SOAS University of London

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

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.

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
£9,225
Overseas fees:
£18,980

Fees for 2018/19 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

2018 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.

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

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

FROM 2017-18

Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

Select the equivalent of FIVE Modules comprising full (1.0 OR 30 credits) and half (0.5 OR 15 credits) Modules including the dissertation.

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.

Convenors

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 must complete 120 credits of MA taught modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation (60 credits).
  2. Up to 90 credits modules must be selected from the religious pathways listed below.
  3. Up to 30 credits modules may be selected as a language module (most are taught in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures).

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

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.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Buddhist Studies 15PSRC990 60 Full Year
Dissertation in Gender Studies and Religion 15PSRC992 60 Full Year
Dissertation in Indian Religions 15PSRC993 60 Full Year
Dissertation in Japanese Religions 15PSRC994 60 Full Year
Dissertation in the Christianities of Asia and Africa 15PSRC991 60 Full Year
Dissertation in the Study of Islam 15PSRC995 60 Full Year
Dissertation in the Study of Religions 15PSRC999 60 Full Year
Buddhism
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Basic Pali (PG) 15PSRC176 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Buddhism in Tibet 15PSRH008 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 30 Full Year
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Features of Buddhist Monasticism 15PSRH014 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
History and Doctrines of Indian Buddhism 15PSRC059 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 15 Term 1
Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 15 Term 2
Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Pali: Intermediate Level 15PSRC053 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
The Buddhist Conquest of Central Asia 15PSRH009 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Chinese Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Chinese Buddhism in Pre-Modern Period 15PSRH053 15 Term 2
Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar 15PSRH038 15 Term 2
Contemporary Islamism in South Asia: Readings in Sayyid Abu al-A'la Mawdudi 15PSRC170 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
The Great Tradition of Taoism 15PSRH036 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Christianity
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Colonialism and Christian Missions in Africa: Readings from the Archives 15PSRH043 15 Term 2
Eastern and Orthodox Christianity 15PSRC055 30 Full Year
Eastern Christian Texts On Martyrs and Monks 15PSRC054 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Christians and Muslims in Syriac Texts 15PSRC175 30 Full Year
East Asian Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Gender and Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Judaism and Gender 15PSRH029 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Indian Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 30 Full Year
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 - Not Running 2017/18
Islam
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Contemporary Islamism in South Asia: Readings in Sayyid Abu al-A'la Mawdudi 15PSRC170 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Modern Muslim Thinkers of South Asia 15PSRC169 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Modern Trends in Islam 15PNMC228 30 Full Year
Muslim Britain: Perspectives and Realities 15PSRC158 30 Full Year
Jainism
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Jainism: History, Doctrine and the Contemporary World 15PSRC024 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Non-Violence in Jain Scriptures, Philosophy and Law 15PSRC062 30 Full Year
Prakrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC309 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Japanese Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Judaism
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Family, Work and Leisure in Ancient Judaism 15PSRH027 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Jewishness on Screen 15PSRH044 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Judaism and Gender 15PSRH029 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman Period 15PSRC072 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Religion, Nationhood and Ethnicity in Judaism 15PSRH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
The Holocaust in Theology, Literature and Art 15PSRH028 15 Term 1
Multi-religious/comparative courses
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Death and Religion 15PSRC162 30 Full Year
Mystical Traditions 15PSRC068 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Myth and Mythmaking 15PSRC164 - Not Running 2017/18
Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Mysticism
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Mystical Traditions 15PSRC068 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Religion in Africa
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Colonialism and Christian Missions in Africa: Readings from the Archives 15PSRH043 15 Term 2
Theoretical Approaches
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Myth and Mythmaking 15PSRC164 - Not Running 2017/18
Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Zoroastrianism
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Avestan I 15PSRC033 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Pahlavi Language 15PSRC034 30 Full Year
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 - Not Running 2017/18
Courses taught in other Departments
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 15 Term 1

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Scholarships
CSJR Postgraduate Student Bursary

Application Deadline: 2018-06-04 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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

Employment

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.

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

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    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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