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History & Archaeology×

Masters Degrees in South East Asian History, United Kingdom

We have 3 Masters Degrees in South East Asian History, United Kingdom

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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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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 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/

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