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Masters Degrees (Asian Art)

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This postgraduate programme offers a unique opportunity to study the arts of Asia and the Islamic world with lectures by leading scholars in the field. Read more
This postgraduate programme offers a unique opportunity to study the arts of Asia and the Islamic world with lectures by leading scholars in the field.

The course will provide an object-based learning experience through direct access to the reserved collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the British Museum.

The lecture programme is supported by field trips to museums, galleries and private collections. The course is designed to train museum curators or serious collectors. It will also prepare students for work in a variety of professions in the art and the museum world and provides a pathway to the master’s degree for those with no background in the subject.

Museums and curators in Asia, and museums specialising in non-Western collections elsewhere, will find it an attractive, object-focused training opportunity for enhancing curatorial skills in the study, display and cataloguing of art objects in a fully-resourced academic environment.

Students can choose one or more in combination of the three-month modules on offer annually, which are listed below. Those who successfully complete a single module will be awarded a certificate. Students successfully completing any three of the modules below will be awarded a SOAS (University of London) accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/dipasart/

The modules offered are:

- Indian Art (September - December)
- Chinese Art (January – March)
- Islamic Art (April - July)
- Japanese & Korean Art (April- July; alternate years)
- Southeast Asian Art (April – July; alternate years)

Aims

- To develop a sound visual method for analysing and documenting works of art;
- To develop visual skills through the direct examination of objects;
- To develop research skills using primary and secondary sources;
- To develop writing and communication skills: to formulate and structure an academic viewpoint and to use visual analysis to support and document this argument;
- To develop in students an understanding of certain museum skills such as the cataloguing of objects; the selection of objects for an exhibition, and putting material objects in their cultural context.

Structure

Issues and themes dealt with in weekly lectures are developed further through frequent visits to museum collections, revision sessions and seminars. Lectures are given by museum curators, university lecturers and international experts and are (generally from 10:00 to 15:30) on three and a half days a week. The weekly review sessions with course tutors involve revision, slide tests and seminars. Students have regular access to the study of objects in the reserve collections at the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and guided visits to other museums. Field trips and formal and informal tutorials are also part of the programme.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/

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This MA is unique in combining the study of Buddhism, Buddhist art, and the techniques and conservation of Buddhist art. Offered by The Robert H. Read more
This MA is unique in combining the study of Buddhism, Buddhist art, and the techniques and conservation of Buddhist art. Offered by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Art and Conservation at The Courtauld, the MA was established as a one-year degree in 2013. In order to build on and expand the strengths of the programme, the MA is changing in 2017 to a two-year degree taught in collaboration with SOAS.

The MA now brings together world-famous institutions: The Courtauld for the study of art history and conservation, and SOAS for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing on the unique strengths of the two institutions and their exceptional faculties, the new curriculum of the MA provides detailed and systematic teaching over two years. Each discipline is introduced, expanded and integrated to allow students to obtain the best possible learning experiences and skills acquisition. Designed to provide increased specialisation over the two years, the course culminates in research and a substantial dissertation in the final months.

Offered once every two years, applications are now invited for the programme beginning autumn 2017. Taught by a wide range of specialists from both The Courtauld and SOAS, the MA also benefits from teaching by visiting experts. The course includes study trips to museums in the UK and Europe, and a longer study trip to India to develop an appreciation of Buddhist art in its original contexts. Students also benefit from conferences and public events regularly held by the Ho Centre at The Courtauld.

Drawing also on the research and conservation work undertaken by The Courtauld’s Conservation of Wall Painting Department in Bhutan, China and India, this MA is specifically designed to equip students with knowledge of:

‌•the central concepts of Buddhism, and their historical diffusion;
‌•the history of Buddhist art in its various religious, social and cultural contexts;
‌•the materials and techniques involved in the making of various types of Buddhist art;
‌•approaches to the conservation of Buddhist art, including understanding of the ethical, technical and administrative issues involved.

