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Masters Degrees (Meditation)

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The thematic components and cross-regional perspectives typically suit students with the following interests and/or aspirations. - Experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shaped their traditions. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The thematic components and cross-regional perspectives typically suit students with the following interests and/or aspirations:

- Experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shaped their traditions.

- Students with a background in psychology seeking to gain knowledge of meditation and mindfulness for their clinical work.

- 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 seeking to pursue a career or professional activity for which advanced knowledge of the yoga and meditation traditions of Asia is required.

- Students who wish to pursue the academic study of these traditions as a complement to their personal experience.

This MA offers an in-depth introduction to the yogic and meditational techniques and doctrines of India, Tibet, China and Japan within the historical and cultural context of their formation. Furthermore, it explores the nature of spiritual experience that arises from yoga and meditation through a cross-cultural, inter-regional perspective.

Classes are held three evenings per week with Full-time and Part-time Study Available.

The thematic, but inter-regional, focus of this MA programme promotes the academic study of the different traditions through the deployment of a wide range of regional perspectives. Its core unit explores the methodological foundations at the heart of yoga/meditation practice. The specialist components integrated within this MA are organised to serve as platform for further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research; the more general components of the programme provides those students who do not intend to pursue doctoral research with an advanced introduction to the physiological dynamics, doctrinal foundations, history, regional context and theoretical presuppositions that shaped the traditions of yoga and meditation. The programme thus offers students (a) advanced knowledge of the background to, and understanding of, yoga and meditation, from their origin in ancient India to their apex in mediaeval Japan; (b) advanced skills in research and writing on topics that pertain to yoga/meditation, drawing on both primary sources (in translation) and secondary sources; (c) advanced skills in presentation and communication of their knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures.

This MA is taught through evening classes, typically running between 18.00h and 20.00h on weekdays, at the SOAS Russell Square Campus in Central London.

The reading materials connected to all four courses of this MA programme are largely disseminated through online resources. Essay submission takes place either in hard copy or electronically.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-traditions-of-yoga-and-meditation/

Teaching & Learning

Students are required to follow taught units to the equivalent of three full courses and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words. All courses in this MA are assessed through a combination of short and long essays. An overall percentage mark is awarded for each course, based on the marks awarded for individual assessment items within the course. The MA may be awarded at Distinction, Merit or Pass level in accordance with the common regulations for MA/MSc at SOAS.

The MA ‘Traditions of Yoga and Meditation’ is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

Programme Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge:

- Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically, locate and synthesise source materials, critically evaluate conflicting interpretations and sources, use research resources (library catalogues, journal databases, citation indices) and other traditional sources.

- Subject specific skills, for instance, text analysis, comparative investigations, interpretation of art-historical evidence, familiarity with the study of the traditions of yoga and meditation as a field of critical enquiry in its various regional and historical contexts.

- Aspects of literature in the study of yoga and meditation with its manifestations in philosophy, religion, iconography and history, as well as the impact of these traditions on religious societies.

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

- Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.

- Students will develop the capacity to discuss theoretical and epistemological issues in an articulate, informed, and intellectual manner.

- Students will learn to become precise and critical in their assessment of scholarly arguments and to question interpretations, however authoritative, in order to reassess evidence for themselves.

- Students will learn to present complex theoretical arguments clearly and creatively.

- Students will acquire both theoretical and regional expertise in order to develop and apply self-reflexive approaches to the issues raised by the cross-cultural study of yoga and meditation traditions.

