Buddhist Studies


Buddhist Studies is a unique interdisciplinary program integrating language and non-language units of study within the School of Languages and Cultures. This program familiarises students with the dynamic nature of Buddhist philosophical, textual, meditative, artistic, and ritual traditions in Asia, as well as the ways that Buddhism has engaged with Globalisation and the West in modernity. It also provides students with an understanding of the historical, social, cultural and political contexts in which Buddhist traditions emerged and continue to develop, as well as how ideas, doctrines and practices have changed during the course of Buddhism's transmission across cultures. Selected non-language units of study from other programs may be counted toward the Buddhist Studies major.

If you are considering Buddhist Studies as a major you are also encouraged to take at least one of the relevant Asian languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), as this enables sophisticated engagement with primary textual sources (such as Buddhist philosophical and meditative treatises) as well as facilitating direct engagement with contemporary Buddhist communities in Asia and in Asian diasporas around the world. An emphasis is placed upon equipping students with the necessary analytical and methodological skills to carry out higher level research in Buddhist Studies.

Major outline

A major in Buddhist Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 18 credit points from core units of study of which at least 6 must be taken at 3000 level.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
Entry into senior-intermediate (2000 level) units of study in Buddhist Studies requires at least 12 junior credit points in: Buddhist Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Biblical Studies, Gender and Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion, Sociology or Philosophy (PHIL1011, PHIL1013).

The junior unit of study, BDST1602 Introduction to Buddhism, can be taken as an introduction to the topic but is not required for progression to senior units of study in Buddhist Studies

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
You complete 12 credit points of core BDST units of study at 2000 level before enrolling into 3000 level units of study. To complete the major you also complete 6 credit points of core BDST units of study at 3000 level.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Asian Studies, Sanskrit, Studies in Religion, World Religions

Our courses that offer this major