is the first British institution to offer a Master’s programme devoted exclusively to Chinese art. While acquiring experience in object analysis, you will explore archaeological and historical contexts and the multiple narratives in the story of Chinese art. Starting from the Neolithic and Bronze Age art, the course covers pottery, bronze, lacquer, silk and jade, then examines Buddhism from the Han dynasty onwards, to the global reach of the ‘Silk Road’ in the Tang dynasty. Extensive treatment of artistic production during late imperial China—from the ’golden age’ of the Song dynasty to the High Qing—range through a variety of media such architecture, painting, printing, ceramics and luxury goods. The course also explores cultural developments from the 19th to the 21st century, when intensified contact with foreigners generated new practices, functions and meanings in Chinese art.
Crucially, the course will propel you into Chinese art-world practice and introduce you to the curators, scholars, artists, and dealers who shape the discipline. You will gain exposure to historical and current trends in the circulation of art within China and abroad, historically and to the present day. The programme takes on only a small and exclusive group of students each year and has already trained many of the next generation of art-world professionals in the field of Chinese art.
•The core lecture series from the Neolithic period to the present underpins all components of the programme
•You will participate in a study trip to China and regular visits to museums and collections throughout the year
•Object-based study is central to our teaching and will provide you with relevant training for the public and commercial art worlds. This includes practical and research based study of materials and techniques, scientific analysis, style, dating, quality and authenticity
•You will be trained in cataloguing to auction house and museum standards. Handling sessions and warehouse and museum visits all occur during the course
•Being engaged with current debates about curating will enable you to devise fresh approaches to the display of art works. You'll explore practices in art criticism, developing skills to review exhibitions and produce reports
•Our Culture and Ideology Seminars will enable you to discuss the relationship between specific objects and broader debates around ancient and modern Chinese art in small groups. You will acquire the skills to deliver presentations and generate seminar discussion
•You'll be involved in Methodology Seminars - the analysis of technical, art-historical and interpretative texts that provide transferable skills for independent research and individual development
•If you're doing a Master's degree you will prepare a thesis. This is your opportunity to create an exhibition on a small group of objects, independently researched and catalogued, where the key academic and professional skills learned on the programme are utilised.
•Neolithic and Bronze Age art, culture and burial practices
•The establishment of lacquer, silk, jade and painting traditions
•Buddhist art in China from the Han to the Qing dynasties
•The Silk Road and the international status of ceramics, precious metals, paper making and printing
•The golden age of the Song dynasty: ceramics, painting, calligraphy, lacquer and sculpture and the reinvention of the past
•Liao and Yuan artistic production under foreign rule
•The rise of Jingdezhen, China’s major porcelain centre
•The re-establishment of Chinese rule under the Ming dynasty and its artistic expression
•Imperial patronage of court and religious art, imperial academies and ateliers.
•Exchange between China and the West and the export arts of China
•The efflorescence of the arts during the reigns of the three great Qing emperors
•Modern and contemporary art and society
A university degree or work experience equivalentTwo academic reference lettersNon-English speaking students must have IELTS 7 or equivalent