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Masters Degrees (Sanskrit)

We have 7 Masters Degrees (Sanskrit)

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With interest growing in India’s creative literature and Indian philosophy, linguistics and literary criticism, the study of Sanskrit is becoming vitally important. Read more

Research profile

With interest growing in India’s creative literature and Indian philosophy, linguistics and literary criticism, the study of Sanskrit is becoming vitally important.

We are the only research department of this kind in Scotland, and one of only four in the UK. The latest Research Assessment Exercise confirmed the international significance of the work being undertaken by our staff and postgraduate students.

You will be part of a community committed to exploring the linguistic and cultural aspects of this fascinating language.

We can offer you supervision in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Pali language and literature, as well as links with the School of Divinity, if your area of interest includes the study of religions such as classical Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism. Purely linguistic research can also benefit from links with the Translation Studies area.

Our current areas of interest include:

Jainism
Prakrit language and literature
Sanskrit literature and literary theory
Theravada Buddhism

We also serve as the base for the Centre for South Asian Studies, through which various aspects of modern South Asia can be studied under the supervision of staff in several arts and social sciences departments. In addition, you will be encouraged to attend any undergraduate or masters courses you see as being appropriate to your research.

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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 MPhil is by dissertation only. It aims to give students an opportunity to develop their analytical, research and writing skills in preparation for further academic research or as a way to complement and enrich their interest in the Indian religious and intellectual traditions. Read more
This MPhil is by dissertation only. It aims to give students an opportunity to develop their analytical, research and writing skills in preparation for further academic research or as a way to complement and enrich their interest in the Indian religious and intellectual traditions. The dissertation-only format entails working closely with one supervisor throughout the year on a dissertation to be submitted in mid-August.

The dissertation will be on a subject approved by the Degree Committee, and has a word limit of 25,000, including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography. An oral examination on the thesis and on the general field in which it falls will be required.

We strongly encourage prospective applicants to discuss their particular interests with one of the potential supervisors before applying.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/amammpsar

Course detail

At the end of the MPhil programme, students will be expected to have:

- acquired the ability to read, interpret and translate primary sources in Sanskrit (and/or Pali/Prakrit);
- acquired a good knowledge of the general scholarship on pre-modern South Asian culture(s);
- acquired an in-depth knowledge of the secondary literature relevant to the subject of their dissertation;
- developed the ability to formulate original research questions and produce a well-constructed, argument to answer them, in the form of an independent piece of research based on the use of primary and secondary sources;
- acquired the skills to use library and internet resources independently.

Format

Even though there are no taught courses, students taking the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (South Asian Studies) may attend a weekly graduate seminar and other reading groups with PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, thus having an opportunity to interact with their peers and seniors in a supportive environment. They may also receive training in codicology, manuscriptology, and other skills. Where relevant, they are also encouraged to attend advanced undergraduate lectures and language courses. Students can also benefit from access to Hindi language literary sources under the guidance of the Faculty's Teaching Officer in Hindi.

All prospective MPhil applicants are advised to peruse the staff profiles on our website to familiarise themselves with the research and teaching interests of staff members. Applicants should contact prospective supervisors by email and discuss potential MPhil dissertation topics.

Assessment

For the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (South Asian Studies), students will submit a thesis of not more than 25,000 words, including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography on a subject approved by the Degree Committee. All MPhil dissertations must include a brief Abstract at the start of the dissertation of no more than 400 words.

Those students who take the MPhil by research will be required to take a viva examination.

Continuing

Applicants for the PhD will be expected to have scored at least 67% or above (or the equivalent from an overseas University) in their Master's degree which should be related to the PhD programme they wish to pursue. All applicants should submit with their GRADSAF (graduate application) a workable and interesting research proposal and demonstrate that they have the required academic knowledge and skills to carry out their project.

Admission is at the discretion of the Degree Committee, which judges each graduate applicant on his or her own merits and in accordance with its own set rules and regulations.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) -

NB: Applicants should check the Faculty's website before the academic year 2016 - 2017 is due to start to see if AHRC funding is available to apply for. Home PhD and MPhil students and EU students who satisfy home residency criteria may be eligible for a full studentship which covers the University Composition Fee and College Fees plus an annual maintenance stipend. EU students are eligible for a fees-only award.

