Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time


The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of the Islamic Middle East, 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 Music, Film and Media in the Middle East and the wider Islamic world. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of the Middle East.

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 Architecture of the Islamic Middle East:

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Turkish

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

History of Art & Archaeology modules relating to the Islamic Middle East from the lists below to the value of 60 credits.

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 (not limited to the Islamic Middle East) from the History of Art & Archaeology lists below to the value of 15 credits.

Plus

Modules from the lists below to the value of 45 credits.

Or

Modules from Postgraduate Open Options if approved by the programme convenor.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation

  • Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: History of Art and Archaeology of Islamic Middle East

List of modules (subject to availability)

Options in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East

  • Arab Painting
  • Architectural Boundaries and the Body
  • Art and Architecture of the Fatimids
  • Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism
  • Discourses on Modern and Contemporary Art of the Middle East
  • 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)
  • Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia
  • Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
  • Visuality and Islamic Art
  • Persian Painting

Other Options in the History of Art and Archaeology

  • Architectural Boundaries and the Body
  • Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea
  • Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800)
  • Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route
  • Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries
  • Chinese Porcelain: Trade, Transfer and Reception
  • Collecting and Curating Buddhist Art in the Museum
  • Critical Themes in Tibetan Art
  • Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia
  • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1)
  • Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa
  • Modern and Contemporary Korean Art
  • Monuments and sculpture of Angkor
  • Photography and the Image in Africa
  • Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts
  • Representing Conflict: A Cross-Cultural and Inter-Disciplinary Approach
  • Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period
  • The Indian Temple
  • Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context
  • Theory and Method in Art History
  • Visual Arts of Dynastic China (to 1800) (Cohort A)

Options in Other Departments

  • Anthropology
    • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East
  • History
    • Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period
    • Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners
  • Media Studies
    • Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches
    • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications
  • Religions & Philosophies
    • Avestan I
    • Eastern and Orthodox Christianity
    • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2)
    • Pahlavi Language
    • Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • Music
    • Music, Urbanism and Conflict in Jaffa
  • Near & Middle East
    • Arabic Poetry and Criticism
    • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics
    • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society
    • Film and Society in the Middle East
    • Iran: History, Culture, Politics
    • Israel and the Palestinians

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.

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.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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Last updated October 1, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
Duration
2 - 4 years
Part-time
Full-time
Price
9,685 GBP
full-time fees per academic year: UK/EU £9,685; Overseas £19,930. Part-time 2 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £4,843; Overseas £9,965. Part-time 3 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £3,228; Overseas £6,643
Deadline
June 30, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022
Application deadline
June 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Location
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022