This MA provides a comprehensive grounding in the history of Buddhism, Buddhist art and its conservation for those intending to pursue further specialist conservation education, and for those who wish to proceed into related fields such as art-historical research, curating, and site-management.

About eight students are accepted on the MA. Applicants from different academic and geographical backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Previous experience in any of the fields covered by the MA is not required.

Please Note: Plans are being made for the redevelopment of The Courtauld’s home at Somerset House. The project, called Courtauld Connects, will include the development of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. During the redevelopment the location of some teaching will move. Further information on Courtauld Connects will be published on The Courtauld’s website over the coming months.

Programme Structure

This two-year MA combining the study of Buddhism, Buddhist art, and the techniques and conservation of Buddhist art, is structured to provide increased specialisation during the course, with a substantial dissertation at the end. The programme consists of interwoven strands. Led by Professor David Park and Dr Giovanni Verri at The Courtauld, and by Dr Christian Luczanits and Dr Vincent Tournier at SOAS, it includes teaching by a wide range of specialists from both institutions and from elsewhere. Some strands will be taught at The Courtauld or on-site, while for others students will join classes at SOAS.

Year 1
The objectives of this year are to provide a grounding in the concepts of Buddhism and their historical diffusion; an appreciation of the chronological development, regional variations and major themes of Buddhist art; an understanding of the making of different types of Buddhist art, and of the ethical, legal and other issues underlying the conservation and display of Buddhist art; and an interdisciplinary exposure to the imagining and presentation of Buddhas and their achievements in South Asia, juxtaposing the textual perspective with what is communicated through imagery. The formal teaching is reinforced through a study trip in the second term to museums in Paris or elsewhere in Europe, and in the third term by a longer study trip to India.

‌•Strand 1: Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies Convenor: Vincent Tournier (SOAS) This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the major processes and dynamics at work in the growth and development of Buddhism as a pan-Asian religion, and with the key methodological tools required to approach this major cultural force in its fascinating diversity.

•Strand 2: History of Buddhist Art Convenors: David Park (The Courtauld) & Christian Luczanits (SOAS) This course provides an overview of Buddhist art with regard to its chronological development, regional variations, major themes, and the multiplicity of different media. Buddhist art in collections will also be studied, examining aspects of collecting and display.

•Strand 3: The Making of Buddhist Art, and Conservation Principles Convenor: Giovanni Verri (The Courtauld) This course provides an introduction to the making of Buddhist art from its origins. Primary sources and technical studies are used to understand the different types of materials employed. It will also provide an introduction to the principles, ethics and other issues underlying the conservation and display of Buddhist art.

•Strand 4: Imag(in)ing Buddahood in South Asia Convenors: Christian Luczanits & Vincent Tournier (SOAS) This course engages in an interdisciplinary manner with the central idea of Buddhism, as it developed within and beyond its South Asian cradle. Bringing together the expertise of an art historian and a historian of Buddhist thought, it will provide exposure to a diversity of approaches to textual, iconographic, and archaeological sources, to understand how Buddhas and their achievements were imagined, presented and encountered by Buddhist practitioners.

‌•Strand 5: Study trip to museums in Europe To examine Buddhist art in major museums in Paris or elsewhere, considering art-historical, technical and conservation aspects, as well as display and management issues.

•Strand 6: Fragile Inheritance: the Conservation of Buddhist Art Convenor: David Park (The Courtauld) To examine the measures directly involved in the preservation of Buddhist art in museums and in situ; and to examine particular major case studies in detail with regard to the legal, ethical, management, practical and other issues involved.

Year 2
Strand 6 continues in Year 2. More specialised teaching is introduced in a variety of areas: texts, and their relationship to Buddhist objects; the scientific examination and imaging of Buddhist art; and a choice of specialised courses in Buddhist studies and Buddhist art, allowing students to pursue particular interests and to assist in the choice of dissertation topic. The dissertation, undertaken over a period of fourteen weeks, should consider an aspect of the original techniques, conservation, management, curating, history or use of Buddhist art.

