South Asia is an important geo-political region in today's world. It includes India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. Transnational South Asian communities span the UK, North America, East Africa and many other locations, as well as the sub-continent itself. This MA programme provides an exciting opportunity for study of South Asia and the diaspora which brings together historical, textual and sociological approaches into creative tension. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions that matter: how have people understood themselves and 'others'? how has the discourse of religion been involved? why does religion often lead to conflict? what issues are raised by living in a post-colonial, diasporic world? In tackling such questions, you will learn to appraise critiques of Orientalist study, to analyse the effects of scholarship upon South Asian institutions and conceptions of 'religion' and to apply different approaches to material of your choice. A characteristic of our approach in Manchester is our focus on teaching across religious traditions to show their interrelations in a variety of ways.
The subject core course unit will typically be Research Methods in South Asian Studies. This is complemented by a School-led core course unit which gives students the opportunity to acquire a variety of research and presentation skills. Optional course units may be drawn from Religions and Theology, Sociology, Social Anthropology, History, Drama, International Development etc and typically include, for example: State, Society and Culture in South Asia, Exploring Hindu Nationalism, Buddhism under Colonialism, Women and Men in Indian Traditions, Economic Development: India and China, Religious and Ethnic Identities in Britain, Screen Studies and South Asia, and language courses in Urdu or Arabic.
The primary focus of all our postgraduate degrees is to give people research skills, whether for academic work or for another career. Many professions today require investigative skills. Some in the media spend time researching angles of events that relate to religions. Some in the health service investigate the experiences of various cultural groups in accessing services. Many in museums, libraries and other archives require the textual and historical research skills that our courses teach. The interdisciplinary approach of South Asian Studies and the international significance of South Asia as a region are particularly valuable in these regards. Masters degrees based in Religions and Theology, including South Asian Studies, qualify you for research study at Manchester or at virtually any other high-level academic institution in the world. Many of our MA students are preparing for PhD study . Other students take Manchester MAs to enhance their understanding of particular religious traditions, either their own or that of others. All of our courses offer valuable further professional development for teachers of Religious Education. In applying for a job in any field, a Manchester postgraduate degree will mark you out as someone with high-level skills and a track-record of successful engagement with serious and complex issues.