Taught course

Traditions of Yoga and Meditation

Institution
SOAS University of London · Department of Religions and Philosophies
Qualifications
MA

Entry requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

Months of entry

September

Course content

The thematic components and cross-regional perspectives typically suit students with the following interests and/or aspirations:

  • Experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shaped their traditions.
  • Students with a background in psychology seeking to gain knowledge of meditation and mindfulness for their clinical work.
  • Students planning to pursue further research which may involve, at a subsequent stage, the acquisition of a doctoral degree and a career in higher education.
  • Students seeking to pursue a career or professional activity for which advanced knowledge of the yoga and meditation traditions of Asia is required.
  • Students who wish to pursue the academic study of these traditions as a complement to their personal experience.

This MA offers an in-depth introduction to the yogic and meditational techniques and doctrines of India, Tibet, China and Japan within the historical and cultural context of their formation. Furthermore, it explores the nature of spiritual experience that arises from yoga and meditation through a cross-cultural, inter-regional perspective.

Classes are held three evenings per week with Full-time and Part-time Study Available.

The thematic, but inter-regional, focus of this MA programme promotes the academic study of the different traditions through the deployment of a wide range of regional perspectives. Its core unit explores the methodological foundations at the heart of yoga/meditation practice. The specialist components integrated within this MA are organised to serve as platform for further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research; the more general components of the programme provides those students who do not intend to pursue doctoral research with an advanced introduction to the physiological dynamics, doctrinal foundations, history, regional context and theoretical presuppositions that shaped the traditions of yoga and meditation. The programme thus offers students (a) advanced knowledge of the background to, and understanding of, yoga and meditation, from their origin in ancient India to their apex in mediaeval Japan; (b) advanced skills in research and writing on topics that pertain to yoga/meditation, drawing on both primary sources (in translation) and secondary sources; (c) advanced skills in presentation and communication of their knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures.

This MA is taught through evening classes, typically running between 18.00h and 20.00h on weekdays, at the SOAS Russell Square Campus in Central London.

The reading materials connected to all four courses of this MA programme are largely disseminated through online resources. Essay submission takes place either in hard copy or electronically.

Information for international students

Information, including English language requirements, can be found here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/international/

Fees and funding

Please check https://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/funding/ for details.

Qualification and course duration

MA

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Name
Student Recruitment Office
Email
study@soas.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 7898 4700