Buddhist Studies in UK Universities

This is a list of UK academics and their research in Buddhist Studies and of BA and MA programmes or modules in Buddhist studies, (including modules that have a significant Buddhist content). Also included is an indication of UK course provision for the learning of Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan languages, as these are largely engaged in for the purpose of research or reading of Buddhist texts. Although not specified separately, where academic staff have the relevant expertise, proposals for doctoral research in Buddhist Studies may be welcomed. Kawanami, Hiroko ‎[[email protected]lancaster.ac.uk]‎

Updates can be sent to UKABS’ Secretary, Dr Hiroko Kawanami <h.kawanami[at]lancaster.ac.uk>

University of Aberdeen

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy


BA in Religious Studies:

Introduction to Asian Religions

Buddhist Philosophy: Mahayana Ethics

Making Sacred Landscapes

MLitt Religious Studies

Readings in Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism

There is a four-year PhD with the first year being tailored to the needs of the student, and some training in Newari, Nepali, Sanskrit or Tibetan can be given if appropriate, as well as fieldwork methods in anthropology and ethnobiology. There is also a distance-taught PhD for highly qualified students that find UK residence requirements an obstacle.


Dr William Tuladhar-Douglas, Senior Lecturer

email: w.t.douglas(at)abdn.ac.uk

Research:Newar Buddhism, Himalayan Buddhism generally, traditional medicine, sacred sites, Buddhism and ecology, conservation biology, or science.


Dr. Lukas Pokorny, Senior Lecturer

email: l.pokorny(at)abdn.ac.uk

Research:Confucianism and East Asia new religions.


School of Social Science

Dr Martin A. Mills, Senior Lecturer

email: m.a.mills(at)abdn.ac.uk

Research:The anthropology of Tibet and Tibetan-speaking areas, and in particular its religious and state life (including the ceremonial nexuses of Tibetan monastic and state life); the formulation of new ways in which modern ethnographers of Tibetan regions can integrate their work with textual specialists and indigenous scholars to create an historical anthropology of the region.


 School of Education

MSc Studies in Mindfulness

This is a secular training programme, with teaching input from staff at Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Dr Graeme Nixon, Lecturer

email: g.nixon(at)abdn.ac.uk

Research:Includes interest in Mindfulness in education


Bath Spa University

Visit www.bathspa.ac.uk

School: Humanities and Cultural Industries
Department: Department of Humanities
Subject: Religions, Philosophies and Ethics

Undergraduate Programmes with a Buddhist Studies Component
1. Religions, Philosophies and Ethics (Specialised Award) (Single hons)
2. Study of Religions (Major/Joint/Minor)
3. Philosophy and Ethics (Major/Joint/Minor)
The three programmes draw upon different combinations of modules
Modules dedicated to Buddhism at present

SR5001-20 Buddhism: Historical and Doctrinal Developments

SR6025-20 Buddhism in Practice

Modules with a substantial Buddhist content

SR/PE5000-40 Darshana, Dharma and Dao (Indian and Chinese philosophies)

SR6006-20 Religion, Culture and Society in Japan

Modules where aspects of Buddhism as religion or philosophy or both are studied alongside other traditions

PE/SR4003 Global Religions and Philosophies

PE5003-20 Ethics, Religion and Humanism: Contemporary Moral Dilemmas

SR/PE5009-20 Philosophy, Religions and the Environment

SR5000 or SR6001-40 Studying Religions in the Contemporary World (includes a one week field placement, which could be in a Buddhist community, and study of Buddhism and modernity, Buddhism in the UK etc.)

PE/SR6014-20 Religion, Philosophy and Gender

SR/ED6077-20 Without Fear or Favour: National and International Perspectives on Religion, Culture and Education – includes teaching Buddhism at school level.

No taught PG provision at present

PhD supervision possible in areas of Buddhism, especially Theravada Buddhism, Buddhist Ethics (with a special interest in war and peace) Buddhism in education.

Staff with an interest in Buddhism

Dr. Mahinda Deegalle, Lecturer

email: m.deegalle(at)bathspa.ac.uk

Research: Theravada Buddhism, ethics of war and the role of religion in conflict and peace building, Buddhist preaching.


Prof. Denise Cush, Subject Leader, Religions, Philosophies and Ethics

email: d.cush(at)bathspa.ac.uk

Research: Contemporary Buddhism and Buddhism in Education.


Dr Catherine Robinson, Senior Lecturer

Teaches Indian and Chinese Buddhist philosophy.

