SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art

Online Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art

Key information

Start of programme
October, January or April
Attendance mode
Full-time, online
Online, Distance Learning

Course overview

Offered as part of the SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art programme, the Online Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art brings our esteemed programme to you, wherever you are in the world, for flexible, full-time study via an entirely online/distance learning programme.

We lead you on a journey of exploration supported by lectures and contributions from a wide range of leading scholars, curators, and art market professionals. We have a formal association with the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which allows us to offer exceptional access to the collections and curatorial expertise of both institutions.

Our online pathway offers you flexibility in how and where you study, while retaining our object-based approach. Your online learning will be supported by a range of bespoke, professionally produced videos, shot in situ at the museums we work with. You are supported by online platforms and technologies that allow you to engage deeply with the objects you study. You can choose to either complete your full programme online, or to augment your online experience with an intensive two-week supporting course offering museum-based study in London (Asian Art in the Museum).

Our programme will appeal to all those with a serious interest in Asian art, regardless of your personal, professional or academic background. It is also a proven pathway to further postgraduate study in Asian art history, and to careers in museums, the commercial art world and academia.

For more information please download our online prospectus.

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 completing our online application form. 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

Contact us


The SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art offers three immersive, online modules, each eleven weeks in length.

You can begin the programme with any module, in October, January or April.

We also offer three supporting courses. Analysing & Exploring the Arts and an Independent Study Project in Asian Art History both run online alongside each term. Asian Art in the Museum is an intensive two-week, in-person immersion in object-based study of Asian art run each July, based at our London campus.

Upcoming Modules

Online ModulesModule DatesCredit Points
Asia’s Art Histories30 Sep – 18 Dec 2024 (annually)30 Credit Points
Curating Asian Art6 Jan – 26 Mar 2025 (annually)30 Credit Points
Arts of Southeast Asia (online)21 Apr – 9 Jul 2025 (biennially)30 Credit Points
Supporting CoursesDatesCredit Points
Analysing and Exploring the ArtsRuns termly, in-person and online15 Credit Points
Independent Study Project in Asian Art HistoryRuns termly, in-person and online15 Credit Points
Asian Art in the Museum Runs annually in July, in-person15 Credit Points

We also offer six in-person modules and it can be possible to combine online modules with in-person modules as part of this programme. 

Academic qualifications and credit points

The SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art programme offers two qualifications:

Postgraduate Diploma in Asian ArtRequires 120 Credit Points
Postgraduate Certificate in Asian ArtRequires 60 Credit Points

The award of Postgraduate Diploma is made on the successful completion of three modules and two supporting courses within three years.

The award of Postgraduate Certificate is made on the successful completion of one module and two supporting courses within one year.

The supporting course Analysing and Exploring the Arts is compulsory for both qualifications and will be taken alongside your first module. You can select either the Independent Study Project in Asian Art History or Asian Art in the Museum as your second supporting course.

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

Fees and funding


Postgraduate Certificate
(with Asian Art in the Museum)
Postgraduate Diploma
(with Asian Art in the Museum)

Fees are calculated based on a single online module fee of £3,315 and can be paid on a module-by-module basis.

A single module fee includes the two supporting courses, Analysing and Exploring the Arts and an Independent Study Project in Asian Art History.

Selecting Asian Art in the Museum as a supporting course, as an alternative to the Independent Study Project, requires a supplementary fee of £950.

It can be possible to combine online modules with in-person modules as part of this programme. This will result in a variation to the above stated total fees, which we will be happy to discuss with you prior to or on receipt of an application.

The above fees are accurate for the 2024/25 academic year. Fees may be subject to annual increases.

Deposits and Payment Schedules

Successful applicants must secure their place on each module by making a £500 deposit payment, which will be credited towards your module fee.

The remaining module fee must be paid four weeks prior to each module start date.

If you are beginning your studies with Asian Art in the Museum, you will be required to pay a £2,250 fee towards this course (the cost of taking it independently). This will be credited to your total fee and deducted from your initial module balance so that only the £950 supplementary fee is applied.

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.