‌•Strand 6: Fragile Inheritance: the Conservation of Buddhist Art Continued from Year 1

•Strand 7: Texts on and around Buddhist objects Convenors: David Park (The Courtauld) & Vincent Tournier (SOAS) This course will

‌-explore the many ways by which texts inform, respond to, and accompany Buddhist objects across Asian societies. It will, in particular, -explore the Text-Image relationship, examining how textual and visual narratives respond to each other. It will introduce students to the methods of epigraphy and codicology, including the increasing use of imaging technologies.

‌•Strand 8: Analysis and Imaging of Buddhist Art Convenor: Giovanni Verri (The Courtauld) This course provides an introduction to methods of examination and analysis through the use of visual observations and scientific instruments, and an introduction to and basic instruction in the technical imaging of Buddhist art including multispectral imaging.

•Strand 9: Choice of one of the following specialised courses in Buddhist Studies and one in Buddhist Art at SOAS Students will select these courses in consultation with their tutors, on the basis of their previous background and career objectives; options will also depend on availability at SOAS. This further specialism will aid students in their choice of dissertation topic. Presentations and discussions at The
Courtauld will enable students to harmonise their experience.

Specialised Course in Buddhist Studies

-Buddhism in Tibet (Ulrich Pagel)
-Chinese Buddhism in the Pre-modern Period (Antonello Palumbo)
-East Asian Buddhist Thought (Lucia Dolce)
-The Buddhist Conquest of Central Asia (Ulrich Pagel)
-Specialised Course in Buddhist Art

-Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route (Peter Sharrock)
-Collecting and Curating Buddhist Art in the Museum (Louise Tythacott)
-Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia (Anna Contadini & Farouk Yahya)
-Sacred Art and Architecture of Ancient Korea (Charlotte Horlyck)
-The Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History (Ashley Thompson)
-Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context (Christian Luczanits)

‌•Strand 10: Dissertation: A major component of the MA is a 12,000-word dissertation, undertaken in the second and third terms of Year 2. The dissertation topic should focus on the original techniques, conservation, management, curating, history, or use of Buddhist art. Students are encouraged to design their research to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the MA. Selection of the topic will be undertaken in the first term of Year 2 in consultation with course tutors, and will include assessment of the state of research, and production of an illustrated outline proposal with references.Topics have been varied; those of the previous one-year MA have included:

-19th– and early 20th-century copies and photographs of the Ajanta murals;
-narrative and biography in early Tibetan teacher portraits;
-tree and forest imagery in Buddhist Yamato-e handscroll paintings;
-technical study and investigation of Nagthangs;
-materials and techniques of red dyed gold from Southeast Asia;
-the influence of Tibetan Buddhism on Ming Imperial porcelains;
-examination and assessment of the environmental conditions of the Textile Museum of Bhutan.This range demonstrates the scope for students to research avenues that significantly develop their individual interests and skills, while also providing a contribution to the field.

Teaching Methods

Teaching methods and work required of the students are related to each strand and include:

‌•lectures: to impart factual information;
‌•seminars: to provide a forum for open discussion, and to allow assessment of the development of the individual student’s critical abilities;
‌•student seminars: to develop skills in gathering, organising and presenting a body of information, including visual material;
‌•essays: to develop skills in written communication and research methodology;
‌•reports: on the study trips;
‌•tutoring: to provide individual guidance, and to allow monitoring of the student’s progress.

How to Apply

Before starting your application, please ensure that you read and refer to the following three sets of information. Then access our Online Application System by selecting the relevant "Apply Now” link from the table of courses, below.

