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The MA Buddhist Studies suits students with different academic backgrounds and prospective personal objectives, from those interested in broadening their knowledge of Buddhism as a whole or of specific Buddhist traditions to those intending to embark on language-based research or fieldwork among Buddhist communities.It typically suits:

  • students planning to pursue further research in Buddhist Studies, 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 Buddhism as a global cultural force is essential.
  • students who wish to pursue the academic study of religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments.
  • students from traditionally Buddhist countries, willing to broaden their knowledge of Buddhism as a global religion, and to be introduced to an academic approach that is characterised both by its critical distance and by its empathy.

Teaching & Learning

The structure of MA Buddhist Studies provides a unique study pathway, characterised both by its coherence and by its flexibility. The core module "Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies" is taught by four staff whose expertise cover most of Buddhist Asia, provides students with a broad and stimulating journey into key notions and methods in the study of Buddhism. Students will moreover have to submit a Dissertation in Buddhist Studies of 10,000 words, on a topic chosen from the module chosen as major. The remaining modules may be chosen in the large pool of modules on Buddhist topics and languages, thus allowing each student to build up a specialized knowledge of one or more areas of Buddhist Asia. Students are allowed to take modules taught outside the department of Religions and Philosophies up to one module, which may or may not include a language.


Visit the Buddhist Studies - MA page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

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