Masters degrees in Buddhism involve advanced study of the Buddhist religious tradition, exploring its theory and practice in a variety of historical, socio-cultural and theological contexts. Some Masters in Buddhist Studies also give you the opportunity to learn a language that is central to Buddhism, such as Pali.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Religions of Asia & Africa, Theology & Religious Studies and (South) East Asian Studies.
Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest religious tradition, with history stretching back as far as the 5th century BCE. It’s also the fourth most followed religion, counting 520 million people among its followers. As such, Buddhist Studies is a rich and diverse area of scholarly attention, encompassing vastly different historical periods, regions and practices.
For example, you might study regional variations of Buddhism in places like Tibet, Japan, India and China. Or, you could focus on sacred Buddhist texts, perhaps studying them in their original language.
You’ll gain advanced knowledge of Buddhism during one of these courses, which will prove useful if you want to work in a Buddhist community. Your skills will also be applicable in sectors as varied as academia, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), charity and education.
In this distinguished MA degree, students can tap into our rich tradition of excellence in textual, theological and philosophical study while also gaining perspective on ways religion shapes and is shaped by the contemporary world. Attracting students from around the globe, the MA in Religion offers an outstanding range of teaching from internationally leading scholars, with the option to follow one of four pathways of study or to forge your own path.
The MA in Religion is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. Under the umbrella of a single MA, you will have the choice of four pathways that can be tailored to your interests.
If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of religion in the contemporary world from political, sociological and anthropological perspectives, follow the Religion in Contemporary Society pathway.
For a comprehensive understanding of Christian thought and practice as it has been reasoned and debated over the centuries, take the Systematic Theology pathway.
The Biblical Studies pathway introduces students to the world, text and context of the Bible in antiquity and in the modern world, reading it as literature and as a theological text.
The Jewish Studies pathway opens up the richness of Jewish texts and experience from antiquity to modern times, with particular attention to current issues in multi-religious societies.
The final option available to you is to not follow a pathway and to instead forge your own path, choosing the MA-level teaching you desire from across our diverse and interdisciplinary Department of Theology and Religious Studies and beyond.
We strongly believe that teaching and research should be closely related. All our teaching staff are therefore research-active, many enjoying international reputations as leaders in their fields. Our commitment to original research means that we can introduce students to new discoveries in a diverse range of fields being explored by our staff.
If you are a full-time student, each week we will provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study.
If you are a part-time student, each week we will provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 17 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Methods of assessment vary between modules, but typically involve the submission of some coursework (usually an essay) and a written examination. A few modules are assessed through only one of these methods.
Our graduates use the skills and knowledge that they develop with us to pursue careers in teaching, journalism, media, civil service, policy consultancy, museum work, community organisations and the church or other religious institutions. Others have continued their studies to further research.
One of the big strengths of our Theology MA is how well it matches the current research interests of our academic staff. That means you get the maximum benefit of our expertise whichever module options you choose. We will train you in research methodologies and skills so that you can engage with key texts and sources, we can also help you develop expertise in biblical languages as well as Latin, patristic Greek and Aramaic if you need it.
You will have the chance to take an interdisciplinary approach to Theology, which is increasing in popularity and importance with Research Councils. You might choose to exchange insights with disciplines like Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History.
We pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive department. We are always happy to make time to talk to you one-to-one and give you all the support you need to be a success. We hope you will join us at Exeter and become an active part of our vibrant research community.
The degree normally involves five taught modules and a dissertation.
The compulsory modules can include;
Some examples of the optional modules which may be available are;
The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
We have a very active research culture with international scholars who are publishing cutting-edge research, we encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative research which is reflected in our projects.
Our research focuses on the interaction between theology and matters of current social and political importance. Some of our specialist areas of interest include:
We also operate the Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology (EXCEPT) which provides a centre for research into contextual, practical and ministerial theology. Our Network for Religion in Public Life promotes co-operation between academics and religious communities on matters concerning the relationship between religions and public and political issues. And our Centre for Biblical Studies provides a focus for a range of research activity and research projects including seminars, public lectures and hosting academic visitors.
What role does religion and spirituality play in our experience of health and wellbeing? How does the biomedical focus of current healthcare practice affect us?
This interdisciplinary degree programme will examine what it means to be ill or healthy in diverse, individualized and highly technological societies, from psychological, cultural, ethical, and political perspectives. Not only do religious, cultural, political, physical, and technological diversity influence how we try to recover or maintain our health, they also influence what we think 'health' is in the first place.
This track within the Master's Programme in Theology and Religious Studies, has two specializations: 'Spiritual Care [Geestelijke Verzorging]' and 'Ethics and Diversity'.