Follow this link for the information: http://courtauld.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-how-to-apply

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On this programme students engage with some of the most dynamic and contemporary aspects of Asian and African art, as well as issues of collection, display, representation, tourist art, and shifts between regional, national and global identities. Read more
On this programme students engage with some of the most dynamic and contemporary aspects of Asian and African art, as well as issues of collection, display, representation, tourist art, and shifts between regional, national and global identities. By focusing on theoretical and methodological questions, they are equipped with the terms and approaches needed for in-depth study of contemporary art. This is combined with the study of contemporary art from a range of Asian and African contexts.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in contemporary Asian and African art, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students working in other related fields, such as contemporary global Media, Film and Music. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in, for example, the film, cinema, languages and modern history of Asia and Africa.

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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/macaaa/

Structure

Students must complete three units (or 0.5 unit equivalent) of taught MA modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation. A minimum of two units (or equivalent) must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to Contemporary Art and Art Theory listed below. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from the other MA modules in the department or from MA options offered by other SOAS departments, also listed below. Students must complete the Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa (15PARC995).

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis. The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two taught modules in the first year, and one taught module and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught module in each year. The dissertation can be written in any year, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Teaching & Learning

- Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

- Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

- Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

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 Masters 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

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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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. Read more
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 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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/ma-art-and-archaeology-of-east-asia-and-intensive-language/

Structure

Students take two intensive language units and one East Asian History of Art and Archaeology unit in their first year. During the summer, they participate in a summer school abroad. Upon their return, they take one intensive language unit in their second year and two East Asian History of Art and Archaeology units. The dissertation is written on East Asian History of Art and Archaeology and submitted in September of year 2.

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September of year 2.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

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 Masters 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

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Read less
The Islamic Middle East has given rise to an impressive material culture that continues in the present. This programme covers an area stretching from Islamic Spain through the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia in diverse historical periods. Read more
The Islamic Middle East has given rise to an impressive material culture that continues in the present. This programme covers an area stretching from Islamic Spain through the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia in diverse historical periods. It offers students an unmatched opportunity to study particular regions or categories of art, including Fatimid art; the architecture and urbanism of Morocco; Arab, Persian and Turkish painting; the calligraphy and illumination of the Qur'an; Mamluk art and architecture; the arts and architecture of the Ottomans in Turkey and the Balkans; and the material culture of western Iran. Archaeological issues of the Islamic Middle East are also considered.

In addition, the degree engages with trans-regional topics that extend beyond the Middle East, such as cultural and artistic relationships between the Islamic Middle East and Europe.

Students can decide to study complementary courses on non-Islamic traditions of the Middle East and/or the Islamic traditions of other regions.

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 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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/maaaime/

Structure

Students must complete three units (or 0.5 unit equivalent) of taught MA modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation. A minimum of two units (or equivalent) must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from the other MA modules in the department or from MA options offered by other SOAS departments. Students must complete the Dissertation in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East (15PARC997).

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis. The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two taught modules in the first year, and one taught module and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught module in each year. The dissertation can be written in any year, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

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 Masters 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

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Read less
This programme is an unrivalled opportunity to study the arts of China, Korea and Japan. Read more
This programme is an unrivalled opportunity to study the arts of China, Korea and Japan. Students consider a wide range of East Asian arts, from Chinese archaeology to Japanese prints, Korean installation works to Buddhist monuments, exploring their specificity and the links between them, in historical and contemporary periods. In many parts of East Asia archaeological evidence is key to understanding early societies. The programme therefore relates excavated materials to the history of art.

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 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. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of East Asia.

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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

This MA can also be pursued over a two-year period combined with intensive language study in Japanese or Korean (http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/ma-art-and-archaeology-of-east-asia-and-intensive-language/).

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/maaaea/

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

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 Masters 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

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. Read more
This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. It includes within its scope diverse countries, regions and time periods from antiquity to the present, with a particular emphasis on Buddhism in South, Central and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea and Japan. Hinduism, Shinto and animistic and syncretic practices are also studied. Students consider iconography, ritual, faith and pilgrimage in their multiple regional and historical guises. They study temple buildings, statues and paintings, formal, informal and popular.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of Asia, many of whom are principally concerned with religious art. Their ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of 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 and religion in Asia, historically and in the present. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the religions, languages, history and cultures of Asia.

