Language Centre

Sanskrit Reading Course 1

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Course aim

This course is intended to be an introduction to Sanskrit literature, presupposing an ability to understand basic Sanskrit grammar and to read the devanāgarī script, and are not suitable for those who are new to the study of Sanskrit. For those who have not studied Sanskrit up to and including the Pre-Intermediate level at SOAS Language Centre, it is necessary to email the admin team at at least two weeks before the start of the course in order to request an assessment for entry to this course.

Sanskrit Reading 1 aims to develop confidence in the ability to analyse and to critically appreciate selected texts from various phases and genres of Sanskrit. These are studied within their historical and literary contexts.

Students will be asked to undertake translation of extracts from original Sanskrit texts and to discuss their literary merits in class. Students will also be expected to give presentations on the issues arising from the texts studied in class. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


The course will be delivered through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.

Online course requirements

Please ensure you have checked our Learner Support information.


The chosen texts may vary from year to year. An in-house produced booklet of materials with all the texts and exercises needed for this course (all terms) will be provided for students for a small extra charge. Students will be advised of this once the class is confirmed.

Entry requirements

For applicants who are not currently students of Sanskrit through the Language Centre, entry to the course is by assessment only. Applicants must email the admin team at to arrange for an assessment at least two weeks before the start of the course.

Please note, that each term, courses are subject to quorum requirements.

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Overview of course contents

  1. Madana-Dahana - the death by conflagration of the god of love (TERM 1, Oct - Dec)
  2. Rati-Vilaap - the piteous lamentation of Rati, the wife of the god of love (TERM 2, Jan - Mar)
  3. The Austerities of Parvati, and the concomitant yielding of ShivS (TERM 3, Apr - July)

Important notice

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes. However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

See the full list of Language Centre short courses in Sanskrit on the Sanskrit homepage

Related information

Back to the Language Centre