University of Bristol


Department of Religion and Theology

BA in Theology and Religious Studies:
Living Religions
Indian Religious and Cultural Traditions
The Buddhist Path to Awakening
3000 Years of Chinese Religion
Zen Buddhism
Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
Theravada Buddhist Practice in Asia
Yoga and Meditation
Mahayana Buddhism
Classical Chinese

MA in Buddhist Studies:
Buddhism: The Foundations
Buddhism: The Mahayana Tradition
The Practice of Theravada Buddhism in Asia
Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
Yoga and Meditation
Aspects of Chinese Buddhism
Zen Buddhism
Classical Chinese
Buddhist Sanskrit and Pali

(Not all languages may be available in any one year)

Prof. Rupert Gethin, Professor of Buddhist Studies
email: rupert.gethin(at)bristol.ac.uk
Research:  Early Buddhist literature, the history and development of Buddhist thought in the Nikayas and Pali commentaries, Indian Buddhist meditation, Abhidharma.

Dr. Rita Langer, Lecturer in Buddhist Studies
email: rita.langer(at)bristol.ac.uk
Research: Theory of consciousness in the early Pali sources; Buddhist ritual and its origin (in South and South East Asia, particularly Sri Lanka).

Dr. Eric Greene, Lecturer in East Asian Religions
email: Eric.Greene(at)bristol.ac.uk
Research: The history of Chinese Buddhism,  Chinese Buddhist meditation, Chan/Zen Buddhism, Chinese translations of Buddhist texts, the transmission of Buddhism to China.

Emeritus Prof. Paul Williams, Professor of Indian and Tibetan Philosophy
email: paul.williams(at)bristol.ac.uk
Research: Buddhist Philosophy and Religion in India and Tibet; Madhyamaka Philosophy; Mahayana Buddhism.


Cambridge University


Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Dr Hildegard Diemberger, Senior Associate in Research

Research: Tibetan cultural area and Tibet-Mongolia interface; local-state dynamics and deals with the impact of radical change on traditional communities; landscape, space and time; local history and memory; changing notions of power and kinship; and debates over continuity, tradition and modernity.



 Canterbury Christ Church University

Undergraduate (http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-humanities/theology-and-religious-studies/UndergraduateProgrammes/Home.aspx)

Postgraduate (http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-humanities/theology-and-religious-studies/PostgraduateStudy.aspx)


Department of Theology and Religious Studies

BA in Religious Studies/ BA in Theology and Religious Studies:

World Religions (Yr1 core module)

Text and Context in the Study of Religions (Yr1 core module)

Indian Traditions (Yr2 core module)

Ethics in World Religions (Yr2 option)

Understanding Asian Philosophy (Yr2 option)

Tibetan Buddhism (Yr3 option)

Modern Critiques of Religion (Yr3 option)

Individual Study (Yr3 compulsory for single honours)

1Yr (2Yr part time) MA by research and MPhil/PhD supervision (3Yr FT/5Yr PT).

(Recent postgraduate research includes topics such as “The collected work of the 3rd Karmapa”, “Stupas built in Europe” and “Thai Buddhist amulets”.)


Dr. David Burton, Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate director

email: david.burton(at)canterbury.ac.uk

Research: Philosophy of religion from a Buddhist perspective,Madhyamaka, especially Nāgārjuna, Buddhist Epistemology, Comparative Philosophy, and Religion and Film/Visual Culture.


Prof. Burkhard Scherer, Chair in Comparative Religion, Gender and Sexuality,Postgraduate director

email: b.scherer(at)canterbury.ac.uk

Research: Buddhist Philosophy, Indo-Tibetan literature, Buddhism in the west.


Cardiff University


Department of Religious and Theological Studies

BA in Religious and Theological Studies:

Introduction to Sanskrit (not running 2014-15)
Introduction to Pali (not running 2014-15)
The Life of the Buddha
Buddhism – The First Thousand Years
Buddhist Sanskrit Texts
Buddhist elements in the Year 1 Introduction to the Study of Religions

Open Choice Dissertation on a Buddhist topic under the supervision of Prof. Max Deeg
MA in Religions Studies: Asian Religions

Taught, depending on the individual students’ interest, by the members of staff of the Asian Religions group (Simon Brodbeck, Max Deeg, James Hegarty, Will Johnson).


Prof. Max Deeg, Professor in Buddhist Studies

email: DeegM1(at)cardiff.ac.uk

Research: Buddhist history in India, Central Asia and East Asia; The spread of Buddhism from India to Central Asia and East Asia; Buddhist narratives; Early Christianity in Central and East Asia; Reception history of Asian religions, Buddhism in the West.


