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The Sequential Design/Illustration MA attracts new and established illustrators, artists and designers from all over the world who are keen to explore the principles of sequence within their chosen field and make them visible through a variety of forms. Read more
The Sequential Design/Illustration MA attracts new and established illustrators, artists and designers from all over the world who are keen to explore the principles of sequence within their chosen field and make them visible through a variety of forms.

These forms have included written and illustrated books for children and adults, interactive design, film, graphic novels, stage and exhibition design, animation, book arts, narrative textiles, experimental writing, product design and even community projects that encourage social development through storytelling.

In its 25-year history, this course has built on the gathered knowledge and experience of its staff and students to cover topics that are relevant to all MA students interested in storytelling, visual narrative and delivering complex sequential messages.

Recent graduate work – ranging from a biography of Edith Sitwell to a series of calendars made from human hair – demonstrates the diversity of individual research. Other students have examined the legacy of recipes, the secret language of headscarves, the parallels between quantum physics and Taoism as demonstrated through a detective novel, and the role of plumage in communication.

Course structure

You can study on a part-time or full-time basis:

• Part-time, for two years, is designed to fit in with your professional life and allows more time for reflection. Part-time students work on the course for two days a week – one day on site and one day working independently.

• Full-time, for one year, is an intensive year of study. You work four days a week: two days with the course and two days independently.

Lectures, seminars, reviews and assessments are held at fixed times on Wednesdays. Other patterns of attendance vary according to individual circumstances. During holidays you will be engaged in independent study.

Your work will be predominantly project based, which may comprise of one or more parts focusing on a central theme or idea. A single project or investigation will in most cases sustain a student through the entire duration of the course, but at stage assessment, in consultation with tutors, it may naturally evolve into a new or related area of study.

The nature of the subject demands the continual interaction between research, analysis, and practical realisation, as well as an extended period of development for ideas to become fully meaningful. Throughout this investigation you will receive support and guidance from the course tutors.

Areas of study

As the course develops, there is increasing opportunity for independent and self-directed work, though each student is allocated a personal tutor who oversees the planning and content of individual projects. Besides practice-based work, the course also includes a written element in which you will be asked to reflect critically on the research and development of your project.

The Visual Narrative module includes lectures, themed group events and small practical activities such as the Surprise Project, where you are asked to deliver a surprise though a sequence of six images or objects, with the module group as your target audience. From this experience, you learn the nature and importance of surprise in basic storytelling and develop a vocabulary for narrative. In scheduled theme day events, such as Modern Cautionary Tales, you work in groups to challenge your quick-thinking skills in the invention, planning and presentation of a story.

While students accepted on the course should come with the technical skills necessary to fulfil their projects, access to the diverse workshops facilities – for example in bookbinding, letterpress, printmaking and photography – will be made available as appropriate to your project. There is also a substantial specialist library and a full range of computer facilities.

In order to bring together a variety of students and approaches, this course coexists with the Arts and Design by Independent Project MA. Both are based at our Grand Parade campus.

Stage 1:

Sequential Project(s)
Visual Narrative
Research and Investigation

Stage 2:

Major Sequential Project(s)
Project Report

Visiting lecturers

We arrange a programme of weekly lectures by a range of practitioners and academics to broaden your experience and understanding of professional issues and activity. Lecturers describe their practice and professional experience, sharing insights about their research methods and discoveries.

The programme is organised to relate to specific stages of the course and varies on a two-year cycle, so part-time students have access to a different set of events in each of their two years of study.

Careers and employability

Because of the diversity of our students and the projects they create, their professional achievements are equally wide-ranging. Successful commercial enterprises have been established, research degrees undertaken, books published, collaborative design groups formed, and work exhibited in major galleries and institutions. Graduates have also participated in festivals and conferences around the world.

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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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