[skip to content]

Department of the Study of Religions

MA Religions of Asia and Africa

Duration: Full time: 1 calendar year Part time: 2 or 3 calendar years We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.

Overview

Minimum Entry Requirements: Normally, minimum upper second class Honours degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification or equivalent standard. Applicants with qualifications obtained at private or religious institutions should enquire about the School’s position on such qualifications.

Interview Policy: We welcome applications from students with non-conventional qualifications and usually determine suitability for the programme on the basis of an interview.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

It typically suits students falling into one of the following three categories:

  • students planning to pursue further research, which may involve at a subsequent stage the acquisition of a doctoral degree and a career in higher education;
  • students willing to pursue a career or professional activity, for which advanced knowledge of the religions of Asia and Africa and of the theoretical and practical issues involved in their study is essential: arts, media, teaching, NGOs and charities, interfaith dialogue, consultancy for governmental agencies or the private sector, religious institutions, museums, and more.
  • students who wish to pursue the academic study of religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments: religious ministers and clerics from all confessions, believers, yoga and meditation practitioners; anyone interested in specific religious traditions or in religion as an essential dimension of life, and in the critical and experiential enhancement that their academic study may offer.

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa at SOAS offers the premier postgraduate curriculum in the U.K. for the study of the religions of Asia and Africa. It covers a wider range of religious traditions than most comparable programmes, whether in the U.K. or abroad: Buddhism in nearly all its doctrinal and regional varieties, Asian and African Christianities, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism as well as the local religious cultures of Asia and Africa.

The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, offering advanced learning in theories and methods in the study of religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions. It ensures students can benefit from the unique opportunity to tap cutting-edge academic expertise and library facilities on Asian and African religions as part of a spirited, cosmopolitan student community and within the intense religious and cultural scene of London.

Email: ld16@soas.ac.uk

Phone: 020 7898 4217

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Overview

  1. Students take taught courses (half and/or full units) equivalent to three units in total from the list of taught courses.
  2. The 4th and final unit is a Dissertation.
  3. Languages: Students in the MA Religions of Asia and Africa may substitute one of their taught courses for a language course (most are taught in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures).

Note: Students wishing to take other SOAS courses relevant to their studies but taught outside the department may do so with the written approval of the tutor of the relevant course, the Department's MA Convenor and the Faculty's Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

Dissertation
Buddhism
Chinese Religions
Christianity
East Asian Religions
Gender and Religions
Indian Religions
Islam
Japanese Religions
Judaism
Multi-religious/comparative courses
Mysticism
Religion in Africa
Theoretical Approaches
Zoroastrianism
Courses taught in other Departments

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Destinations

An MA in Religions of Asia and Africa from SOAS equips students with important knowledge and understanding of different cultures, history and beliefs across the regions of Asia and Africa. As well as subject expertise, students develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional careers in the private and public sectors as well as essential skills necessary to pursue further research. These include: the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources - often both in the original or other relevant languages; analytical skills to assess critically the materials relevant to a specific issue; written and oral communication skills to present, discuss and debate opinions and conclusions; and problem solving skills. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

How to apply

How to apply
Scholarships
SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00

Santander Taught Master’s Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2014-02-28 17:00

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00

For further information visit the Scholarships section

A Student's Perspective

It proved to be a highly stimulating research environment, fostering my analytical skills and allowing me to get in touch with a number of important personalities in my field.

Tullio Lobetti