Prof. Geoffrey Samuel, Emeritus Professor

email: samuelg(at)cardiff.ac.uk

Research: Religion in Tibetan societies, contemporary and historical; the historical development and contemporary practice of technologies of consciousness; understanding the relationship between consciousness, body and materiality, particularly in relation to healing, meditation and yoga; Tibetan, Indian and other Asian medical, health and yogic practices; religion and modernity, including Buddhism in contemporary societies; Gender, sexuality and masculinity in Asian cultures; shamanism and ‘nature religions’.



University of Chester

Department of Theology and Religious Studies: Faculty of Humanities



Undergraduate courses or modules;

LEVEL 4 TH4043 Encountering Religion: Buddhism

LEVEL 5 TH5055 Asian Philosophies: Knowledge, Liberation and the Self

LEVEL 6 TH6045 Minority Faith Communities in Europe: (Buddhism component 1/5th of module)

LEVEL 6 TH6046 Religion and Culture: tranformations of British religious life 1960-2010 (one session on Buddhism)


Postgraduate taught courses

TH7046 Buddhist Concepts of Awakening (20 credit MA module in MA Religious Studies programme).


Dr Wendy Dossett, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies

email: w.dossett(at)chester.ac.uk

Research:Japanese Pure Land Buddhism


Durham University


Department of Anthropology


Prof. Michael Carrithers

Research: Currently, public culture in Germany, particularly East Germany; but has worked on forest monks in Sri Lanka.

Department of Archaeology


Prof. Robin Coningham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health

Research: Includes Archaeological visibility of Buddhism (work on excavation of Lumbini), Caste and the development of craft specialisation, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea Trade.


Department of Philosophy


Taught MA in Philosophy

One module, the ‘Philosophy of Religion’, focuses on Buddhist philosophy (not running 2014-15)


Dr. Simon James, Senior Lecturer

email: s.p.james(at)durham.ac.uk

Research: Environmental philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist ethics, phenomenology.



University of Edinburgh


School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Asian Studies



MA Chinese and MA Japanese (4 year undergraduate programmes)


Courses/module include:

Year 1: East Asian Civilisation1

Year 2: Indian Religion and Philosophy 2

Pre-modern East Asia to 1600

Honours level (years 3 and 4): The courses vary each year and are split between the two Schools, but they will usually include modules in early Indian Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and East Asian Buddhism.



MSc Asian Religions

This is a taught Masters and will usually include a substantial Buddhism component.


Dr. Ian Astley, Senior Lecturer in Japanese

email: ian.astley(at)ed.ac.uk

Research: The Shingon Buddhist tradition in Japan and its Chinese antecedents; Japanese and Chinese religions and philosophy, especially Buddhism.


Mr. Paul Dundas, Reader in Sanskrit

Research: Early Indian religions.


Dr. Joachim Gentz, Reader in Chinese

Research: Chinese philosophy and religions, text and commentary, ritual and divination, and theories of cultural and religious studies.


School of Divinity



MA Religious Studies (4 year undergraduate programme)


Courses/modules include:

Year 2: Religions of South Asia [Religious Studies]

Honours level (years 3 and 4): The courses vary each year and are split between the two Schools, but they will usually include modules in early Indian Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and East Asian Buddhism.



MSc Religious Studies

Includes optional Buddhism courses.


Dr. Naomi Appleton, Chancellor’s Fellow in Religious Studies

Resesarch interests: Early Indian Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, Buddhist narrative.



University of Gloucestershire


School of Humanities

BA in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics:

Year 2: Indian Religions


Dr. David Webster,Subject Group Leader for Religious, Philosophical and Historical Studies

email: dwebster(at)chelt.ac.uk

Research: Buddhism, Philosophy, Death, Nihilism



Goldsmiths, University of London


Department of History


Dr Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim,Wellcome Trust Research Fellow

email: r.yoeli-tlalim(at)gold.ac.uk

Research: the History of Asian Medicine, Interactions between Medicine and Religion, the transmission of medical ideas along the Silk-Roads and the history of early Tibetan medicine.