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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/maraa/

Teaching & Learning

- Teaching
Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

- Assessment
For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

- Learning Resources
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

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 Masters 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

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The Comparative Art and Archaeology MA at UCL is a wide-ranging and challenging programme designed to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the major problems, theories and approaches in the sociological and anthropological interpretation of the art of pre-modern societies. Read more

The Comparative Art and Archaeology MA at UCL is a wide-ranging and challenging programme designed to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the major problems, theories and approaches in the sociological and anthropological interpretation of the art of pre-modern societies.

About this degree

Students are encouraged to think critically and work independently, from a broadly comparative perspective, across the boundaries of regional and period specialisation which have traditionally characterised the study of art. They develop subject-specific, research-oriented skills relevant to their development as practising analysts within the history, anthropology or archaeology of art.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • Nature, Culture and the Languages of Art: theories and methodologies of art interpretation
  • Social and Material Contexts of Art: comparative approaches to art explanation

Optional modules

Students choose to follow further optional modules up to the value of 60 credits from an outstanding range of Master's module options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. For this degree the most popular choices include: 

  • Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean
  • Archaeology of Buddhism
  • Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East: a Comparative Approach
  • Aztec Archaeology: Codices and Ethnohistory
  • Cities, States and Religion in Ancient India
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
  • Maya Art, Architecture and Archaeology
  • Social Complexity in Early China: from the Neolithic to the Early Empire
  • Society and Culture in Ancient Egypt
  • Technology in Society: archaeology and ethnography in the Andes
  • The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
  • The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures and presentations. Some optional modules include site visits to museums. Assessment is through essays, coursework, oral examination and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Comparative Art and Archaeology MA

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have progressed to PhD studies while others have developed careers in museums, other professional cultural heritage organisations, as well as art and archaeology-related publishing and television. A high level of success has been achieved by students going on to fully funded PhD research at the University of Oxford, UCL, University of California Berkeley, and Stanford, funded by the AHRC, the Chilean government, Japanese Government, UCL, and the Ministry of Education of Taiwan. Other students have secured positions in the museums and heritage sector, for example at the Petrie Museum at UCL and the Museum for Asian Civilizations in Singapore.

Employability

Successful graduates will have been fully prepared to undertake research on the art history and archaeology of early civilizations, from a comparative or region/period/theme-specific perspective, and will also possess the expert background knowledge to move on to related professional work in art history, archaeology and cultural heritage (subject to the particular requirements of a given position).

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

We are international in outlook, with students and staff from over 40 countries, and involvement in field research projects around the globe. The teaching staff for this programme bring together a range and depth of expertise that is arguably unparalleled at other institutions.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library. UCL's own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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This programme is a unique opportunity to study the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Students concentrate on architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts and have the option of pursuing topics and approaches more archaeological in focus. Read more
This programme is a unique opportunity to study the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Students concentrate on architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts and have the option of pursuing topics and approaches more archaeological in focus. They consider theoretical and methodological questions and are invited to question the relevance of the disciplinary distinction between History of Art and Archaeology to the study of the non-Western world. Courses cover a time period spanning from antiquity to present-day, contemporary art.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in Asian and African art history and archaeology, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students studying the Music, Film and Media of Asia, Africa and the Middle East in historical and contemporary contexts. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of Asia and Africa.

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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/mahistartarch/

Structure

Students must complete three units (or 0.5 unit equivalent) of taught MA modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation. A minimum of two units (or equivalent) must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department listed below. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from MA options offered by other SOAS departments, also listed below. Students must complete the Dissertation in Art and Archaeology (15PARC999).

