Taught course

Curating Cultures

SOAS University of London · Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in a relevant subject.

In addition to degree classification in a relevant subject we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

See postgraduate entry requirements for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Curating Cultures programme provides an unrivalled opportunity to explore methods and approaches in the curating of the arts of Asia and Africa as well as develop practical curatorial skills in this area.

It is particularly suitable for those who wish to develop in the arts sector or cultural industries whether that be in the context of museums, galleries, festivals, online platforms, biennales, and other display contexts. It will also appeal to practicing professionals in these areas who are interested in strengthening their knowledge and critical outlook. Themes and issues addressed include but are not limited to: histories and ideologies of curating and exhibitions, theories of collecting, interpreting objects, contemporary issues and debates regarding postmodernism, postcolonialism, repatriation and decolonization, curating and writing of exhibition texts and interpretation.

Additionally, the MA Curating Cultures programme provides an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research in the fields of curating and/or Art History/Archaeology of Asia and Africa in general.

The aims and objectives of this MA programme is for students to:

  • develop the ability to critically evaluate interpretative frameworks of museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, public art, online platforms/digital curating, and other display contexts
  • critically analyse the role practices of collecting, display, and interpretation have in the production of meaning and value of objects
  • study the methods, practices and key issues surrounding ways in which Asian and African cultures and objects have been presented from both within their own traditions and from the European perspective with a particular focus on decolonisation
  • develop an understanding of both the theory and practice of curating
  • acquire in-depth knowledge of the specific areas of Asian and African art and/or archaeology that the student chooses to study, as seen in their module selection

Why study MA Curating Cultures at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked 13th in the UK for Arts and Humanities (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology has world leading experts in Asian and African art history and archaeology, including experienced curators who draw on this expertise in their teaching and research
  • we partner with the British Council to offer a School of Arts student one fully funded residency at the annual Venice Architecture Biennale
  • you are eligible for an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, Amsterdam or Leiden as part of the Southeast Asian Art study tour (must enrol on Southeast Asia's Art Histories I and II)
  • you will have the opportunity to curate your own exhibition showcase
  • the programme gives access to some of the world’s best museums, incorporates fieldtrips, and provides workshops and lectures by industry insiders such as curators, museum directors and restitution experts
  • we partner with the British Council to offer a School of Arts student one fully funded residency at the annual Venice Architecture Biennale

Information for international students

For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website

Fees and funding

For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)20 3510 6974