University of Kent


Department of Religious Studies

BA in Religious Studies:

Courses/modules include:

Year 1: Introduction to Hinduism and Buddhism

Year 2/3, available on a biennial rotational basis:

Buddhism: Its Essence and Development (focusing on early Buddhism, Theravada)

Foundations of Mahāyāna Buddhism (exploring the diversity of Mahāyāna traditions but with an emphasis on understanding its Indian roots)

Indian Philosophy of Religion (half of course on Abhidharma, Madhyamaka and Yogācāra philosophy and their engagement with Brahmanical Philosophies)

Supervision of dissertations in Buddhist Studies


MA in the Study of Mysticism and Religious Experience:

Includes some Buddhism teaching.


Prof. Richard King, Professor of Buddhist & Asian Studies

email: r.e.king(at)kent.ac.uk

Research: Includes Indian philosophical thought in the period 200-900 CE, especially the formation of the Mahāyāna Buddhist schools (Madhyamaka and Yogācāra) and early Advaita Vedanta.


Kings College, London


Department of Theology & Religious Studies


Prof. Kate Crosby, Professor of Buddhist Studies

email: henrietta.crosby(at)kcl.ac.uk

Research: Theravada Buddhism; Sanskrit and Pali language and literature, including vernacular-Pali mixed literature; Buddhist practice and traditions of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia; Buddhism in Application; History of Science in Buddhist contexts.


Prof. Ian Harris, Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies

email: chamkarmon(at)gmail.com|

Research: Buddhism in Cambodia; Buddhism and Politics; Buddhist Ethics


Dr Andrew Skilton, Senior Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies

Email: andrew.skilton(at)kcl.ac.uk.

Research: Buddhist literature, especially sutra literature; Buddhist texts in Sanskrit and Pali, The Samadhiraja Sutra, Buddhist meditation, traditional Theravada, Buddhism in application, transmission of Buddhism to the UK


Dr Kuan Guang, Ji Xue Gen Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies

Email: Kuan.Guang(at)kcl.ac.uk

Research: Late imperial Chinese Buddhism.


Dr Pyi Kyaw, Junior Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies

Email Pyi.Kyaw(at)kcl.ac.uk

Research: Burmese Abhidhamma. Buddhist ethics.

Please contact Pyi Kyaw for the Kings College Buddhist Studies Research Seminars and the Buddhist Studies Writers’ Forum.


Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies

Email Phibul.Choompolpaisal(at)kcl.ac.uk

Research: Early modern Thai Buddhism, Buddhism and politics.


 University of Lancaster


Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion

BA in Religious Studies:

Year 1: World Religions: : Introduction to Buddhism

Year 1: Ethics, Philosophy and Religion in Asia

Year 2: Buddhism and Modernity in Asian Societies

Year 3: Politics and Ethics in Indian Philosophy (explores the concept of dharma in inscriptions of Ashoka, Buddhist Nikayas, Arthashastra, Law Codes of Manu, Mahabharata, and Kamasutra)

Year 3: Reading Buddhism (scriptural passages from important texts in Mahāyāna and Theravāda traditions).


MA in Religious Studies:

The Construction of Gender in Asian Religions

Buddhism and Society


Dr. Hiroko Kawanami, Senior Lecturer

email: h.kawanami(at)lancaster.ac.uk

Research: Contemporary Buddhism in Southeast Asia, Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist nuns, social justice, monastic education and dissemination of knowledge, application of mindfulness.


Dr Brian Black, Lecturer

email: b.black(at)lancaster.ac.uk

Research: Hinduism, Buddhism, Indian Philosophy, Dialogue in Indian religious and philosophical traditions, Indian Ethics, multiculturalism, social justice, and secularism in South Asia.


Prof. Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

email: c.ram-prasad(at)lancaster.ac.uk

Research: Indian philosophy – classical and modern, especially in: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, the self and consciousness studies, Hinduism, Indian Buddhism, Jainism.


Prof. Ian Reader

email: i.reader(at)lancaster.ac.uk

Research: Buddhism in contemporary Japan, pilgrimage, religion and violence, millennialism




University of Leeds


Department of Theology and Religious Studies

BA in Religious Studies:

The Samurai and the Sacred: Aspects of Japanese Religious Traditions



Dr Emma Tomalin, Senior Lecturer

email: e.tomalin(at)leeds.ac.uk

Research: Gender and Religion; Religion and Development; Religion and Environmentalism; Buddhism and Hinduism; South and South-East Asia


Department of East Asian Studies

BA in Thai and South East Asian Studies:

Buddhism: a Lived Tradition


Dr. Martin Seeger, Senior Lecturer

email: m.seeger(at)leeds.ac.uk

Research:The history of Buddhism in Thailand, Contemporary movements in Thai Buddhism and their relations to society, politics and the economy, Disputes on Buddhist doctrines in Thailand, Canonical Theravada-Buddhism and its modern forms.