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis. The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two taught courses in the first year, and one taught course and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught course in each year. The dissertation can be written in any year, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It is submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

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 Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The MA in South Asian Studies provides exceptional opportunities for advanced study of one of the world’s most diverse and important regions. Read more
The MA in South Asian Studies provides exceptional opportunities for advanced study of one of the world’s most diverse and important regions.

Students can choose to concentrate on pre-modern or modern South Asia and can acquire a basic knowledge of one of the area’s languages.

The degree provides a wide-ranging interdisciplinary analysis of the South Asian countries – India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Disciplines available include Politics, Economics,Anthropology, Law and History.

The programme attracts students from a variety of backgrounds. While some wish to broaden their previous studies or experience of South Asia, others approach the course without having a South Asian element to their first degree, but with a desire to focus their previous training on the region.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/southasia/programmes/masastud/

Structure

Students take three taught courses, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major.

Some disciplines, such as Politics, Economics or Social Anthropology, require an appropriate qualification (such as part of a first degree) if any of their courses are to be taken as the major subject.

Programme Specification

MA South Asian Area Studies - Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 34kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/southasia/programmes/masastud/file80818.pdf

Teaching & Learning

- Lectures and Seminars

For most courses there is one 2-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

- Dissertation

The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Employment

A postgraduate degree in South Asian studies from SOAS provides its students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.

Postgraduate students are equipped with linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research, along with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in business, public or charity sectors. These include written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

An MA in South Asian Area Studies can open many doors. Those remaining in London will be able to take advantage of the numerous international bodies here, and those with specialist areas of knowledge (finance, law, art) will find relevant opportunities. Many students may choose to pursue a career in South Asia to put their skills into practice. Research degrees are also possibilities for graduates with high grades.

Among a variety of professions, career paths may include: Academia; Commerce; Community; Finance; Government; NGOs; Media; Politics; and UN Agencies.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The two-year MA Intensive South Asian Studies offers comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Read more
The two-year MA Intensive South Asian Studies offers comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Students on the programme take four taught courses at SOAS during their first year, of which a course at an appropriate level in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali or Urdu and the course ‘The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia’ are core. In addition to the two core courses, students must choose courses to the value of 90 credits from the list of options advertised for the MA South Asian Area Studies. The disciplines available include Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Cinema, Cultural and Regional Studies, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Music, Politics, and Study of Religions.

In their second year, students will undertake an extended period of study attached to a university or research institute in India, Pakistan or Nepal (the location depending on their choice of language), where they will further develop their language proficiency and conduct research for an extended dissertation. The second half of the second year will be taken up with the writing of the dissertation under close supervision back in London.

The programme is aimed at students pursuing careers in the academic world, business, government and the media that require a skill set which encompasses disciplinary rigour, comprehensive area knowledge and cultural and linguistic fluencies. No prior knowledge of a South Asian language is required but applicants should provide evidence of their language-learning ability. The language element of the training will be tailored to meet the needs of students with existing language skills.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/south-asia-institute/ma-intensive-south-asian-studies/

Structure

Students take The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia - 15PSAC314 and a course in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali or Urdu in their first year, plus courses to the value of two full units (90 credits) from the list given below. These courses should be chosen in close consultation with the programme convenor.

Students spend the first half of their second year studying at one of our partner institutions in South Asia, before returning to work on their 20,000-word dissertation.

MA Intensive South Asian Studies - Programme Specification 2014-2015 (pdf; 393kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/south-asia-institute/courses/file97965.pdf

Teaching & Learning

- Lectures and Seminars

Most courses require students to attend two or three hours of classes each week. This time will be spent in lectures, seminars, tutorial discussions and student presentations: the exact mixture of activities varies somewhat from course to course. At Masters level there is a particular emphasis on students’ contributions and presentations, and students are also expected to read extensively and prepare for each class in advance.

Language courses typically involve more hours of contact time, especially at elementary level, and regular homework.

