MA The Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Arts
- Course Length
- 1 year
- Course Start Date
- September 2023
On this unique programme, you’ll study the historical and contemporary arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. You’ll benefit from teaching that emphasises museum anthropology and material culture. At the same time, you’ll engage with the issues involved in the analysis and display of these works of art, both in their original contexts and in museums and exhibitions.
This MA is cross-disciplinary. That means you’ll engage with regional developments and shared themes across anthropology, art history, archaeology and museology. Throughout the programme, you’ll encounter contemporary theories and current methods of research.
You’ll also have the opportunity to study the world-famous collection of art held in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, itself a celebrated icon of modern museum architecture. UEA’s Art History department is world-leading in its field.
This flexible programme offers you a range of topics for your own essay-writing and dissertation. Your dissertation also allows you to study a topic of your choice intensively, possibly as a precursor to PhD research.
Our department is one of the leading centres in the world for the study of art and material culture. It’s also the only centre in the UK concerned with the study of art worldwide.
Study and Modules
Your programme will consist of two main strands: three region-focused modules and the Core Course.
Your Core Course runs across the autumn and spring semesters, leading up to a museology timed essay and your dissertation. This is complemented by your region-focused modules, The Arts and Archaeology of Africa, The Arts of Oceania, and The Arts of the Americas.
In your autumn Core Course, you’ll examine key topics and contexts regarding theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of art and material culture. You’ll focus on assembling, organising, documenting, disseminating and analysing collections.
Then in your spring Core Course, you’ll delve deeper into these theoretical and methodological approaches. You’ll place special emphasis on curating collections, conceptualising exhibitions, and conservation. You’ll also become fluent in key concepts of agency, sociality, materiality, heritage, past, style, and analogy.
During your autumn and spring semesters, you’ll go on several stimulating study visits to museums in the United Kingdom and France. These visits are an intensive learning experience, in which you’ll discuss and debate theoretical and practical aspects of museology in situ. You’ll also gain in-depth knowledge of museum exhibitions and develop your critical reasoning.
From early May to late July, you’ll dedicate your time exclusively to the readings and research that will lead to your dissertation. Your dissertation is your opportunity to delve deeper still into the area or question which interests you most. You’ll complete a unique and substantial piece of research, supervised by two Sainsbury Research Unit (SRU) faculty members.
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
Places on this course are restricted to a maximum of 10. As a result, you’ll benefit from an unusually high degree of regular individual supervision and tutorials.
Over the autumn and spring semesters, you’ll attend a series of weekly lecture-discussions. You’ll cover Africa, Oceania and the Americas in three distinct modules. This is where you’ll develop the background against which you will write your pieces of coursework.
In addition to the three regional units, you’ll also cover diverse topics broadly centred on material culture and museums. These will include display, the anthropology of art, style, value systems, looting and cultural property, the history of collections, authenticity, and the art market.
As well as having access to the Sainsbury Art Collection, you’ll travel to museums for guided study visits. When possible, these will also include temporary displays and auctions of ethnographic materials.
You’ll be assessed across eight separate elements. These include three short written presentations on an object or set of related objects in the Sainsbury Centre, three longer written presentations on each of the three regions, a 72-hour timed essay on a general museology theme, and your dissertation.
Your dissertation will be a significant effort of independent, supervised, research. It will represent the culmination of your programme of study.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent
- Degree Subject
- Humanities or Social Sciences
- English Foreign Language
We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:
IELTS: 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in two components only, with 6.0 in the other two)
PTE (Pearson): 64 (minimum 59 in only two components with 64 in the others)
Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.
Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests
INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact email@example.com.
Interviews are required for students applying to the MA in The Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. If you are living overseas, these may be undertaken by telephone/Skype at a mutually convenient time. Please note that applicants who have not yet met the English Language requirement will still be expected to conduct an interview in English.
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. This course's annual intake is in September of each year.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2023/24 are:
UK Students: £9,500 (full time)
International Students: £9,500 (full time)
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
You’ll graduate ready to take up posts in universities, museums, and the cultural and heritage sector across the world. You could also go on to work in art publishing and journalism, the media and photographic research, auction houses and private galleries, and the travel industry.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Examples of careers you could enter include:
Museum curator/assistant curator
Collections and research manager/assistant
Education and outreach manager/assistant