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Certificate in Sanskrit

An accredited course comprising three years of part-time study (Beginners, Lower Intermediate, Upper Intermediate). Registration is for the Beginners level in the first instance.

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum English language requirement for non-native English speakers: IELTS 7.00 or a degree from a British University.

Duration:
For all students registering at the Beginners level from September 2011, the Certificate represents a three year course comprising a total of nine 12-week terms, three terms per year, totalling 216 hours of tuition.

Mode of Attendance: Part Time

Description

The aims of this course are to provide tuition in Sanskrit leading to a qualification for ab initio learners, based on the Beginners, Lower Intermediate and Upper Intermediate courses currently taught in the Language Centre. 

By the end of the Certificate course students should have:

  • acquired a solid working knowledge of Sanskrit grammar
  • a basic knowledge of the history of Sanskrit literature in its historical and literary contexts.
  • studied a selection of various genres of Sanskrit literature including epics and classical Sanskrit court literature
  • developed an ability to read, analyse and comprehend Sanskrit texts.

Assessment Schedule

Year 1: Formal assessment at the end of the third term.

Year 2: Formal assessment at the end of the third term.

Year 3: One essay (3000 words) due in the second term and one end of year examination paper (3 hours). The final mark will consist of 20% on the final year essay and 80% on the examination.

Structure

Year 1 (This is the beginners course)

Aims: in the introductory year students will learn to read, write and transcribe the Devanāgarī script and all basic aspects of Sanskrit grammar (sandhi, word formation, participles, pronouns, prefixes, a working vocabulary, knowledge of syntax, etc.). The course is designed to teach Classical Sanskrit and so relevant references to the history and cultural background will be made. There will be regular practice in the reading and pronunciation of Sanskrit.

Term 1

Textbook: Maurer, W. H. (2009) The Sanskrit Language: An Introductory Grammar and Reader (Revised ed.). London: Routledge. Introduction; Lessons 1-5

  • Sound system of Sanskrit: identification and pronunciation
  • Writing system: reading and writing practice
  • Investigating case, number, person
  • Basic grammar and syntax: simple sentences
  • Pronominals; vocabulary building
  • Reading a short Sanskrit text
Term 2

Textbook: Maurer, W. H. (2009) The Sanskrit Language: An Introductory Grammar and Reader (Revised ed.). London: Routledge. Lessons 6-11

  • Exploring the present system of the Sanskrit verb
  • Declension: nouns ending in short and long vowels
  • Reading selected stories in Sanskrit from the textbook  
  • Relative and demonstrative pronouns
  • More about sandhi
  • Further reading and vocabulary building
Term 3

Textbook: Maurer, W. H. (2009) The Sanskrit Language: An Introductory Grammar and Reader (Revised ed.) London: Routledge

There will be a reasonably heavy use of material from Deshpande this term. The relevant material will be provided by way of handouts. Familiarity with Deshpande is important since it is the set text for the following year.

  • Gerunds, infinitives and the past passive participle  
  • Adjectives and agent nouns
  • Prepositions and prefixes
  • Further reading and vocabulary building
  • Tackling a long text in Sanskrit
  • Preparation and end of year examination
Year 2 (This is the lower intermediate course)

Aims: to continue the study of grammar and translation and building on the skills acquired in Year 1. Some selected texts from the Sanskrit epics – the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa – will be studied and, in this context, the relevant topics in the history of Sanskrit literature will be discussed.

Term 1

Textbook: Deshpande, M. M. (2007) Saṃskṛtasubodhinī: A Sanskrit Primer. Lessons 16-23

  • Translation: Sanskrit into English; English into Sanskrit
  • Reading, analysing and translating Sanskrit texts
  • The story of Nala and Damayantī from the Mahābhārata
  • Listening to and reciting verses from the Upaniṣads and the Bhagavadgītā
  • Introduction to history of Sanskrit literature and prosody
Term 2

Textbook: Deshpande, M. M. (2007) Saṃskṛtasubodhinī: A Sanskrit Primer. Lessons 24-31

  • Translation: Sanskrit into English; English into Sanskrit
  • Reading, analysing and translating Sanskrit texts
  • Selected readings from the Rāmāyaṇa of Śrīmad Vālmīki
  • Listening to and reciting verses from the Upaniṣads and the Bhagavadgītā 
Term 3

Textbook: Deshpande, M. M. (2007) Saṃskṛtasubodhinī: A Sanskrit Primer. Lessons 32-38

  • Translation: Sanskrit into English; English into Sanskrit
  • Reading, analysing and translating Sanskrit texts
  • Further readings from the Rāmāyaṇa of Śrīmad Vālmīki
  • Listening to and reciting verses from the Upaniṣads and the Bhagavadgītā
  • Preparation for end of year examination
Year 3 (This is the upper intermediate course)

Aims: to enhance the ability to read, analyse and comprehend Sanskrit texts; to revise and to consolidate knowledge of Sanskrit grammar; to provide an introduction to poetics (the Sanskrit literary theory). Classical Sanskrit court literature will be studied within its historical, cultural and social background. To achieve this, a small selection of Sanskrit passages from the Mahākāvyas and plays will be studied. Students will be encouraged to compose in Sanskrit.

Term 1

Textbook:    

(i)  Deshpande, M. M. (2007) Saṃskṛtasubodhinī: A Sanskrit Primer. Lessons 39-44

(ii) Materials will be provided for the texts to be studied in this term.

  • Reading, analysing and translating Sanskrit text
  • Canto 1 of the Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa
  • Introduction to poetics (e.g. alaṃkāras, metre, etc.)
Term 2

Textbook: materials will be provided for the texts to be studied in this term.

  • Reading, analysing and translating Sanskrit text
  • Readings from Abhijñānaśākuntalam and Kumārasambhava of Kālidāsa  
  • Continued study of poetics (Sanskrit literary theory)
Term 3

Textbook: materials will be provided for the texts to be studied in this term.

  • Revision for the Certificate in Sanskrit examination
  • Mock examination
  • Final examination
  • Review; analysis and discussion of Sanskrit programme

Applying for the Certificate Programme

Applying for the 3-year Certificate Programme is done via its constituent courses pages, where the fees for each year are stated.

Beginners Course

Lower Intermediate Course

Upper Intermediate Course