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Religious Studies: Asian Religions (MA)

1 year (full-time) / 3 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

This is one of four distinct pathways on the MA Religious Studies course.

Course Aims

student and teacherSanskrit Drama in Cardiff

The study of Asian religions at Cardiff University provides a unique opportunity for students to acquire expertise in South Asian and/or Chinese religious literature and culture. The degree programme offers a firm grounding in the classical Indian language of Sanskrit for those interested in this option, and the opportunity to work with some of the leading scholars in the field. Particular strengths include study of the Mahabharata (Cardiff has the largest single concentration of Mahabharata scholars in the UK), the history of Chinese Buddhism, Sanskrit Drama in Performance, and the study of the ancient Indian religious tradition of Jainism.

Who is this Programme for?

Students with an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, or a cognate Humanities or Social Science discipline, wishing to specialise in Asian Religions.

Special Features

Course Description

Part 1 consists of a generic postgraduate skills module, a core Religious Studies (Asian Religions) skills module, optional Sanskrit study, and optional modules focusing on the history of Asian religions.

Current options include:

Course Structure

Students taking the MA in Religious Studies: Asian Religions Pathway will complete modules comprising a total of 180 credits, including:

Please see the Religious Studies website for more course and module information.

Students will be expected to attend at least twice a week during each semester, and up to four times a week if taking Beginner’s Sanskrit.

Teaching, Resources and Facilities

Teaching is by tutorials and language classes. The School boasts a well-stocked, specialist South Asian library collection.

Information about the research expertise of Tutuors on this course can be found via their profiles below:


The taught component is assessed via a combination of written assignments of up to 4,000 words, and language exams for those who have specialised in language study.

Part 2 consists of a dissertation of 16,000 words on a topic of the student’s choice.

Skills Acquired

On completion of this programme students will have acquired high level cultural and conceptual skills that will enable them to pursue further research and/or teaching using a variety of sources, including Sanskrit religious literature. Specific skills include:

Career Prospects

Graduates of this programme go on to undertake roles in higher education, religious education teaching, or a range of allied professions.

Student Views

'The great flexibility of the course allows me to engage on a one to one basis with the lecturers.'

Phoebe, MA Religious Studies: Asian Religions, 2014-15

Read Phoebe's full testimonial

'I am thoroughly enjoying studying MA Religious Studies: Asian Religions. The great flexibility of the course allows me to engage on a one to one basis with the lecturers, who are always very encouraging and approachable, concerning my particular research interests.

'I have also seized the fantastic opportunity that the MA provides to begin learning Sanskrit which is proving to be a challenging yet rewarding experience.'


'I don't think that I have developed so much in a single year as I have on this course, and am certain that it has put me in good stead for the future.'

Craig, MA Religious Studies student, 2011-12. Now working in HE.

Read other alumni testimonials

"Undertaking the MA in Religious Studies (Asian Religions) at Cardiff University was a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. I was able to learn there from renowned scholars in the field, who were at the same time so encouraging and supportive. Every tutor was always very willing to exchange knowledge and ideas and this was one of the most gratifying things about the course, one that has inspired me to continue my studies further. Up to this day I still find support and encouragement from the people in the Religious Studies Department."

Paloma Muñoz, Religious Studies student (2009-2010). Paloma is now undertaking a PhD in Australia.

Entry Requirements

1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject. The course is suitable for graduates in Religious Studies as well as a wide variety of Humanities and Social Sciences subjects.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

How to Apply

Applications can be made for this course via our Online Application Service selecting the MA Religious Studies (Religious Studies) option from the list of courses. Applicants should use the Personal Statement section of the form to outline their area of interest and, if possible, the topic that they hope to research for their dissertation.


For more information on funding available, please see the funding information page.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,000 £14,500
Part-time £3,000 £7,250
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Will Johnson  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6698 



School Website:

School Contact

Name: Helen Szewczyk  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0903 



School Website:

More information

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


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