BA in Japanese Studies

Buddhism and pre-modern Japanese Culture


Dr. Mikael Bauer, Lecturer

email: m.bauer(at)leeds.ac.uk

Research: Pre-modern Japanese Buddhism, The Hosso School, Buddhism and state formation in Japanese history



School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies


Buddhism in Practice


Dr. Ashley Thompson, Lecturer

email: a.c.thompson(at)leeds.ac.uk

Research interests: Southeast Asian cultural history, with a focus on classical and pre-modern art and literature.



Liverpool Hope University


Department of Theology & Religious Studies

Single Honours Degree in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion:

Single Honours Degree in Theology and Religious Studies:

Year 1: Introduction to the world views of Indic religions

Year 2: Indian Traditions (Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism)

Year 3: Buddhism component, covering contemporary Buddhism in different contexts, including Buddhism in the West, but some texts are also studied in translation.


Major in World Religions:

The courses given above, plus the study of Islam and Judaism.


MA in Religion and Contemporary Society:(not running 2014-15, but should resume from 2015)

Buddhism in the Contemporary World

Buddhist-Christian Relations

Religion and Plurality (which examines how Christians, Muslims and Buddhists approach the religious ‘other’.)


Dr. Elizabeth Harris, Associate Professor

email: harrise(at)hope.ac.uk

Research: Theravada Buddhism, Buddhism in Sri Lanka,  Buddhist-Christian relations, Western encounters with Buddhism.


University of Manchester


Department of Religions & Theology

BA in the Study of Religion and Theology:

The World of Buddhism

Texts, Ritual and Practice In Mahayana Buddhism

The Ethics of Killing in Buddhism: Texts and Contexts


Dr. Stefania Travagnin, Lecturer in Buddhist Thought and Practice

email: stefania.travagnin(at)manchester.ac.uk

Research: Buddhism in China, Tibetan Buddhism, Mongolian Buddhism, Taiwanese Buddhism, Fo Guang Shan, Buddhist ethics.


Department of East Asian Studies

BA in Japanese Studies:

Religion and Media in Modern Japan

Religion in Japan


Dr. Erica Baffelli, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies

Department of East Asian Studies

email: erica.baffelli(at)manchester.ac.uk

Research: Japanese ‘New Religions’, Religion and the media, Japanese “New Religions” and the Internet, Religion and popular cultures


Dr. Jane Caple, Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

Department of East Asian Studies

email: jane.caple(at)manchester.ac.uk

Research: Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the north-eastern Qinghai province (the Tibetan Amdo region)



The Open University


Arts Faculty

Undergraduate modules

Stage 1: The Arts Past and Present (includes a book length chapter with related sound and vision material on the reputation of the Dalai Lama)

Stage 1: Voices and Texts (includes a book length chapter with related sound and vision material on the Metta Sutta)

Religious Studies courses

Stage 2: Introducing Religions (includes Buddhism)


Dr. Helen Waterhouse, Senior Lecturer and Arts Staff Tutor

email: h.j.waterhouse(at)open.ac.uk

Research: Soka Gakkai International, Prayer, Practice in religion and music.




University of Oxford


BA in Theology and Oriental Studies:

Introduction to the Study of Religion

Introduction to a Buddhist Canonical Language: Pali

Introduction to a Buddhist Canonical Language: Tibetan

Set Texts in a Buddhist Canonical Language: Pali

Set Texts in a Buddhist Canonical Language: Tibetan

Early Buddhist Doctrine and Practice

Buddhism in History and Society

Further Buddhist Texts: Pali

Further Buddhist Texts: Tibetan


BA in Sanskrit:





M.St. in Oriental Studies:

Tailor-made courses depending on student’s interest


M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religion:


Sanskrit religious texts


M.Phil. in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies:



Tibetan History and Civilization

Tibetan Buddhism


M.Phil. in Buddhist Studies:




Methodological Approaches to the Study of Buddhism

Reading Buddhist Texts in Primary Languages (Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese)


Oriental Institute

Dr. Cathy Cantwell, Research Officer, and Member of the Buddhist Studies Unit

email: catherine.cantwell(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: Tibetan textual transmission/development; tantric rituals, symbolism, art; rNying-ma canonical texts; Dunhuang and later ritual manuals; Phur-pa traditions (rNying-ma, Sa-skya, Bon); bDud-’joms gter-ma tradition.