Subject-based practical skills:
The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:

- Academic writing
- IT-based information retrieval and processing
- Presentational skills
- Independent study skills and research techniques
- Reflexive learning

Transferable skills:
The programme will encourage students to:

- Write concisely and with clarity.
- Effectively structure and communicate ideas (oral and written).
- Explore and assess a variety of sources for research purposes.
- Work to deadlines and high academic standards.
- Assess the validity and cogency of arguments.
- Make judgements involving complex factors.
- Develop self-reflexivity.
- Develop an awareness of the ethical complexity of representational practices.
- Question the nature of social and cultural constructs.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This part-time course, available as a PgDip or an MSc, is designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge base and set of skills which, combined with a broad range of experiential teaching, will equip them to pursue careers allied to mindfulness. Read more
This part-time course, available as a PgDip or an MSc, is designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge base and set of skills which, combined with a broad range of experiential teaching, will equip them to pursue careers allied to mindfulness.

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

The course can lead to a postgraduate diploma or an MSc, which is taught part-time over two years (18 months in the case of the PgDip). It is highly experiential, with a clear focus upon development of mindfulness practice. The course focuses on compassion alongside mindfulness and enables students to develop a deep understanding.

This course allows students to explore the varying ways in which mindfulness is taught and develop insight into teaching a variety of different groups. Students will be able to develop their own practice and learn much more about the philosophy and westernised approaches to mindfulness. The course also includes a six day teacher training retreat.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

During the first year students will be expected to reflect regularly on the development of their meditation practice, cultivating an understanding of the impact of mindfulness on their lives. Students will be introduced to a range of meditation practices and themes, and will be required to link these practices to theory and empirical research knowledge. Students will develop in-depth knowledge of the life of the Buddha and grounding in Buddhist teachings on mindfulness. Students are also introduced to the various western secular based mindfulness interventions. Students will develop a good understanding of research methods during the first year. The end of the first year involves a teacher training retreat and further development and experience in teaching mindfulness.

During the second year students are introduced to neuro-psychology with regards to mindfulness, the structural changes that occur in the brain in response to meditation. Mindfulness in a range of contexts is also introduced, including educational and a range of healthcare settings.

Those students completing an MSc will go on to develop an advanced literature review on a topic of their choice. Students will also engage in further meditation practice mainly around compassion.

HOW WILL THIS COURSE ENHANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS?

These courses are designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge base and set of skills, which combined with a broad range of experiential teaching, will equip them to pursue careers allied to mindfulness.

GLOBAL LEADERS PROGRAMME

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

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This MA Buddhist Studies course is ideal for teachers wishing to enhance their subject knowledge, and also for those working in Buddhist organisations who wish to gain a recognised qualification. Read more
This MA Buddhist Studies course is ideal for teachers wishing to enhance their subject knowledge, and also for those working in Buddhist organisations who wish to gain a recognised qualification. It is also an excellent course for those wishing to study Buddhism in its own right.

This course is delivered entirely online and in English. Learning resources and contact with tutors and fellow students will be provided through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. This enables you, wherever you are in the world, to be part of an internet-based group to study, explore and discuss Buddhism using high quality, stimulating and academically rigorous materials. This means that study and participation can be fitted flexibly around other commitments.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1378-ma-buddhist-studies

What you will study

Modules that are currently available include:

- Buddhist Traditions (compulsory)
Learn about key Buddhist concepts and practices as well as the misconceptions of Buddhism. Also, gain an insight into the history of the development of Buddhism and its main sub-traditions.

- Buddhist Ethics
Gain an understanding of Buddhist Ethics in both theory and practice across a number of different cultures.

- Buddhist Meditation and Psychology
Develop your knowledge of Buddhist meditation traditions in both theory and practice across a number of different cultures. Also, consider Western psychological perspectives on Buddhist meditation.

- Buddhist Philosophy
Learn about Buddhist philosophical traditions across a number of different cultures.

- Pali Language (numbers permitting)
Develop a solid grounding in Pali language, forming the foundation for further self-study

- Dissertation (for those progressing to MA)
A significant piece of research into an appropriate area of study.

