SOAS, University of London

Course Introduction

This programme looks at the great religious traditions of Asia: it deals with many countries, regions and time periods from antiquity to the present. In practice, Buddhism receives the greatest coverage, from India, through Central Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan, but other notable religions, such as Hinduism and Shinto, and animistic and syncretic practices are also addressed; courses consider iconography, ritual, faith and pilgrimage in their diverse regional and historical guises, making use of temple buildings, statues, paintings, vestments, accoutrements and fittings, formal, informal and popular.

Course Modules

Modules options may include: art and archaeology of the silk road; Buddhist and Hindu art of the maritime silk route; collecting and curating Buddhist art in the museum; critical themes in Tibetan Buddhist art; monuments and sculpture of Angkor; Shogunal iconography in the Edo period; the figure of the Buddha: theory, practice and the making of Buddhist art history; the Indian temple; Tibetan Buddhist monuments in context.

Course Additional Entry

Upper 2nd Class Honours degree. Other qualifications, however, may be acceptable and the Department welcomes mature students. Students taking the MA degree may or may not have previous experience of our subjects. While knowledge of a relevant Asian or African language is not a requirement, for some courses it is an advantage for admission (see individual course descriptions for details). It is possible to include an element of language training within the MA programme by taking an Asian or African language as 1 of the 2 'minor' courses. This option may be particularly desirable for those intending to progress to the PhD, who do not already have the necessary language skills.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate)
2 - 3 years
Part Time
MA (Postgraduate)