Taught course

Buddhist Studies with Intensive Language

SOAS University of London · Department of Religions and Philosophies

Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Buddhist Studies with Intensive Language is designed to be an immersive experience that draws on the significant expertise of our diverse academic specialists in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The structure of SOAS Buddhist Studies provides a unique study pathway characterised by its coherence and flexibility.

The core module, Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies, is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the major processes and dynamics at work in the growth and development of Buddhism as a world religion and with the key methodological tools required to approach this major cultural force in its fascinating diversity.

The Buddhist Studies postgraduate degree is attractive to students who:

  • will pursue further research in Buddhist Studies doctoral degree and a career in higher education
  • seek a career for which advanced knowledge of Buddhism as a global cultural force is essential
  • study religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments
  • are 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 empathy
  • will take advantage of our Intensive Language pathway options including Japanese, Korean and South East Asian

Our staff are qualified to offer guidance and supervision in a wide range of research areas relating to Buddhist literature, doctrine, philosophy, history, ritual, iconography, and art in South Asia, Tibet, Central Asia, China and Japan.

The Centre of Buddhist Studies is a hub of distinguished Buddhist scholarship that generates synergy among academics and research students, from SOAS and beyond, involved in the study of Buddhism in Asian societies. It is composed of 17 permanent members of staff and emeriti, as well as a pool of associate and graduate student members from SOAS and other UK institutions.

Why study MA Buddhist Studies with Intensive Language at SOAS

  • we are World Top 50 for Arts & Humanities (QS World University Rankings 2022) - with a rate of 91.7% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2021)
  • we have been ranked 3rd for research outputs and 7th place overall in the Theology and Religious Studies research rankings in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • SOAS is ranked in the top 5 universities in the UK for producing a CEO or Managing Director, according to new research
  • employability — our strong focus on enhancing your career prospects and practical skills are integrated across the programme
  • our Centre of Buddhist Studies convenes The Buddhist Forum, a long-standing and well reputed lecture series offering a venue for international scholars to present their latest research to a wide and interested audience
  • SOAS's Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions also convenes regular lectures and seminars which frequently include Buddhist topics. The lectures and conferences organised by the Circle of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies predominantly deal with Buddhist art, literature and other aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. There are also lectures and seminars in other departments, which frequently include Buddhist topic
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages — your command of a language from SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities

Information for international students

For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website

Fees and funding

For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)20 3510 6974