The assessment on most courses consists of two or three coursework essay assignments and an unseen written examination, sat in April or May. However, some courses are assessed purely on the basis of coursework, including essays and reaction papers.

- Dissertation

A 20,000-word dissertation will be written by each student on this programme after his/her return from South Asia, for submission in September of the second year. The dissertation will be on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.

- Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources. The South Asia collection consists of approximately 88,000 volumes in English and other European languages and about 70,000 volumes in South Asian languages.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The research master's programme in Asian Studies gives you access to Leiden University's leading expertise in the countries of Asia from their politics and literature to their languages. Read more

The research master's programme in Asian Studies gives you access to Leiden University's leading expertise in the countries of Asia from their politics and literature to their languages.

Benefit from Leiden’s renowned expertise

Designed for high-achieving students, Leiden University's Asia Studies (Research) programme offers access to unique resources and expertise. Asian Studies at Leiden University has a reputation for excellence that is unmatched in Europe. You can choose subjects from a curriculum that spans virtually the entire Asian region both in geography and time.

Flexibility to construct your own programme

You will be able to focus your studies on a region, such as China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia, or on a discipline, such as politics, religion, art and material culture, languages and literature, with the option to work with a primary language. A comparative, area studies approach to learning encourages a broader, contextual understanding of the issues at hand. The programme not only encourages intra-Asian comparisons, but cooperates closely with the Middle Eastern Studies (Research) programme. This cooperation is institutionalised, for example, through a common introductory course on Area Studies.

Field research in the Asia

An important focus of this programme is developing your ability to conduct high-quality scientific research. You also have the opportunity to conduct field research in a country of your choice in Asia.



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The University of San Francisco offers a unique master’s degree in Museum Studies where students prepare for leadership positions in artistic, cultural, and heritage organizations that operate in a constantly changing social dynamic. Read more

The University of San Francisco offers a unique master’s degree in Museum Studies where students prepare for leadership positions in artistic, cultural, and heritage organizations that operate in a constantly changing social dynamic.

Our sixteen-month curriculum is flexible, providing students with the comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience to assume a variety of roles within cultural, artistic, and heritage organizations.

You can find more information on our website

Master of Arts in Museum Studies

The program prepares students for positions of leadership in artistic, cultural, educational and heritage organizations and for long-term professional growth.

The curriculum consists of core seminars, hands-on practical, one-on-one advising and mentoring, electives tailored to students' interests and a full-time summer internship in an institution of the student's choice.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Articulate a critical understanding of the histories, challenges and methodologies related to museums as complex public service organizations
  • Analyze institutional practices in light of USF’s mission of social justice
  • Apply skills and knowledge essential for successful professional patterns of behavior and practice in all types of museums and like organizations

Internships

The 300-hour formal internship is central to the professional training our program offers. We encourage students to intern at one of the Bay Area’s many renowned cultural institutions but also welcome them to intern at museums nationwide. Students must enroll in an internship course but can accrue their required internship hours throughout the duration of the program.

You can request more information by visiting our website

The San Francisco Advantage

USF’s campus — situated in the center of the city — is within walking distance to the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, a short bus ride to SFMOMA and the Asian Art Museum, or an easy drive to world-class institutions in Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Jose.



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The region known as "Pacific Asia" can be defined in various ways, but the "core" countries are China, Japan, Korea and the ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines). Read more
The region known as "Pacific Asia" can be defined in various ways, but the "core" countries are China, Japan, Korea and the ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines). Together, they make up one of the most diverse and important regions in the world.

SOAS has more expertise in this part of the world than any other institution in Western Europe; indeed there are very few places anywhere in the world that can boast the same range of expertise.

This degree is a way of bringing together the large number of modules on Pacific Asia currently on offer in SOAS Masters programmes for Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, South East Asian Studies, and Korean Studies.

The modules chosen must cover three of the four regions of China and Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/sea/programmes/mapacasstud/

Structure

Students take modules to the value of three taught units, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major.

