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MPhil Classical Indian Religion

Catalog id : TP_OS6F1
 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

1.75 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

17555 GBP
6550 GBP
6550 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
Faculty of Oriental Studies
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100

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About this course

  • This course introduces you to classical Indian religion in a way that bases understanding on original sources and that equips you to continue in the same vein.
  • Formally, the course is in two parts. The first, of five months, is an intensive study of the rudiments of Sanskrit.
  • In the second part of the course you have regular classes in reading Sanskrit religious texts and write supervised essays on topics in Indian religion.

Graduate destinations

  • Oriental studies graduates have found employment in many and diverse fields including business, finance, law, civil service, journalism, government and industry.
  • Many graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with oriental studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world, education and in museums.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

  • Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in any subject.
  • For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.
  • No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

References/letters of recommendation 

  • Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, and fitness for chosen course of study.
  • Whilst it is appreciated that obtaining academic references will be difficult for some candidates, academic references are requested because it is necessary to establish whether a candidate is intellectually prepared for a course.
  • It is unlikely that this is something that can be established from a professional or personal reference, so you should only submit such references if there is absolutely no alternative.


Written work produced by the student

Two pieces of written work of up to 2,000 words are required and should be in English only.

This will be assessed for:

  • comprehensive understanding of the subject area
  • understanding of problems in the area
  • ability to construct and defend an argument
  • powers of analysis 
  • powers of expression
  • clarity and accuracy of thought and writing
  • conceptual sophistication
  • critical skill
  • control of relevant primary and secondary sources
  • presentation of material in the appropriate scholarly form.

It is helpful if written work relates closely to the proposed area of study, though it is not compulsory, as there are many things that the assessors look for in the written work which are not specific to the subject area, such as ability to construct and defend an argument and presentation of material in the appropriate scholarly form.

Statement of purpose/personal statement

A statement of purpose should be a maximum of three pages in length (including any bibliography). The statement should be in English only.

This will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying, especially to Oxford
  • evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study 
  • commitment to the subject
  • preliminary knowledge of research techniques
  • capacity for sustained and intense work at a high intellectual level
  • reasoning ability
  • ability to absorb new ideas at a rapid pace.

English Language Requirement:


IELTS Academic

  • Minimum Score: 7.0
  • Minimum 6.5 per component


  • Minimum Score: 100
  • Minimum component scores: Listening (22), Reading (24),Speaking (25), Writing (24)

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE):

  • Minimum Score: 185
  • Minimum 176 per component
  • CPE taken before Jan 2015: Grade C

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE):

  • Minimum Score: 185
  • Minimum 176 per component
  • CAE taken before Jan 2015:Grade B

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

  • The first part of the course, lasting five months, is an intensive study of the rudiments of Sanskrit.
  • In the second part of the course you will have regular classes in reading Sanskrit religious texts.
  • There are four short lists of prescribed texts - Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist, and also what might be termed mainstream - and you will read the texts from two of these lists.
  • In the final examination there is one three-hour written paper in the linguistically-based parts of the course.
  • The paper is divided into two parts, which carry equal weight, a part on translation from the prepared set texts and a part on unprepared translation from Sanskrit, the latter usually consisting of one passage in epic Sanskrit and one from a typical commentary on a religious text.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

The set of materials you should send with an application to this MPhil comprises:

  • a statement of purpose/personal statement, of up to three pages in length
  • a CV/résumé
  • three academic references
  • official transcripts detailing your university-level qualifications and marks to date
  • two relevant academic essays or other writing samples from your most recent qualification of 2,000 words each, or 2,000-word extracts of longer work, ideally related to your proposed area of study. 

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Check further details on University website

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