Courtauld Institute of Art

Course Introduction

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.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
2 years
Full Time
MA £9,500 Home Fees
2 years
Full Time
MA £19,750 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Candidates should normally have at least an upper second honours degree, or an international equivalent recognised by the University of London (e.g. for US applicants a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above).
  • Selection is based on an online application that includes a personal statement and written references. The application deadline for this MA is 20 March 2017. Candidates selected for interview will be interviewed either in person or by Skype by two members of academic staff. Interviews will be undertaken in the week of 27 March 2017. For applicants whose first language is not English, we require proof of English proficiency. If you hold a qualification from outside the UK, please feel free to contact Student and Academic Services; however, please be aware that our staff are unable to confirm whether you will be invited to interview, as candidates are judged on the strength of their applications as a whole.