Learning and teaching methods

This course is delivered entirely by distance learning. The learning resources and contact with tutors and fellow students are provided on the internet through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment.
- Certificate: 1 Year
- Diploma: 2 years
- Masters: 3 years

Those with a therapy background may be interested in exiting with a Postgraduate Certificate in Buddhist Studies by pursuing only the Buddhist Traditions and Buddhist Meditation and Psychology modules. To achieve the Postgraduate Diploma you need to complete four modules over two years. If you then wish to progress to the full Masters you must complete a dissertation which will take an additional year.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

This course will provide you with advanced level skills and knowledge related to Buddhism, and also forms an excellent basis for those wishing to pursue further academic study in the field.

Assessment methods

Assessment is mostly through coursework, submitted online. There are non-invigilated timed examinations for the Pali Language module.

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This programme is unique in that it enables students to embark on a personal 'spiritual' journey, which incorporates all three facets of life. Read more
This programme is unique in that it enables students to embark on a personal 'spiritual' journey, which incorporates all three facets of life: Mind, Body and Spirit. It will examine the challenge of successfully re-integrating these aspects into everyday life including your professional work.

It will question rationality and seek to develop integral non-linear methods. The programme will explore the study of consciousness and the transpersonal as well as the different aspects of spirituality, bodywork, meditation and breathwork.

You will be looking for transformation, expansion of thinking, self-discovery, personal growth, development of creativity and formation of new perspectives.

During the first two years there will be residential workshops, to enable you to explore deeper with others to support exploration of self. And in the third year there will be an opportunity to carry out your own research study.

This degree does not orientate participants in anyone particular direction but enables the student to seek 'their own path' through a 'transpersonal learning experience'. The main areas covered include transpersonal psychology, eco-psychology, emerging spirituality, consciousness’ studies, positive and humanistic psychology plus exploration into bodywork, breathe work and meditation studies.

We hope that graduates will see themselves and the world in a bigger perspective, with valuable skills and knowledge to advance their chosen field and be part of a possible paradigm shift.

Faculty
Professors, teachers and a spiritual master from across the globe.
Refer to prospectus for further details: http://www.pdf.net/pathways.html

Flexible On-line Study to suit your Lifestyle
This programme is offered on-line via webinars and live discussions. Some daytime and residential workshops are included in the programme, giving you the opportunity to experience experiential practices and met fellow ‘pathways’ candidates. You will be expected to carry out your own spiritual journey and practices, including meditation.

Award Body: Middlesex University UK via Professional Development International

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The MA in Religion provides advanced study of the religious traditions of both the West and Asia. The programme offers two pathways. Read more
The MA in Religion provides advanced study of the religious traditions of both the West and Asia. The programme offers two pathways:
-Buddhist Studies
-Theology and Religious Studies

These reflect the expertise in the Department of Religion and Theology and allow you to study various religious traditions with scholars who are world-renowned experts in those fields.

Programme structure

Students follow one of two pathways, taking units worth 180 credit points.

BUDDHIST STUDIES PATHWAY
Core units (40 credit points):
-Buddhism: the Foundations (20 credit points)

Plus one of the following language units (20 credit points):
-Introductory Sanskrit I
-Classical Chinese
-Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit (only available to students with one year of Sanskrit)

NB: Not all languages will be taught each year

Optional units (80 credit points total; 20 credit points each). Optional units can vary each year but may include:
-Introductory Sanskrit 2
-Buddhism: The Mahayana Tradition
-The Practice of Theravada Buddhism in Asia
-Aspects of Chinese Buddhism
-Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
-The Origins and Development of Zen Buddhism
-Yoga and Meditation
-Supervised Individual Study (on an aspect of Buddhism not covered by other units)
-An open MA unit chosen from those available in the Faculty of Arts

Dissertation
You will engage in supervised research on a topic of your choice and submit a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words.

