Islamic Art and Architecture MSt

mss 0745 fol from The Khalili Collections

The MSt in Islamic Art and Architecture is a one-year degree that aims to provide tailor-made courses in order to train you for research on the history of Islamic art, archaeology and architecture (to circa 1900). 

Before admission to this course, you will have demonstrated that you possess the necessary qualifications in Arabic or Persian or Ottoman Turkish to use primary sources in the original language for the study of Islamic art. 

You will be expected to attend tutorials, classes, lectures and seminars regularly, and tutors will give you regular assignments of written work. 

You will have a supervisor who will guide your progress through the course and who will agree with you a programme of work and a timetable for each term of the course, including: general skills and research specific training, formal teaching and instruction, attendance at lectures and seminars, and regular meetings (normally at least twice per term) with your supervisor for detailed discussions on your progress.

You will be expected to attend tutorials, classes, lectures and seminars regularly, and tutors will give you regular assignments of written work. Tutors report to your supervisor on your progress at the end of each term, and the supervisor will write a formal report upon your work and progress during the term.

The final examination is taken at the end of the course and consists of four elements.

The first is a thesis of between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length (excluding bibliography), which should be equivalent to a substantial draft chapter or chapters of a proposed thesis for the MLitt or DPhil. 

The second element is either a portfolio which introduces techniques to describe and analyse buildings and objects in a range of media (such as ceramics, epigraphy, manuscripts, metalwork, numismatics, and textiles) and which provide training with basic academic skills (such as presentation of work in a lecture or seminar, and writing museum display and book reviews) or a report or reports on practical work completed on an object or objects that will form part of a proposed thesis for the MLitt or the DPhil.

The third and fourth elements consist of any one of the three options below:

  • a. two examination papers, which may be any combination of language and non-language papers (a year-long survey course on Islamic art is among the available options);
  • b. two essays of 5,000 to 7,000 words each, which may be any two of the following:
    • an essay on the theoretical issues raised by the subject which the candidate is proposing for the thesis for the MLitt or DPhil;
    • an essay on a topic relevant to the subject of the proposed thesis for the MLitt or DPhil; or
    • an essay discussing the historical or literary background, or the source material, relevant to the proposed thesis for the MLitt or DPhil.
  • c. one examination paper under (a) above and one essay under (b) above.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

The Faculty of Oriental Studies has a number of scholarship and funding opportunities across a wide range of subjects. Please see here for a list of these opportunities.

Use the University's fees, funding and scholarship search tool to see what funding you might be eligible for. Apply by the January deadline to be automatically considered for most funding.