Dr. Khammai Dhammasami, Associate Faculty Member

email: oxford.k.dhammasami(at)googlemail.com/ oxford_buddhavihara(at)yahoo.co.uk

Research: Theravada Sangha, Buddhist education; vipassana meditation and Buddhism among the Shan.


George FitzHerbert, Departmental Lecturer 2014-2015

email: george.fitzherbert(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: The chivalric, shamanic and tantric Gesar epic tradition.  More broadly, Tibetan political, religious and cultural history; Cultural relations between Tibet and Central, South and East Asia; and the Tibetan language.


Prof. David Gellner, Professor of Social Anthropology

email: david.gellner(at)anthro.ox.ac.uk

Research: Anthropology of South Asia, Buddhism, Hinduism, Traditional urbanism, Healers and their relation to religion, Ritual and symbolism, Politics, ethnicity and activism.


Prof. Richard F. Gombrich, retired

email: richard.gombrich(at)balliol.ox.ac.uk

Research: Early Buddhism


Dr Robert Mayer, University Research Lecturer, Research Officer, and Member of the Buddhist Studies Unit
email: robert.mayer(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: Early rNying ma and Bon tantric tradition, Critically editing old Tibetan texts, Dunhang tantric texts


Dr Charles Ramble, University Research Lecturer

email: charles.ramble(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: Civil society and pagan religion in the Himalaya; the Bön religion of Tibet; Pilgrimage and sacred geography.


Dr. Ulrike Roesler, Lecturer

email: ulrike.roesler(at)googlemail.com

Research: Literature and religion of the Veda; Indo-Tibetan Buddhism; history of bKa’-gdams-pa school; ‘sacred landscapes’ in literature and ritual practice.


Dr. Sarah Shaw, Member of the Buddhist Studies Unit

email: sarah.shaw(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: Early Buddhist (Pali) suttas and Abhidhamma material on meditation; Early Buddhist narrative: literary features of Jatakas and Dhammapada stories; Indian and Asian influences on British nineteenth-century writers; modern South and Southeast Asian Buddhist ritual, chant and meditation.


Professor Stefano Zacchetti, Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies

email: stefano.zacchetti(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: Mahāyāna literature (particularly sūtras and exegetical literature); early Chinese Buddhist translations and related commentaries; institutional and intellectual history of Chinese Buddhism (particularly during the early phase: 2nd-6th centuries CE); history of the Chinese Buddhist Canon.

Faculty of Theology and Religion

Dr Jan Westerhoff, Associate Professor in Religious Ethics

email: [email protected]theology.ox.ac.uk

Research: Philosophical aspects of the religious traditions of ancient India. Buddhist thought (especially Madhyamaka) as preserved in Sanskrit and Tibetan sources; Classical Indian philosophy (particularly Nyāya); Buddhist philosophy, both theoretical (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language) and normative aspects (ethics); the investigation of Buddhist meditative practice from the perspective of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind.


All Souls College

Professor Alexis Sanderson, Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics

email: alexis.sanderson(at)orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research: Early medieval religion in India and Southeast Asia, focusing on the history of Saivism, its relations with the state, and its influence on Buddhism and Vaishnavism.


Mansfield College

Ms Peggy Morgan, Lecturer

email: peggy.morgan(at)mansfield.ox.ac.uk

Research: Transplantation ofBuddhism to the West; socially engaged Buddhism.


Wolfson College

Mr Lance Cousins,

Email: lance.cousins(at)theology.ox.ac.uk

Research: History of Buddhist meditation and Buddhist schools; Abhidhamma
literature; Pali commentarial texts.


Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies (OCBS)

The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies (http://www.ocbs.org) is a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford sponsoring lecture series, summer instruction, academic visitors, and other academic activities.



School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

SOAS has a Centre of Buddhist Studies, initiating, supporting and co-ordinating activities which directly and indirectly lead to the advancement of Buddhist Studies within the School; and providing a forum for an intellectual community bound by common interests in Buddhist Studies, and running a regular seminar series on Buddhist topics under the name of The Buddhist Forum.

Note that at SOAS, courses offered in one Department may be open to students on a degree programme in another Department.