Further information: http://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/fees-and-funding/funding/ahrc-funded-students

- Rapson Scholarship in Indian and Iranian Studies -

Grants are offered for postgraduate research in Indian and Iranian Studies, but preference is given to applicants who use Sanskrit, Pali or Avestan sources for their research. The value of the scholarship will be determined by the Electors after taking account of any other financial resources available to the applicant. The maximum award is equivalent to University and College fees at the home/EU rate for up to three years. Both MPhil and PhD applicants will be considered for this scholarship.

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The Programme focuses on the study and research of the ancient religions, languages and great texts of China. Read more
The Programme focuses on the study and research of the ancient religions, languages and great texts of China. Students will study the ‘ancient wisdom’ of China, which is of great cultural significance and is increasingly seen as relevant to contemporary concerns, such as personal and societal well-being and sustainability.

Course Overview

This Programme will focus on advanced-level engagement with (Classical Chinese) Buddhist texts and the spiritual, cultural and political values and practices that they embody.

Modules will focus on enhancing understanding of Classical Chinese and methodologies such as textual criticism, commentary, and textual analysis, also aspects of Sanskrit and the communication of Buddhist texts through Sanskrit.

This will be followed by modules which are thematically organised around the study of key texts from within The Complete Library of the Four Branches Literature and The Essence Encyclopaedia of the Four Branches of Literature. Textual study modules are thematically focused, and will consider the issues such as the origins and content of key texts, and the history and developments in translation, commentary and reception of them.

Chinese Buddhist Scriptural Studies: the Sutras (SICH7005) will focus upon the value systems and philosophical ideas contained within the (Chinese) Buddhist Sutras, and translations and annotations of and on key texts. Engaging with the Chinese Buddhist Eight Schools (SICH7007) will focus on selected texts from the Eight Schools, concentrating in any given year on one or two Schools and the ideas they contain. Interpretation of The Four Books (SICH7002) will focus on the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, the Confucian Analects, and the Book of Mencius. Readings from the Governing Principles of Ancient China (SICH7003) will focus on the key Sinological texts.

An additional module, namely, Classical Chinese Texts in English (SICH7004), enables students to engage in a detailed study of the reception of Buddhism and its different traditions in the West and particularly in the English-speaking world, and to develop translation, annotation and commentary skills on Classical Chinese texts in English.

Building on the taught part of the Programme, the Dissertation (SICH7015) element allows the student to complete a detailed critical commentary of a Classical Chinese text; or to complete a shorter textual commentary Project (SICH7016) and to deliver and reflect upon a ‘teaching placement’ activity derived from this textual work.

Modules

-SICH7001 Research Methodologies for the Study of Sinology
-SICH7002 Interpretation of The Four Books
-SICH7003 Readings from the Governing Principles of Ancient China
-SICH7005 Chinese Buddhist Scriptural Studies: the Sutras
-SICH7007 Engaging with the Chinese Buddhist Eight Schools
-SICH7004 Classical Chinese Texts in English
-SICH7015 Dissertation
-SICH7016 Project

Key Features

The MA in Chinese Buddhist Textual Studies will have a special appeal to those students who wish to study ancient Chinese texts, to develop a rich and deep knowledge of traditional Chinese Classical texts; and to apply this knowledge to their own lives and those of others.

Students will have the opportunity to learn from the best in the subject and to study using the unique pedagogic approach derived from the 'Royal Great Learning’ (皇家太学) educational model, which relies upon intensive textual study and reflection.

Students will study at the Academy of Sinology at UWTSD, a newly established Academy in Lampeter which focuses upon training for Sage teachers, who through example will have a real impact on society via their own daily moral practices and teaching activities.

Studying at UWTSD Lampeter:
-The University’s Royal Charter is the oldest in England and Wales after the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
-His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales became our royal patron in 2011
-The university’s campus, situated in the rural town of Lampeter, has a friendly environment created by staff and students
-The region of South West Wales, where our campus is based, is a much lower cost of living than some of the larger UK cities and London.

Assessment

An MA degree in Chinese Buddhist Textual Studies involves a wide range of assessment methods. Assessment will be both English medium and in the medium of Ancient Chinese, dependent on the particular module being studied.

Assessment methods include essays, translation into modern Chinese or English, translation with annotation or critical commentary, oral presentation, teaching placement portfolio and, of course, the dissertation.

This variety of assessment helps develop skills in presenting material in clear, professional and a lucid manner, whether orally or in writing.

