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South Asia Department

BA South Asian Studies Sanskrit Pathway

Overview

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2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: AAB
  • A Level language preferred
  • IB: 35 (6/6/5)
  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

This page describes and outlines the Sanskrit Language Pathway through the BA South Asian Studies (4 years) and BA South Asian Studies and... (4 years) degrees.

Sanskrit has functioned for over two thousand years as the basic vehicle of classical Indian literature. It is the key to a first-hand understanding of the vast field of classical Hindu religion and philosophy, being the language of the Vedas and Upanishads, the great epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and the texts of Vedanta and Yoga.

It is also an important language for the study of Buddhism, Indo-European comparative philology, and the achievements of the classical civilisation of India in such wider fields as aesthetic theory, linguistics, law and political theory, medicine, mathematics and astronomy.

The Sanskrit pathway is designed to give students a high level of competence in reading and understanding a wide range of Sanskrit texts, and a good knowledge of their cultural context. We also encourage students to learn Pali and Prakrit. The pathway assumes no previous knowledge of Sanskrit or its script, though we do prefer candidates to have some record of successful language-learning, for example an A-level qualification in a European language. Students with previous knowledge of Sanskrit will be accommodated in a higher level course.

Students must take courses to the value of 4 units in each year of their degree.  If a student passes 4 course units in one Pathway Language then the language will be named in the degree title, i.e. BA South Asian Studies (Sanskrit).  Text, Directed Readings and literature courses, and an Independent Study Project in which the language is used to a large extent all count as language courses.

Students must discuss this with their undergraduate tutor at the end of year 1 or the beginning of year 2.  The specialism will be added at the award stage only, when the degree has been completed, and will not feature during application or enrolment.  As such, students should refer to the BA South Asian Studies (4 years) full and half degree pages for full and definitive outlines, structures, and lists of available courses.

Structure

For full details of course listings (Lists A, B, or C as referred to below) see the lists under "Structure" on the BA South Asian Studies (4 years) or BA South Asian Studies and... (4 years) programme pages, as appropriate.

Not all courses may run each year; students must seek advice from their undergraduate tutor before signing up for courses.

This structure indicates the expected progression for a student who begins their programme of Sanskrit language study without prior knowledge of the language (ab initio).  Students who arrive with some prior knowledge of Sanskrit will follow a modified structure, to be worked out on an individual basis.

Students may not take more than one language course at the elementary level in any given year.  Passing of the intermediate level language course (or its equivalent) in Sanskrit is a prerequisite for admission to the Year Abroad.

Year 1
Core Courses
for BA South Asian Studies (4 years):

- an introductory course (or half courses to the value of one unit) from List B OR a further introductory course from List A - AND another introductory course (or half courses to the value of one unit) from List B OR an approved course in another department ("open option")

for BA South Asian Studies and... (4 years):

Two units in the other subject.

Year 2
Core Courses
Compulsory Courses

- one approved unit in Sanskrit or Prakrit

for BA South Asian Studies (4 years):

- a further course from List A or List C - AND a further course from List C OR an approved course in another department ("open option")

for BA South Asian Studies and... (4 years):

Two units in the other subject.

Year 3

Students will spend the whole academic year in India, where they are expected to attend an intensive Sanskrit language course at an appointed institution and are required to sit local examinations.

Year 4
Core course

- one approved unit in Sanskrit

Compulsory Course
for BA South Asian Studies (4 years):

- a further language course from List A at intermediate or advanced level OR a course from List C - AND a further course from List C OR an approved course in another department ("open option")

for BA South Asian Studies and... (4 years):

Two units in the other subject.

List of optional courses

For details of courses on Lists A, B and C, refer to the "Structure" section of the BA South Asian Studies (4 years) full or half degrees, as appropriate.

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

Students will spend the whole academic year in India, where they are expected to attend an intensive language course at an appointed institution and are required to sit local examinations.

Destinations

As a student specialising in South Asia and Sanskrit, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of South Asia.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

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

A Student's Perspective

The best advice I can give is to just dive into the experience without any hesitation. Going into my study abroad experience, I didn’t expect to travel to Morocco and have the opportunity to see Roman ruins or eat chip butties (chips on a bun with sauce), but I did.

Suzanne Jacobson, Hamilton College