SOAS University of London is the leading Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

SOAS is a remarkable institution. With our vast repository of knowledge and expertise on our specialist regions, we are uniquely placed to inform and shape current thinking about the economic, political, cultural, security and religious challenges of our world. Our programmes are taught by respected academics engaged in fieldwork and research which influences government policy and the lives of individuals across the globe. SOAS scholars grapple with the pressing issues confronting two-thirds of humankind today: democracy, development, economy, finance, public and corporate policy, human rights, migration, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, and social change.

06 January – 26 March 2025 (annually)

Arts of China

Module Synopsis

The Arts of China module examines the material and visual cultures of China from the Neolithic period to the 21st century. The course covers developments in metalwork, jade, lacquer, ceramics, painting, calligraphy, sculpture, and textiles. Lectures on history, religion, philosophy and literature provide a contextual framework for understanding these developments. The course also considers the importance of patronage (imperial, elite, and popular), the impact of systems of belief (Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism), and the role played by changes in the lives and social roles of artists. Technology and design approaches as well as the impact of interaction between China and the outside world are among the topics considered.


Module Delivery

  • In-person lectures given by SOAS academic staff, leading national and international scholars, museum curators, and art market professionals, generally taking place between 10.00 and 13.00 Monday through Thursday
  • Exclusive contributions from the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Visits and object study sessions at a variety of museums, galleries and auction houses
  • A series of asynchronous online lectures exploring critical thinking and current methods
  • Recommended weekly readings
  • Weekly review sessions
  • Weekly one-to-one tutorials with your module convenors



  • One object analysis of 1,500 words (20%)
  • One written assignment 2,500 words per module (40%)
  • One 48-hour, take-home exam per module (40%)


020 7898 4451