Undergraduate courses on Buddhism offered by the Department of the Study of Religions(for instance, within the BA in the Study of Religions)

Buddhism: Foundation

Buddhism in Central Asia

Buddhism in Pre-Modern China

Themes in Japanese Religions

Mahāyāna Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism


Postgraduate courses on Buddhism offered by the Department of the Study of Religions(for instance, within the MA in Buddhist Studies or the MA in Religions of Asia and Africa)

Critical Concepts in Buddhist Studies (core course of the MA Buddhist Studies)

History and Doctrines of Indian Buddhism

Features of Buddhist Monasticism

Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet

Buddhism in Tibet

The Buddhist Conquest of Central Asia

Chinese Religious Texts: A Reading Seminar

Chinese Buddhism in the Pre-Modern Period

East Asian Traditions of Meditation: From Taoism to Zen

East Asian Buddhist Thought

Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers

Oriental Religions in European Academia and Imagination


Note that relevant languages to the Study of Buddhism (e.g. Sanskrit, Prakrit, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Burmese, Thai etc.) can be taken as options at the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


Department of the Study of Religions


Dr. Lucia Dolce, Numata Reader in Japanese Buddhism

email: ld16(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Japanese religious history, especially the medieval period; Japanese Tantric Buddhism and the esotericisation of religious practice; Millenarian writings and prophecy; Kami-Buddhas associations


Dr. Ulrich Pagel, Reader in the Languages and Religions of Tibet and Central Asia

email: up1(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: History of Buddhism in Tibet, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Kanjur Studies, Vinaya, Religions of Central Asia, Tibetan, Sanskrit.


Dr. Antonella Palumbo, Lecturerin Chinese Religions

email: ap47(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Ideological history of pre-modern China; Chinese religions, notably Taoism and Buddhism; history of the Buddhist canon in China; Manichaeism and Iranian influences in medieval China; Chinese cultural relations with Central Asia


Dr. Vincent Tournier, Seiyu Kiriyama Lecturer in Buddhist Studies

email: vt6(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Buddhism in Ancient and Early Medieval South Asia; models and figures of human perfection; Buddhist schools, lineages, and centres; scriptural formation and authentication; narrative representations of the past; Buddhist cosmology; monastic life and regulations.


Professor Timothy Barrett, Emeritus Professor of East Asian History

email: tb2(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: History of Chinese religion, notably Taoism and Buddhism; pre-modern Chinese history, especially the Tang period.


Dr. Tadeusz Skorupski, Emeritus Reader

email: ts1(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Buddhist Studies; philosophical and religious doctrines; literature; Buddhist iconography; Buddhist rituals; Buddhist doctrines; Buddhist history.



Department of the History of Art and Archaeology


The Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme, inaugurated in 2014, and made possible by a £20 million donation to SOAS from the Alphawood Foundation, Chicago, aims to enhance the understanding and preservation of Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture in Southeast Asia. The SAAAP will award over 80 scholarships to students in the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam where Buddhist and Hindu art is prevalent. SOAS will be strengthened with the addition of three fully endowed academic posts in the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology. It will also fund a programme of conferences and seminars, publications, and academic exchanges to foster long-term sustainability in the region.


BA in the History of Art (Asia, Africa):

Introduction to the Art and Archaeology of South and South East Asia

Art and Ritual in Buddhist South Asia

Arts of the Buddha in Southeast Asia

Buddhist Arts of Korea

Arts of Tibet

BA in South East Asian Studies:

Introduction to South East Asia

Introduction to the Art and Archaeology of South and South East Asia

Arts of the Buddha in Southeast Asia



BA in South Asian Studies

BA in Thai



Dr Crispin Branford, Senior Lecturer in South Asian Art and Archaeology

email: crispin.branfoot(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Architecture, sculpture and painting in South Asia, especially in southern India; pilgrimage and sacred geography; material religion; colonialism and material culture.


Dr John T. Carpenter, Reader

email: jc54(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Premodern Japanese art and cultural history; East Asian calligraphy; Buddhist sutra copying; Heian court culture; classical literary themes in Japanese art; Ukiyo-e prints and painting.


Prof. Elizabeth Moore, Professor in the Art & Archaeology of South East Asia

email: [email protected]soas.ac.uk

Research: Arts of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia cultural landscape; pre- and proto-historic Myanmar, Pyu and Mon culture; visual culture, social memory and sacred landscape.


Dr Lukas Nickel, Reader in Chinese Art History and Archaeology

email: ln2(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: History of Art and Archaeology of China and the Silk Road, Chinese culture of the Bronze Age and the Han to Tang period; early Buddhist art; art and technology in China, Chinese heritage, comparative art history.


Dr. Meri Arichi, Senior Teaching Fellow

email: ma70(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: History of Japanese Art, Buddhist Art of Japan in context.


