-recorded virtual visits to the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.

For more information, please download our online prospectus:

Asia's Art Histories Prospectus 2023-24.pdf

PDF document, 4.64MB

Introductory video

Minimum entry requirements

Candidates are expected to hold a good undergraduate degree in any subject or equivalent experience. Prior knowledge of Asian art history or archaeology is not a requirement, though candidates are expected to have an interest in the area.

Language requirements

All international applicants where English is not their first language must be able to show that their English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete the course.

Find out more about SOAS' English language requirements including details regarding exemptions and alternative forms of evidence.

Application procedure

Please apply by downloading the application form (link below) and returning a completed copy to You must also submit:

  • Your undergraduate degree transcript or certificate
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (where applicable)
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport
SOAS-Alphawood Asian Art Application Form 2023/24

PDF document, 1.03MB

Contact us

Dr Malcolm McNeill, Programme Director (
Mr Patrick Monger, Programme Manager (


Students will complete Asia’s Art Histories alongside our supporting course, Analysing and Exploring the Arts, between 08 January - 27 March 2024.

Students can then opt to complete an Independent Study Project in Asian Art History between either April and July 2024 or October 2024 and January 2025.

All three courses can also be completed within one term if this is your preference.

The award of Postgraduate Certificate is made on the successful completion of Asia's Art Histories and both supporting courses, within one calendar year.

Teaching and learning

Programme learning outcomes

  1. Acquire a contextualised understanding of diverse artistic traditions, and visual and material cultures from multiple regions across Asia
  2. Develop skills and confidence in object-led visual and material analysis
  3. Reflect critically on the contexts in which you encounter objects studied on this course
  4. Engage critically with current and past scholarship in relevant fields
  5. Develop rigorous academic skills for postgraduate study, research, writing and argumentation, moving toward autonomous, independent study
  6. Relate your newly developed skills and knowledge to global opportunities for vocational and voluntary contributions to the arts

Academic qualifications and credit points

Asia's Art Histories carries 30 credit points at FHEQ level 7. Each of our supporting courses carries 15 credit points. The Postgraduate Certificate in Asian Art requires 60 credit points.

Fees and funding


£5,550 (2023/24 academic year)

To secure their place on the course, candidates must pay a deposit of £500 when accepting their offer of a place on the programme. Deposits are non-refundable. The remaining fee balance is payable four weeks before the start of each module.

Alumni discount

A 20% reduction in tuition fees is available to all students who have an Undergraduate degree in any subject from SOAS, but no higher qualification. (Please note that you cannot receive the SOAS Alumni discount if you have already received another discount / scholarship from the University.)


We also offer spaces on the programme to those who are not seeking an academic qualification. Those who choose to audit the course enjoy full access as a SOAS student but are not required to complete the assessments. Auditors pay the full module fee.