Career Opportunities

Possible employment roles for graduates from this programme include:
-Teachers and educators in a range of settings in both China and the UK
-Academic researchers in traditional texts and ancient Chinese texts
-Translation work
-Educational administration and policy
-Ethical business and commercial ventures
-Community work and initiatives
-Voluntary and travel industries
-Heritage conservation; archive and museum work
-Corporate and personal coaches/trainers in ancient Chinese ‘wisdom’ and life skills

The expected employability skills gained by graduates from these programmes are: advanced information handling and communication skills; high levels of self and project management; the practical application of high level skills in textual analysis and interpretation.

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This programme provides the opportunity to study a variety of religious traditions, in combination with advanced learning in the theory and method of the study of religion. Read more

This programme provides the opportunity to study a variety of religious traditions, in combination with advanced learning in the theory and method of the study of religion.

Religious beliefs, behaviours and institutions are powerful components in human societies. Understanding their motivations and structures can help the search for solutions to major challenges in the contemporary world.

This programme allows a deepening engagement with theory and method in religious studies, while encouraging in-depth study of one or more religious traditions. This combination of theoretical know-how with studies in specific traditions equips you to compare, interpret and explain religion in a cross-cultural perspective.

You can study Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Indian traditions, as well as indigenous religions of Africa, North America and East Asia, and new age and diasporic traditions. The programme also offers the opportunity to learn Sanskrit, Arabic or Persian (subject to availability) through our expertise in Asian Studies and in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

Programme structure

This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses comprise Theory and Method in the Study of Religion; one further course from the options specific to this programme; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least one must be a course in religious studies, such as:

  • Contemporary Theories of Religion
  • Hindu Traditions: Critical Investigations
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Christian-Muslim Relations
  • New Age Spirituality in Contemporary Culture

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.



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Our MA in Religious Studies allows you to specialise in one of two pathways. Asian Religions or Late Antiquity. Late Antiquity Pathway. Read more
Our MA in Religious Studies allows you to specialise in one of two pathways: Asian Religions or Late Antiquity.

Late Antiquity Pathway:

On this pathway you will discover the great religious and cultural transformations of Late Antiquity - the landmark period when contemporary world faiths emerged. This pathway draws on internationally-recognised expertise in Religion from Late Antiquity to the contemporary era, across a wide geographical area, and with sensitivity to issues in the public eye. Acquiring advanced theological, historical and linguistic skills, you will analyse major texts and artefacts of the period (200 - 800AD) to better understand the major world religions. Drawing on the concentration of expertise found in the Centre for Late Antique Religion and Culture, you will explore religions such as Paganism, Gnosticism and Zoroastrianism. A highlight is the availability of Arabic, Greek or Latin teaching for deeper understanding of original sources.

Asian Religions Pathway:

This pathway allows you to explore the religious literature and culture of South Asia or China in combination or isolation in this specialist programme. You will be rooted within the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia, with expertise ranging from Chinese Buddhism to the study of the ancient Indian religious tradition of Jainism. At the heart of the UK’s largest single concentration of Mahabharata scholars, you also have the rewarding option of gaining a firm grounding in the classical Indian language of Sanskrit if you wish.

Distinctive features

• Teaching by internationally renowned experts and informed by the latest research of our Centres for the History of Religion in Asia and Late Antique Religion and Culture.

• The opportunity to engage in postgraduate research culture, by participating in Research Centre activities

• Designed to be flexible to your interests.

Structure

This course can be completed in 1 year with full-time study or in 3 years with part-time study.

You will take a mixture of core and optional modules totalling 120 credits over two (full-time) or four (part-time) semesters.

On successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to your dissertation (60 credits), researching and writing a dissertation (20,000 words) on a topic or theme of your choice in consultation with your academic supervisor.

Teaching

Classes are delivered via small student-focussed tutorials rather than formal lectures, and with individual interests and flexibility in mind.

As part of the programme, you will be encouraged to deliver presentations to your fellow MA students within our supportive community.

Assessment

Assessment is via written assignments of approximately 4,000 words, and language exams if you specialise in language study.

Career Prospects

This programme is essentially a research preparation programme. Graduates from this programme have successfully applied for funded places as PhD students. Beyond that, this programme also enhances the skills and knowledge base acquired through a first degree in Religious Studies. Previous graduates have therefore successfully embarked on careers in a range of employment, such as religious organisations, primary and secondary teaching, print and broadcasting media, and higher education administration and management.

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