Dr. Peter D, Sharock, Senior Teaching Fellow

email: ps56(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: Evidence in Indochina for the influence of tantric or esoteric Buddhism, developed in the great monasteries of the Ganges valley and diffused and developed in different ways through much of Asia.


Prof. Ashley Thompson, Hiram W. Woodward Chair in Southeast Asian Art


Research: Southeast Asian arts, aesthetics, literatures and cultural histories; sexual difference; deconstruction, memory and textuality.


Dr. Christian Luczanits, David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art


Research: Art History, Tibetan Studies, Tibetan History, Tibetan Art, Himalayan Art, Buddhist Studies, Curatorial Theory, Research Methodology, Ritual, Tibetan Buddhism, Text And Image, Indian Art, Buddhist Iconography, Gandhara, Paradise, Thangkas, Maitreya, Life of the Buddha, Visual Culture, and Iconography


Dr. Philip Denwood, Research Associate (retired)

Research: Tibetan arts and handicrafts, Himalayan architecture and Tibetan linguistics.


Department of History


Dr. Michael W. Charney, Senior Lecturer

email: mc62(at)soas.ac.uk

Research: The social, cultural, and intellectual history of Buddhist South East Asia, warfare in non-Western societies, and transport (especially railways) and information technology in colonial South East Asia



University of South Wales


School of Humanities and Lifelong Learning

BA Religious Studies:

Introduction to Eastern Religions

Hinduism and Buddhism; history and development of Buddhism

Hinduism and Buddhism Today; contemporary issues in Buddhism ‘East’ and ‘West’

MA Buddhist Studies:

Buddhist Traditions

Buddhist Ethics

Buddhist Philosophy

Buddhist Psychology and Meditation

Pali Language

[part-time, distance learning]


Dr Nick Swann, Senior Lecturer


Research: Tibetan religion; anthropology and religion; religion in cyberspace



University of Stirling


School of Languages, Cultures and Religions



Religion as Ritual in Japan


Dr. Timothy Fitzgerald, Reader

email: t.f.fitzgerald(at)stir.ac.uk

Research: Anthropology of Japan, anthropology of India, meditation, analysis of discourses on ‘religion and the secular’, ‘religion and politics’, ‘religion and the State’ and other such rhetorical constructs, history, theory and method in the study of religion, orientalism as a theory and problems of representing others.




Department of Anthropology


Dr. Joanna Cook, Lecturer in Medical Anthropology

Research: Medical anthropology; the anthropology of ethics; mindfulness-based therapy; post-democracy; well-being and happiness; UK & Thailand. Her current research examines the introduction of mindfulness techniques into therapeutic practice in the UK focusing on questions of ethics, well-being and the dialogue between religion and therapy.



University of Winchester


Department of Theology and Religious Studies

BA in Theology and Religious Studies

BA in History, Civilizations and Beliefs

BA in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

Modules with a Buddhist Studies component, shared by all three programmes:

Understanding Religion 1 (Yr1)

Understanding Religion 2 (Yr1)

Understanding Philosophy of Religions (Yr1)

Understanding Ethics and Religion (Yr1)

Buddhism in Global Contexts (Yr 2, runs every second year)

Philosophy, Religion and Embodiment (Yr2)

Nature, Religion and Sustainability (Yr2)

Mapping Mortality (Yr3, session on Buddhism and death)

MA in The Rituals and Rhetoric of Death

Buddhist session(s) in some modules


Dr Paul Hedges,Reader in Interreligious Studies

email: paul.hedges(at)winchester.ac.uk

Research:Buddhist-Christian Dialogue and the history and theologies of encounter; Chinese Buddhism, especially representations of Guanyin and self-immolation.


Dr Mark Owen, Director of the Winchester Centre of Religions for Reconciliation and Peace.

email: Mark.owen(at)winchester.ac.uk

Research:Religion, peacebuilding and conflict transformation; religion and reconciliation; Buddhist death rituals and practices; Tibetan Buddhism; ethnographic research methods.



York St John University

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

BA in Religious Studies / Theology and Religious Studies:

Introduction to Asian Religions

Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia

Religions of East Asia

Indian Philosophy

Buddhist Ethics

MA in Theology and Religious Studies:

Religion in Practice

Dr. Alice Collett, Senior Lecturer

email: a.collett(at)yorksj.ac.uk

Research: Women in Early Indian Buddhism;Buddhism and Gender; Buddhist Texts; Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit; Early Indian and Sri Lankan inscriptions.