Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
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 degree explores the origins and historical development of yoga and meditation in India and Tibet, from ancient times to the modern world. It would suit yoga/meditation teachers, practitioners, students of religion as well as those with a background in psychology interested in mindfulness therapy.
Full-time and Part-time Study is available.
The Modules run:
- Monday evening: 5.00-7.00 pm
- Wednesday: 11.00-1.00, 1.00-3.00, 5.00-7.00 pm
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; (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.
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.
Students must complete 120 credits of MA taught modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation (60 credits).
- Dissertation in the traditions of Yoga and Meditation
- Yoga and Meditation: Perspectives, Context and Methodologies
- Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet
- The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India
- The Religions of Ancient India
- Yoga and Meditation in the Jaina Tradition
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the Postgraduate Open Options list subject to programme convenor approval.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.
Admissions and Applications
You can apply for this course via the online application form.
We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.
Consideration of Application
The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.
Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.
Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.
Applicants should have a first or good second class honours bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed. As an approximate comparison, an equivalent BA from a US university would have a Grade Point Average of either 3.3 or 3.5 depending on the awarding university. If an applicant does not have a bachelors degree in an appropriate field s/he may be required to complete a qualifying year or a one-year diploma before entering the master's programme. Relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration. Individual courses may have specific entry requirements, so you are advised to consult the postgraduate prospectus for further information.
English Language Entry Requirements
Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).
For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.
If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.
About the School
SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.