MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia and Intensive Language

General

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time


This two-year programme combines the strengths of the MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia with intensive language training in Japanese or Korean. Students study the arts of China, Korea and Japan, exploring a wide range of East Asian arts, from Chinese archaeology to Japanese prints, Korean installation works to Buddhist monuments, in historical and contemporary periods. Instruction in the language of their choice is provided by teachers in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. By the end of the programme, which includes a summer language school abroad, students have received sufficient instruction to reach near-proficiency in the language.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of East Asia, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students working in other related fields, such as East Asian Music, Film and Media, as well as the expertise of specialist language teachers.

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 Master's programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

May be combined with:

The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia:

  • Japanese
  • Korean

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 Master's 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

Structure

Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.

In their first year, students on the two-year Intensive Language programmes take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 60 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline.

Year 1 (two years full time)

Discipline Component

Modules from the lists below to the value of 60 credits.

NB: Across both years, History of Art & Archaeology of East Asia students must take:

  • 15 credits from List A: China
  • 15 credits from List B: Japan and Korea
  • 15 credits from List C: Transregional
  • 15 credits from List A or List B or List C
  • 15 credits from List D: Other Options in History of Art & Archaeology
  • 45 credits from List D or from the List of Options in Other Departments.

There is no stipulation regarding which modules must be taken in which of the two years, provided the above requirements are fulfilled.

Language Component 60 credits

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)

Discipline Component

Modules from the lists below to the value of 60 credits.

NB: Across both years, History of Art & Archaeology of East Asia students must take:

  • 15 credits from List A: China
  • 15 credits from List B: Japan and Korea
  • 15 credits from List C: Transregional
  • 15 credits from List A or List B or List C
  • 15 credits from List D: Other Options in History of Art & Archaeology
  • 45 credits from List D or from the List of Options in Other Departments.

There is no stipulation regarding which modules must be taken in which of the two years, provided the above requirements are fulfilled.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation

  • Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia

List of modules (subject to availability)

  • List A: China
    • Ancient Chinese Civilisation
    • Visual Arts of Dynastic China (to 1800) (Cohort A)
    • Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800)
    • Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries
    • China and the Silk Road: Art and Archaeology
    • The Silk Road and its Origins: Art and Archaeology
    • Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception
  • List B: Japan and Korea
    • Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts
    • Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea
    • Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period
    • Modern and Contemporary Korean Art 15PARH060
  • List C: Transregional
    • Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism
    • Critical Themes in Tibetan Art
    • Interpreting Visual Expressions of the Mandala
    • Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context
    • Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
    • Collecting and Curating Buddhist Art in the Museum
    • Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route
    • Buddhist Art in a Cosmopolitan Environment: Gandharan Art and its Heritage
  • List D: Other Options in History of Art & Archaeology
    • Arab Painting
    • Architectural Boundaries and the Body
    • Art and Architecture of the Fatimids
    • Discourses on Modern and Contemporary Art of the Middle East
    • Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia
    • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1)
    • Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts
    • Islamic Art and Architecture of Eastern Mediterranean of the Period of the Crusades (11th-14th centuries)
    • Art and Architecture of the Seljuks and Ottomans (12th -15th centuries)
    • Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa
    • Monuments and sculpture of Angkor
    • Visuality and Islamic Art
    • Persian Painting
    • Photography and the Image in Africa
    • Representing Conflict: A Cross-Cultural and Inter-Disciplinary Approach
    • The Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History
    • The Indian Temple
    • Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context
    • Theory and Method in Art History

Options in Other Departments

  • Anthropology
    • Culture and Society of China
    • Culture and Society of Japan
  • History
    • Japanese Modernity from Edo to Meiji
    • Japanese Modernity from Meiji to Heisei
    • Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China
    • Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China
  • Media Studies
    • Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia
  • Music
    • Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters)
  • Study of Religions
    • Buddhism in Tibet
    • Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet
    • Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar
    • East Asian Buddhist Thought
    • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2)
    • Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers
  • China and Asia
    • Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG)
    • Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora (PG)
    • Traditional Chinese Language and Literature
    • Chinese 1 A (PG)
    • Chinese 1 B (PG)
    • Chinese 2 (PG)
    • Chinese 3 (PG)
    • Chinese 4 (PG)
    • Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (PG)
  • Japan and Korea
    • Japanese 1 A (PG)
    • Japanese 1 B (PG)
    • Korean 1 A (PG)
    • Korean 1 B (PG)
    • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
    • Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli
    • Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature (PG)
    • Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 1 (PG)
    • Reading Pre-modern Japanese Texts 2 (PG)

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

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. The Japanese pathway offers beginner and intermediate entry levels. For further information please see the webpage for the [MA....and Intensive Language Japanese] in the pages of the Japan and Korea department. The Korean pathway is designed for beginner learners of Korean. Students with prior knowledge of Korean are advised to contact the programme convenor. Students will take four modules units in the Korean language, one of them at a Korean university during the summer after year 1.

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
London , Singapore + 1 More Less