The MA Buddhist Studies programme’s inter-disciplinary focus aims to provide students with advanced training in the area of religion and politics through the study of a wide range of theoretical and regional perspectives. It will serve primarily as a platform for professional development and further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research. The programme will offer students
- Advanced knowledge and understanding of significant approaches, methods, debates, and theories in the field of religion and politics, with particular reference to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
- Advanced skills in researching and writing about topics in and theorisations of religion and politics;
- Advanced skills in the presentation or communication of knowledge and understanding of topics in religion and politics as they pertain to regional, international, and transnational contexts.
SOAS academic staff members are qualified to offer guidance and supervision in a wide range of research areas relating to Buddhist literature, doctrine, philosophy, history, ritual, iconography, and art in South Asia, Tibet, Central Asia, China and Japan.
SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies is a hub of distinguished Buddhist scholarship that generates synergy among academics and research students, from SOAS and beyond, involved in the study of Buddhism in Asian societies. It is composed of 17 permanent members of staff and emeriti, as well as a pool of associate and graduate student members from SOAS and other UK institutions.
Teaching & Learning
The structure of MA Buddhist Studies provides a unique study pathway, characterised both by its coherence and by its flexibility. The core module "Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies" is taught by four staff whose expertise cover most of Buddhist Asia, provides students with a broad and stimulating journey into key notions and methods in the study of Buddhism. Students will moreover have to submit a Dissertation in Buddhist Studies of 10,000 words, on a topic chosen from the module chosen as major. The remaining modules may be chosen in the large pool of modules on Buddhist topics and languages, thus allowing each student to build up a specialized knowledge of one or more areas of Buddhist Asia. Students are allowed to take modules taught outside the department of Religions and Philosophies up to one module, which may or may not include a language.
Students must complete 120 credits of MA taught modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation (60 credits) as outlined below.
Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis:
The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two 30 credits (or equivalent 15 credits) in the first year, and two 30 credits (or equivalent 15 credits) and the dissertation in the second year.
Alternatively, it can be taken over three years in which case the student can distribute the 120 credits evenly in each of the three years. The dissertation can be written in year two or three, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the degree. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.
With a student population of around 4,000 from over 100 countries, our relatively small size ensures that we offer a friendly and welcoming environment while at the same time being able to take advantage of all University of London facilities.
- International class
- International faculty
- International study tours
- Issuance of foreign diploma and certifications