THEOLOGY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES PATHWAY
Core units
-Buddhism: The Foundations (20 credit points)
-History of Christianity: Core Texts (20 credit points)

Optional units (80 credit points total; 20 credit points each)
-Medieval Mystics and Visionaries in Medieval England
-Reflection on Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Society
-Alchemy, Magic and Science in Early Modernity
-The Renaissance and the Rise of the Modern Age
-Reflection on Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Society
-Greek Language Level A
-Latin Language Level A
-Jesus in an Age of Colonialism
-Ancient Jewish Novels
-Atheism
-Buddhism: The Mahayana Tradition
-The Origins and Development of Zen Buddhism
-Yoga and Meditation
-Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
-An open MA unit chosen from those available across the Faculty of Arts.

Dissertation
You will engage in supervised research on a topic of your choice and submit a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words.

Careers

Students who complete this MA programme have taken up many different careers, including academic research, social work, banking and industry, counselling and teaching, design, journalism, film and the arts.

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This two-year part-time course offers experienced clinicians and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds a unique opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Read more
This two-year part-time course offers experienced clinicians and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds a unique opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Our aim is to foster a community of practitioners with the expertise to deliver high quality MBCT to patients, and to contribute to the development and dissemination of this innovative approach to mental and physical healthcare.

The course is offered by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education. Successful completion of the course leads to an award of a Master of Studies by the University of Oxford.

Oxford has been internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in cognitive therapy (CT) research, treatment development and dissemination for nearly 20 years. It has an unusually rich concentration of acknowledged experts in CT and a first class reputation for providing high quality training courses and clinical supervision. A growing team of Oxford clinicians and researchers now specialise in MBCT, and have successfully developed and delivered a range of MBCT training events, including introductory workshops, masterclasses, residential training retreats, a foundational training course, and a Master of Studies degree course. The Masters programme was initiated by Professor Mark Williams, one of the founders of MBCT, and the team includes Professor William Kuyken, a leading figure in the development of MBCT and the current Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/mst-in-mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy

The Rationale for the Course

MBCT was developed by John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal as a manualised, class-based skills training programme for people with recurrent depression. It integrates elements of cognitive therapy with intensive practice of mindfulness meditation, with the aim of helping people to relate differently to pain and distress. Randomised clinical trials support its efficacy in preventing relapse in people who have experienced repeated episodes of depression, and it is now recommended in the guidelines of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a cost-effective treatment of choice for this increasingly common problem.

Because its central principles are transdiagnostic, MBCT holds promise as a helpful intervention in a wide range of settings and with a broad range of problem areas, both physical and emotional. Preliminary research suggests that mindfulness-based approaches can be helpful to patients with problems as diverse as chronic pain, psoriasis, cancer, health anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, stress, generalised anxiety disorder, psychosis and bipolar disorder where there is a history of suicidal thoughts or behaviour.

MBCT has attracted a great deal of interest within the mental health and behavioural medicine communities. However opportunities to extend preliminary learning and to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming aneffective teacher are limited. This means that practitioners wishing to use the approach with their clients have great difficulty in accessing appropriate training and supervision. The Oxford course is designed to address this need. It offers an opportunity for in-depth learning, and aims to create a body of clinicians with the knowledge and skills they require in order to teach, develop and disseminate MBCT effectively.

Programme details

The course is taught, part-time, over two years, and is organised in nine three-day teaching blocks (held in Oxford) and three residential training retreats (four days and seven days in Year I and seven days in Year II). In addition to the taught component, students will need to set aside 6-7 hours per week for private study, personal practice of MBCT, completion of written assignments. Participants on courses with similar demands confirms that this time is crucial to completing the course successfully.

On successful completion of the taught components of the course and associated assignments, the award of the Master's degree is made by the University of Oxford, under the aegis of its Continuing Education Board.

Course Content

The course addresses the theoretical basis of MBCT, including relevant aspects of cognitive and clinical psychology, as well as aspects of Buddhist psychology and philosophy on which MBCT draws. It also provides opportunities for students to develop the practical skills they need in order to translate knowledge and understanding into competent MBCT practice, that is, students are expected to develop for themselves the understanding and skills they will be teaching to patients. (This is analogous to the requirement for experience of personal therapy in the education of psychodynamic psychotherapists).

