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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.


-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.


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.

Visit the Chinese Buddhist Textual Studies - MA page on the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

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