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Course content

Who is this programme for?:

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.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-buddhist-studies/

Duration: Full time: 1 calendar year Part time: 2 or 3 calendar years. We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.


The structure of MA Buddhist Studies provides a unique study pathway, characterised both by its coherence and by its flexibility. The core course, “Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies” (0.5 Unit), co-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 course chosen as major. The remaining 2.5 Units may be chosen in the large pool of courses 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 courses taught outside the department of the Study of Religions up to one unit, which may or may not include a language.

For more informations, please contact Antonello Palumbo () or Vincent Tournier ()

Programme Specification (msword; 247kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-buddhist-studies/file92979.doc

The Department

Key facts

- Two BA programmes (both single or joint degrees), five taught MA programmes, and Research Degree
- Unrivalled expertise in the religions and philosophies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East
- First philosophy degree in the UK centred on non-Western and global systems of thought
- Research-driven, interdisciplinary approach to all the world’s major religious traditions and philosophical systems

Department comes 2nd nationally for research publications:
18 December 2014: REF results highlight SOAS publications on religions. Find out more... (https://www.soas.ac.uk/news/newsitem98005.html)

Our strengths:
At SOAS you can study a wider range of religious and philosophical traditions in more depth than any other programme in the field, anywhere in the world. With our highly diversified expertise, our comprehensive resources, and our interdisciplinary approach we offer a unique learning and research environment for a truly inter-cultural approach to systems of belief and thought in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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






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Recipient: SOAS University of London

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