The course covers four main topic areas:

- Theory, including: relevant cognitive science (e.g. attention, memory, judgement, metacognition, executive function); clinical theory (e.g. cognitive theories of the development and maintenance of emotional disorder and the principles underlying MBCT); relevant aspects of Buddhist psychology and philosophy and their contribution to MBCT

- Research related to the ongoing development of MBCT, and investigating the areas of theory outlined above

- Clinical applications in a range of problem areas, for example, depression, chronic fatigue, pain, psychosis and borderline personality disorder

- Practice including the development of personal experience of mindfulness meditation, the capacity to relate this experience to theory and research, and the skills needed to instruct patients/clients in MBCT, drawing on relevant theory, research and clinical literature

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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. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

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.

Email:

Phone: 020 7898 4217

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/

Structure

Overview:
1. Students take taught courses (half and/or full units) equivalent to three units in total from the list of taught courses.

2. The 4th and final unit is a Dissertation.

3. Languages: Students in the MA Religions of Asia and Africa may substitute one of their taught courses for a language course (most are taught in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures).

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

Programme Specification

MA Religions of Asia and Africa Programme Specification 2012-13 (msword; 223kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/file80695.doc

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 (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at SOAS, University of London. The Faculty is home to the departments of Anthropology & Sociology, Art & Archaeology, History, Music, Study of Religions and the Centre for Media Studies, as well as a number of subject specific Centres.

The study of arts and humanities has been central to SOAS activity since 1917. All Faculty staff are specialists in regions as well as disciplines, and all subjects taught at undergraduate level within the Faculty can be combined with other disciplines across the School. Indeed, the range of course options and combinations is a distinctive characteristic of studying at SOAS, with the option of studying language units included within all our degrees.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Music, which was already ranked highly, has risen to 5th in the UK, with over half of its publications judged ‘world-leading’; History of Art and Archaeology has seen a dramatic rise up the league tables, from 17th to 8th (out of 25), coming in the top 5 nationally for the quality of its publications. This is just one indication of the international importance of the research activity carried out by academic staff, and staff research provides the basis of teaching activity in the Faculty.

At postgraduate level the Faculty is committed to providing stimulating courses that enable students to study particular countries or regions in depth, and to explore comparisons and contrasts across the major areas of Asia and Africa. The programmes are designed to provide students with the knowledge they need to understand the nature of other societies and cultures, and to form ideas about the past, present and future of the complex and multicultural world in which we all live.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is in the first place a rewarding cultural and human experience. It is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is in the first place a rewarding cultural and human experience. It 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 two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language course will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa at SOAS is 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. It is strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, offering advanced learning in the theory of religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions.

It provides a 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.

It can also be taken with an intensive language pathway over two years, therefore making this programme unique in Europe.

For the Japanese pathway please see the webpage for the Japanese pathway of the programme and contact the MA convenor of that pathway for further information on the language component. Further information on entry level language requirements can be found on the programme page at: http://www.soas.ac.uk/japankorea/programmes/ma-and-intensive-language-japanese/

The Korean pathway is designed for beginner learners of Korean. Students with prior knowledge of Korean are advised to contact the programme convenor, Dr Anders Karlsson (). Students will take four course units in the Korean language, one of them at a Korean university during the summer after year 1.

The Arabic pathway is designed for beginner learners of Arabic. Students will take four units of Arabic, one of them at the Qasid Institute in Jordan or another partner institution during the summer after year 1. Programme convenor: Dr Mustafa Shah ()

Email:

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-religions-of-asia-and-africa-and-intensive-language/

Structure

Students are generally required to follow taught units to the equivalent of three full courses (which may include one language course), and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words.

In the two-year language pathway, students take 2 intensive language units and one discipline unit in their first year. During the summer, they will participate in a summer school abroad (location dependant on language). Upon their return, they will take one intensive language unit in their second year and two discipline units.

