MA South Asian Area Studies

Duration: One calendar year (full-time); Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Start of programme: September intake only.

The MA in South Asian Studies provides exceptional opportunities for advanced study of one of the world’s most diverse and important regions.

Students can choose to concentrate on pre-modern or modern South Asia and can acquire a basic knowledge of one of the area’s languages.

The degree provides a wide-ranging interdisciplinary analysis of the South Asian countries – India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Disciplines available include Politics, Economics, Anthropology, Law and History.

The programme attracts students from a variety of backgrounds. While some wish to broaden their previous studies or experience of South Asia, others approach the programme without having a South Asian element to their first degree, but with a desire to focus their previous training on the region.


Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. A maximum of 60 credits can be taken from one discipline and a minimum of three disciplines must be covered. For students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be from an introductory level.

Some disciplines, such as Politics, Economics or Social Anthropology, require an appropriate qualification (such as part of a first degree) if any of their modules are to be taken as the major subject.

Anthropology (minor only)

  • Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 (15 credits) Term 1
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 (15 credits) Term 1

Art and Archaeology

  • The Indian Temple 15PARC034 (30credits) Full Year


  • Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 (15 credits) Term 2


  • Contemporary Punjab: Society and Culture across Borders 15PAIC001 (30credits) Full Year
  • Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya 15PSAC291 (30credits) Full Year
  • The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia 15PSAC314 (30credits) Full Year


Some background in Economics is a prerequisite for these modules. Please contact the convenor for details.

  • Economic development of South Asia a) the macroeconomy 15PECC026 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Economic development of South Asia b) major sectors & the international 15PECC027 (15 credits) Term 2


  • Islam in South Asia 15PHIH044 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Environmental History of Asia 15PHIH023 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia 15PHIH041 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Gender, law and the family in the history of modern South Asia 15PHIH030 (15 credits) Term 2

Language [one language option as minor only]

  • Bengali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC303 (30credits) Full Year
  • Bengali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC304 (30credits) Full Year
  • Hindi Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC295 (30credits) Full Year
  • Hindi Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC296 (30credits) Full Year
  • Hindi Language 3 (PG) 15PSAC297 (30credits) Full Year
  • Hindi Language 4 (PG) 15PSAC308 (30credits) Full Year
  • Readings in Contemporary Hindi (PG) 15PSAC305 (30credits) Full Year
  • Nepali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC298 (30credits) Full Year
  • Nepali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC299 (30credits) Full Year
  • Basic Pali (PG) 15PSRC176 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Pali: Intermediate Level 15PSRC053 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Prakrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC309 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Sanskrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC294 (30credits) Full Year
  • Sanskrit Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC306 (30credits) Full Year
  • Punjabi Language 1 15PSAC320 (30credits) Full Year
  • Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 (30credits) Full Year
  • Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 (30credits) Full Year
  • Urdu Literacy (PG) 15PSAC302 (30credits) Full Year
  • Elementary Written Persian 15PNMC387 (30credits) Full Year
  • Intensive Persian Language 155901242 (60credits) Full Year
  • Intermediate Persian Language 155900801 (30credits) Full Year
  • Advanced Persian Language 155900802 (30credits) Full Year
  • Persian Language 2 (PG) 15PNMC033 (30credits) Full Year
  • Introduction to Classical Literary Tibetan (Masters) 15PEAC020 (30credits) Full Year


  • Law and Society in South Asia 15PLAC129 (30credits) Full Year


  • Literature of South Asia 15PSAC284 (30credits) Full Year
  • Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 (30credits) Full Year
  • Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 (30credits) Full Year
  • Sanskrit Literature 15PSAC003 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Directed Readings in the Literature of a Modern South Asian Language 15PSAC016 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Sanskrit Texts from the Hindu Tradition 15PSAC014 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) 15PSAH005 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Narratives of Mobility in Contemporary Hindi Literature (Masters) 15PSAH006 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018


  • Raga: concept and practice (PG) 15PMUH020 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Indian vocal music: Styles and histories 15PMUH025 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Sacred Sound in South Asia 15PMUH021 (15 credits) Term 1


  • Government and politics of modern South Asia 15PPOC003 (30credits) Full Year

Study of Religions

  • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (1) 15PARH078 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Imag(in)ing Buddhahood in South Asia (2) 15PSRH051 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Modern Muslim Thinkers of South Asia 15PSRC169 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • History and Doctrines of Indian Buddhism 15PSRC059 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Issues in Religion and Media 15PSRH047 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Buddhism in Tibet 15PSRH008 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • The Buddhist Conquest of Central Asia 15PSRH009 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Jainism: History, Doctrine and the Contemporary World 15PSRC024 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Oriental religions in European academia and imagination, 1815-1945 15PSRC168 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Features of Buddhist Monasticism 15PSRH014 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Contemporary Islamism in South Asia: Readings in Sayyid Abu al-A'la Mawdudi 15PSRC170 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 (30credits) Full Year
  • The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 (30credits) Full Year
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Last updated January 23, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 3 years
9,225 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,225; Full-time Overseas Fees: £18,980 per academic year
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