Arts of the Islamic World

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Archaeologists, curators, conservators, collectors and artists discuss their relationship to art, architecture and artefacts across the region.

  • Learn from our world-class experts wherever, whenever: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time.

  • Breadth and depth: more than 40 hours of study over 12 weeks.

  • Consolidate your learning: download lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials from our secure Microsoft Teams learning environment.

  • Join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

  • Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials are available for up to 12 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a minute.

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course photo
Portrait of Year Course Director Dr Helen Glaister

Year Course Director
Dr Helen Glaister

Dr Helen Glaister is an art historian specialising in Chinese Ceramics and Decorative Arts. Helen has been Course Director since 2006 and previously worked at the British Museum. She was awarded her PhD from SOAS (University of London) where she is a Senior Teaching Fellow.

All the lectures have been really inspiring and interesting and it's so good to listen to people talk about the topic with such knowledge and passion. Previous V&A Academy Online Course Attendee

Course overview

This course follows the emergence of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula to its swift expansion eastward towards Iran and to the Mediterranean in the West. The arts of the region rapidly evolved displaying distinctive new styles and forms; ceramics, metalwork, glass and textiles developed a new visual language embodying a diverse range of regional characteristics. Illustrated manuscripts and books reached unprecedented levels of technical skill and refinement and architecture of the palace and mosque provided the backdrop to court life and religious practice.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Online course: Arts of the Islamic World

17 April 2023 - 10 July 2023


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)