Programme Specification

MA Religions of Asia and Africa and Intensive Language Programme Specification (pdf; 300kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-religions-of-asia-and-africa-and-intensive-language/file93574.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Aims and Outcomes:

- Advanced knowledge and understanding of selected approaches, methods and theories in the study of religions, with particular reference to the religious traditions of Asia and Africa.

- Advanced skills in researching and writing about topics in religious studies, also as a platform for further research at doctoral level.

- Advanced skills in presentation or communication of knowledge and understanding of topics in religious studies.

- Specialisation in one area from among those covered by the units listed in the programme structure.

- In the two-year pathway, the student will also be provided with a near proficient ability in a language.

Knowledge:

- Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically, locate and synthesise source materials, critically evaluate conflicting interpretations and sources, use research resources (library catalogues, journal databases, citation indices) and other relevant traditional sources.

- Subject specific skills, such as manuscript transcription, textual bibliography, the editing of texts; familiarity with the study of religions as an academic field of study and its varieties.

- Aspects of literature in the Study of Religions, philosophy, learning, iconography and history, the impact of religion on society.

- Acquisition of language skills.

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

- Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.

- Students will develop the capacity to discuss theoretical and epistemological issues in an articulate, informed, and intellectual manner.

- Students will learn to become precise and critical in their assessment of scholarly arguments and to question interpretations, however authoritative, in order to reassess evidence for themselves.

- Students will learn to present complex theoretical arguments clearly and creatively.

- Those students who take a language option should be able to assess primary sources in foreign languages and critically evaluate interpretations proposed by different scholars.

- Students will acquire both theoretical and regional expertise in order to develop and apply self-reflexive approaches to the issues raised by the cross-cultural study of religions.

Subject-based practical skills:
The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:

- Academic writing.

- IT-based information retrieval and processing.

- Presentational skills.

- Examination techniques.

- Independent study skills and research techniques.

- Reflexive learning.

- In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language

Transferable skills:
The programme will encourage students to:

- Write concisely and with clarity.

- Effectively structure and communicate ideas (oral and written).

- Explore and assess a variety of sources for research purposes.

- Work to deadlines and high academic standards.

- Assess the validity and cogency of arguments.

- Make judgements involving complex factors.

- Develop self-reflexivity.

- Develop an awareness of the ethical complexity of representational practices.

- Question the nature of social and cultural constructs.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The Reading for Life MSc, the first of its kind in the country, is concerned with the wider and deeper ways in which serious creative literature ‘finds’ people, emotionally and imaginatively, by offering living models and visions of human troubles and human possibilities. Read more
The Reading for Life MSc, the first of its kind in the country, is concerned with the wider and deeper ways in which serious creative literature ‘finds’ people, emotionally and imaginatively, by offering living models and visions of human troubles and human possibilities.

The programme uses books of all kinds – novels, poetry, drama, essays in philosophy and theology – and books from all periods – from Shakespeare to the present to help you to develop the ability, the confidence and enthusiasm to use all literature as a form of personal time-travel and meditation. You will also learn how, in turn, you may re-create this process for others, through the formation of equivalent reading-groups based on the innovative and successful shared read aloud project run in various locations across the country (schools, hostels for homeless people, community libraries, day centres for the elderly, rehabilitation and drop-in centres, prisons) by the award-winning charity, The Reader.

The programme is run part-time over two years at our Liverpool campus and is available to be studied on a CPD basis at our London campus.

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Learn how to promote and preserve human virtues, strengths and skills that are at the heart of happiness, wellbeing and a meaningful and socially engaged life. Read more

Learn how to promote and preserve human virtues, strengths and skills that are at the heart of happiness, wellbeing and a meaningful and socially engaged life.

  • Theory-led and evidence-based approach to promoting wellbeing covering the breadth of Positive Psychology
  • Taught by leading experts in the field
  • Provides opportunities to deeply engage with a positive psychology topic of your choice
  • Offers a strong practice-based perspective
  • Encourages the development of sustained mindfulness meditation practice


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