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Festive image of Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of wisdom and learning
Faculties and schools_

Department of Indian Subcontinental Studies

The gateway to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism
Exploring the intellectual, literary and artistic traditions that have shaped South Asian civilisation. We are one of only two universities to teach Sanskrit and Pali, languages that had a profound role in shaping Asia today.

Our study of the Indian Subcontinent moves beyond stereotypes and encourages a balanced, big-picture analysis of the region. We take pride in delivering sophisticated and insightful responses to critical issues in contemporary South Asia, including human rights issues, inter-religious tension, dowry and arranged marriages.

We offer programs in Sanskrit and Pali as well as non-language areas, exploring traditional and modern cultures, religions (especially Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism). We also investigate the history, literature, politics and social structures of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan) as well as Tibet and Central Asia. 

Study area

Study area_

Ancient history, languages and cultures

Explore past civilisations as you gain a new cultural perspective

Develop a deep understanding of some of the world's oldest and heritage-rich cultures, civilisations and languages, while learning new and transferable skills you can apply to many rewarding career paths.

Course options

Our research

Our research areas include: 

  • The religious traditions of South Asia
  • Indian religion as manifest in other parts of Asia, particularly Buddhism in Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia
  • Method in the study of Indian and Buddhist thought
  • Early Buddhist literature, particularly of the ‘mainstream’ schools as preserved in Pali, Gandhari, Prakrit, Buddhist Sanskrit and Chinese
  • Recent discoveries of Buddhist manuscripts from Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, with a special interest in ancient Gandhara
  • Buddhist Sanskrit and the Middle Indo-Aryan languages, particularly Pali and Gandhari.

Our people

Our events

Explore our events listed on the University's What's On calendar.

Department Chair

Dr Mark Allon

School of Languages and Cultures