As a Regional Studies programme students will be expected to select their modules from more than one discipline, The two minor units can be taken from the same discipline (but different to that of the major) or two different ones. The modules chosen must cover three of the four regions of China and Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia.

Programme Specification

MA Pacific Asian Studies- Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 33kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/sea/programmes/mapacasstud/file80829.pdf

Teaching & Learning

- Lectures and Seminars

For most modules there is one 2-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

- Dissertation

The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught modules.

- Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Employment

As a student specialising in Pacific Asia, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of Pacific Asia.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Faculty of Languages and Cultures

Six of the academic departments are devoted to teaching and research in the languages, literatures and cultures of Africa, China and Inner Asia, Japan and Korea, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia, with the seventh teaching and conducting research in Linguistics. The Language Centre caters to the needs of non-degree students and governmental and non-governmental organisations. It maintains a huge portfolio of courses, including year-long diploma programmes, weekly evening classes in about 40 different African and Asian languages, and tailored intensive one-to-one courses. The Language Centre also offers courses in French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Their teaching is in three main areas:
- language competence acquisition;
- textual and cultural studies - both comparative and language-specific, and covering not only 'literature' in a strict sense but also visual media, performance, folklore, translation etc.;
- language studies with linguistics at its core - including the prestigious Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.

The Faculty is also home to the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) (http://www.soas.ac.uk/cclps/).

While SOAS as a whole represents the most substantial concentration in the Western world of expertise dedicated to African, Middle Eastern and Asian studies, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures is heavily committed to teaching and research grounded in a knowledge of the principal languages and cultures of two thirds of humankind.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. It will suit practicing museum and heritage professionals who are interested in strengthening their knowledge of contemporary debates in critical museology, critical heritage studies and material culture studies. With its interdisciplinary focus, it will suit students interested in broadening their expertise across anthropology, art history and archaeology. It will also provide an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research concerned with museums, heritage, and material/visual culture in Asian, African, Middle Eastern and transnational/transcultural contexts.

This interdisciplinary programme brings together anthropological, art historical and archaeological perspectives to explore the interconnecting fields of museums, heritage and material culture studies. The MA disprivileges Western museum and heritage discourses and practices, and explores tangible and intangible cultural heritage as spheres of global interaction.

The MA will equip students with a theoretically-informed critical understanding of museums, heritage and material/visual culture. Taught across the Department of Anthropology and School of Arts, the MA provides a unique opportunity to learn about current debates in World Art and World Heritage, combining ethnographic, art historical and archaeological approaches.

Students will be introduced to a wide range of thematic and theoretical issues, and will have the opportunity to curate a small exhibition in the Curating Cultures module, and put into practice anthropological research techniques in the Ethnographic Research Methods course.

Situated in London’s ‘Museum Mile’, a few hundred meters from the British Museum, and with its own Brunei Gallery, SOAS provides a unique environment in which to study the cultural heritage of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Programme Overview

The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed here - https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-museums-heritage-and-material-culture-studies/

Students are advised to take one or both of the recommended modules listed below or may wish to select from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or the School of Arts (Departments of Centre for Media Studies, History of Art and Archaeology or Music) options lists.

The remaining credits can be selected from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology list or the School of Arts options. See below for a detailed programme structure.

Language Entitlement Programme:

Many students choose to pursue a language through the SOAS Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Teaching & Learning

Students taking the MA in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies will have the opportunity to achieve:

- A critical awareness of contemporary theoretical debates in museum studies, cultural heritage studies, and material/visual culture studies;
- A familiarity with the distinctive contributions of anthropology, art history and archaeology to these interdisciplinary fields;
- A critical awareness of World Art/World Cultures/World Heritage, with an emphasis on SOAS’s regional specialisms (Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as transnational/diasporic contexts;
- An understanding of ethnographic approaches to tangible and intangible heritage research;
- Experience of object-based knowledge and museological research methods.

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