SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

MA Buddhist Studies (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

Join the MA Buddhist Studies stimulating programme — it appeals to students like you with different academic backgrounds ranging from those interested in broadening their knowledge of Buddhism as a whole or of specific Buddhist traditions to those intending to embark on language-based research or fieldwork among Buddhist communities.

The structure of SOAS Buddhist Studies provides a unique study pathway characterised by its coherence and flexibility.

The core module Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the major processes and dynamics at work in the growth and development of Buddhism as a world religion and with the key methodological tools required to approach this major cultural force in its fascinating diversity.

The Buddhist Studies postgraduate degree suits students who:

  • will pursue further research in Buddhist Studies doctoral degree and a career in higher education
  • seek a career for which advanced knowledge of Buddhism as a global cultural force is essential
  • study religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments
  • are from traditionally Buddhist countries, willing to broaden their knowledge of Buddhism as a global religion, and to be introduced to an academic approach that is characterised both by its critical distance and empathy
  • may need to study for the MA on a part-time basis

See Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

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.

Why study MA Buddhist Studies at SOAS

  • we are World Top 50 for Arts & Humanities (QS World University Rankings 2021) - with a rate of 91.7% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2021)
  • SOAS is ranked in the top 5 universities in the UK for producing a CEO or Managing Director, according to new research
  • our Centre of Buddhist Studies convenes The Buddhist Forum, a long-standing and well reputed lecture series offering a venue for international scholars to present their latest research to a wide and interested audience
  • SOAS Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions also convenes regular lectures and seminars which frequently include Buddhist topics. The lectures and conferences organised by the Circle of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies predominantly deal with Buddhist art, literature and other aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. There are also lectures and seminars in other departments, which frequently include Buddhist topics

Explore

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in social science of humanities subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

    Please see our 'postgraduate entry requirements' page for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Featured events

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.

Fees 2021/22

UK fees:
£10,680
Overseas fees:
£21,980

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

Convenors

Structure

Structure

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.

Note to part-time students: Modules not listed as running, are likely to run in the next academic year.

For more information, please contact the programme convener.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Buddhist Studies 15PSRC990 60 Full Year
Taught Component
Module Code Credits Term
Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies 15PSRH050 15 Term 1
AND

module(s) to be selected from List A with a total value of 30 credits

AND

module to be selected from List A or B with a total value of 15 credits

AND

module(s) to be selected from List A, B or C with a total value of 30 credits

AND

module(s) from the Open Options to the value of 30 credits (subject to convenor approval)

List A
Module Code Credits Term
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 30 Full Year
Chinese Buddhism: History and Themes 15PSRH053 15 Term 1
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year
List B
Module Code Credits Term
The Great Tradition of Taoism 15PSRH036 15 Term 2
The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 30 Full Year
The Religions of Ancient India 15PSRH054 15 Term 2
List C
Languages
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese 1 A (PG) 15PJKH035 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B (PG) 15PJKH036 15 Term 2
Japanese 2 (PG) 15PJKC009 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 (PG) 15PJKC010 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 (PG) 15PJKC011 30 Full Year
Japanese 5 (PG) 15PJKC012 30 Full Year
Burmese Language 1 A (PG) 15PSEH022 15 Term 1
Burmese Language 1 B (PG) 15PSEH023 15 Term 2
Burmese Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC045 30 Full Year
Korean 1 A (PG) 15PJKH037 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B (PG) 15PJKH038 15 Term 2
Korean 3 (PG) 15PJKC013 30 Full Year
Nepali Language 1 A (PG) 15PSAH024 15 Term 2
Nepali Language 1 B (PG) 15PSAH025 15 Term 2
Nepali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC299 30 Full Year
Prakrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC309 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Language 1 A (PG) 15PSAH020 15 Term 1
Sanskrit Language 1 B (PG) 15PSAH021 15 Term 2
Sanskrit Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC306 30 Full Year
Chinese 1 A (PG) 15PCHH031 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 B (PG) 15PCHH032 15 Term 2
Chinese 2 (PG) 15PCHC011 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 (PG) 15PCHC009 30 Full Year
Chinese 4 (PG) 15PCHC012 30 Full Year
Thai Language 1 A (PG) 15PSEH024 15 Term 1
Thai Language 1 B (PG) 15PSEH025 15 Term 2
Thai Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC041 30 Full Year
Thai Language 3 (PG) 15PSEC042 30 Full Year
Vietnamese Language 1 A (PG) 15PSEH020 15 Term 1
Vietnamese Language 1 B (PG) 15PSEH021 15 Term 2
Vietnamese Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC037 30 Full Year
Relevant modules in other departments
Module Code Credits Term
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year
Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route 15PARH057 15 Term 2
Buddhist Art in a Cosmopolitan Environment: Gandharan Art and its Heritage 15PARH099 15 Term 1
Tibetan Buddhist Monuments in Context 15PARH075 15 Term 1
The Figure of the Buddha: Theory, Practice and the Making of Buddhist Art History 15PARH076 15 Term 2
Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia 15PMUH017 15 Term 2
Interpreting Visual Expressions of the Mandala 15PARH086 15 Term 2

 

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

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.

Dissertation

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.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. Moreover, every year there is a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers from around the world, allowing students to engage with cutting edge debates on contemporary politics.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2021/22 entrants, per academic year (Band 1 tuition fee) 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,680 £21,980 £5,340 £10,990 £3,560 £7,330 £5,340 £10,990

Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

For full details of postgraduate tuition fees see our postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
CSJR Postgraduate Student Bursary

Application Deadline: 2021-05-28 00:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2021-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-02-15 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2021-03-08 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2021-06-04 00:00

Xia Jing Shan/SOAS Postgraduate Bursary

Application Deadline: 2021-06-01 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

Employment

In addition to an understanding of global faiths, histories and cultures, graduates from the Department of Religions and Philosophies develop the skills to analyse and communicate ideas in a clear, rational and comprehensive manner. These key proficiencies are valuable in many careers and are transferable to a wide range of sectors and roles.

Recent Department of Religions and Philosophies graduates have been hired by:

  • Asia Society
  • British Council
  • Cabinet Office
  • Chatham House
  • Edelman
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • HELP USA
  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Princeton University
  • Royal Government of Cambodia
  • The Happiness Factory
  • The Inter Faith Network for the UK
  • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • United Nations Development Programme

Visit SOAS Careers Service

A Student's Perspective

From Indian Buddhism to Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, the diversity of the courses perfectly fitted my interests in Buddhism.

Qingniao Li

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