SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Diploma in Sanskrit

Minimum Entry Requirements: A-levels in Sanskrit (or a comparable proficiency in Sanskrit, to be assessed at interview).

2 years (part-time)

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


The aim of the Diploma in Sanskrit is to provide a programme of study at advanced undergraduate level for students who want to continue their Sanskrit studies at university, but do not want to register for the half-degree (which would have to be combined with another subject and would start at the beginners' level).

It is designed for adult students who have completed the Cambridge International A Level (or equivalent) and thus have sufficient language proficiency to enter the second year of the BA Sanskrit degree; who are in daily employment but who desire or need university qualifications in Sanskrit; and who expect normal degree level teaching by fully qualified and experienced staff.

More information

How to apply

Applicants for undergraduate certificates and diplomas should be made directly to SOAS. Complete the online application at

Aims and objectives

To provide teaching in Sanskrit, as available in year 2 and 3 of the undergraduate programme.


A total of four units, taken from the BA half-degree syllabus provided for the second and third year.

Two courses from the following lists:
Year 1: 
Year 2:


In order to accommodate regular B.A. students as well as adult students in daily employment, class hours would have to be scheduled in the late afternoon (between 4-7 p.m.).

Pre Entry Reading

  • C. R. Lanman, A Sanskrit reader. Cambridge, Mass., 1884 (repr. Delhi).
  • O. Böhtlingk, Sanskrit-Chrestomathie. Leipzig 1909 (repr. Darmstadt 1967).
  • A.F. Stenzler, Primer of the Sanskrit language, transl. R. Söhnen-Thieme. SOAS 1992 (revised ed. SOAS 1997).
  • D.D. Whitney, Sanskrit Grammar, 2nd ed. Harvard, Mass., 1888 [repr. Delhi 1983].
  • J.S. Speijer, Sanskrit syntax. Leiden 1886 [reprint Delhi 1988].
  • M. Monier-Williams, A dictionary English and Sanskrit. Fourth Indian edition, Delhi 1976.
  • A.B. Keith, A history of Sanskrit literature. Oxford 1928.
  • M.Winternitz, History of Indian literature, vol. 1. Engl. transl. Calcutta 1927 (repr. Delhi 1987). Vol. 3, pt.1-2. Delhi 1963-67.