MA Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies

In City of London

£ 9,225 + VAT


  • Typology


  • Location

    City of london

  • Start

    Different dates available


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: 2017-18
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
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.




City of London (London)
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Different dates availableNow taking bookings

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  • Music
  • Media
  • School
  • Global
  • Art History
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology
  • Options
  • Politics
  • IT
  • Social Anthropology
  • Art
  • Material
  • Anthropology
  • Museums
  • Heritage
  • Transferable skills
  • Culture
  • Ethnographic
  • Material Culture Studies
  • Aesthetic
  • IT
  • Transferable skills

Course programme

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 below.

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.


All students are required to take the compulsory modules, totalled at 115 credits.

  • Dissertation in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies
  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology
  • Critical Theory in Art History and Material Culture

All students must take the core module worth 30 credits.

  • Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies

Students are advised to take one or both of the recommended modules, worth 15 credits each, or may wish to select the remaining 45 credits from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and School of Arts options lists.

  • Curating Cultures Cohort B
  • Ethnographic Research Methods
Anthropology and Sociology
  • African and Asian Cultures in Britain
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World
  • Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition
  • Anthropology of Globalisation (PG)
  • Anthropology of Human Rights (PG)
  • Anthropology of Law
  • Comparative Media Theory
  • Culture and Society of China
  • Culture and Society of East Africa
  • Culture and Society of Japan
  • Culture and Society of South East Asia
  • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East
  • Culture and Society of West Africa
  • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
  • Media Production Skills
  • Perspectives On Development
  • Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion
  • Therapy and Culture
  • Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective
SCHOOL OF ARTSCentre for Media Studies
  • Digital traditional broadcasting communication
  • International Political Communication
  • Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia
  • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications
  • Studies in Global Digital Cultures
  • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Global Media and Post-National Communication
  • Studies in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development
  • Theoretical Issues in Media and Cultural Studies
  • Topics in Global Digital Cultures
  • Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity
  • Theoretical Approaches to International Journalisms
History of Art
  • Arab Painting
  • Architectural Boundaries and the Body
  • Art and Architecture of the Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries)
  • Art and Architecture of the Fatimids
  • Art And Religious Experience In Premodern Japan
  • Arts and Society in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Arts of Koryo and Chosen Korea
  • Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800)
  • Arts of the Tamil Temple
  • Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route
  • Ceramics in Chinese Culture: 10th - 18th Centuries
  • China and the Silk Road: Art and Archaeology
  • Collecting and Curating Buddhist Art in the Museum
  • Contemporary Art and the Global
  • Critical Themes in Tibetan Art
  • Cross-Cultural Approaches to Aesthetics
  • Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture
  • (En)gendering Southeast Asia: Aesthetics and Politics of Sexual Difference
  • The Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History
  • Illustrated Manuscript Cultures of Southeast Asia
  • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1)
  • Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts
  • Islamic Archaeology
  • Islamic Art & Architecture of Medieval Anatolia and the South Caucasus (11-13th centuries)
  • Islamic Art and Architecture of Eastern Mediterranean of the Period of the Crusades (11th-14th centuries)
  • Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
  • Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa
  • Modern and Contemporary Korean Art
  • Monuments and sculpture of Angkor
  • Visuality and Islamic Art
  • Persian Painting
  • Photography and the Image in Africa
  • Popular Practice in the Edo Period Arts
  • Representing Conflict: A Cross-Cultural and Inter Disciplinary Approach
  • Sacred Art and Architecture of Ancient Korea
  • The Silk Road and its Origins: Art and Archaeology
  • Shogunal Iconography in the Edo Period
  • Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context
  • Understanding Art East and West: from Asmat Shields to Tate Modern
  • Visual Arts of Dynastic China (to 1800) (Cohort A)
  • Analysing World Music: Transcription & Analysis in Ethnomusicology
  • Analytical Approaches to the Global Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia
  • Ethnicity, Religion and Gender in Middle Eastern Musical cultures
  • Gender and Music (MMus)
  • Indian vocal music: Styles and histories
  • Klezmer Music: Roots and Revival
  • Music and Healing
  • The Music Business (Masters)
  • Music on the Silk Road: travel and circulation (PG)
  • Music, Place and Politics in Cuba
  • Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters)
  • Music, Nation and Conflict in Jerusalem
  • Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters)
  • Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG)
  • Raga: concept and practice (PG)
  • Sacred Sound in South Asia

This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.

Programme Specification
  • Programme Specification (pdf; 142kb)

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

MA Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies

£ 9,225 + VAT