Soas Masters Dissertations

Dissertation in Buddhist Studies

Module Code:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year
The purpose of the dissertation is to enable students to demonstrate their capacity to carry out a substantial piece of independent academic work on a selected topic in Buddhist Studies. Students will be assessed on their capacity to define a topic for examination, to articulate a coherent scheme for examining this topic, to gather the necessary information, and to analyse and present this information in a way which satisfactorily assesses the topic which they have set themselves.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the Dissertation in Buddhist Studies the student will have:

  • Demonstrated their capacity to carry out a substantial piece of academic work on a selected topic in the field of Buddhist Studies.
  • Defined a topic for examination and articulated a coherent scheme for examining the topic.
  • Gathered the relevant information and analysed and presented this information in a way which satisfactorily assesses the topic.

Method of assessment

10,000 word Dissertation.

Word count is defined as the number of words contained in the submitted work including quotations, footnotes, titles, abstracts, summaries and tables of contents. Appendices and bibliographies are not included in the word count. Appendices will not normally be marked and they must not include material essential to the argument developed in the main body of the work.

Suggested reading

Show Required reading list

Readings will vary according to the particular topic selected, but integral to the process of selecting a suitable topic is the choice of a topic for which adequate resources (whether books, journals, on-line resources etc.) are already available to a SOAS Masters student.

Guidelines for preparation of Masters dissertations


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules


Finding theses in SOAS Library

Print copies of SOAS theses have to be ordered and consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room on Level F.

Please note that the Library does not hold MA dissertations.

Check the Library catalogue. Search by author or title if you know the details of a particular thesis you would like to see. If you just want to see what theses we have on a certain subject select class mark search, type in the word Thesis and then limit your search results by keyword.

All SOAS theses have to be ordered for collection from the Special Collections Reading Room on Level F. Once you have found the thesis you would like to see on the library catalogues, note down the Classmark and complete a requisition slip. Collections take place at regular times throughout the day and you will be able to consult the thesis in the Special Collections Reading Room, 30 minutes after the collection times.

SOAS Research Online

A number of SOAS PhD Theses are available from SOAS' open access research repository - SOAS Research Online

British Library EThOS (Electronic Theses Online) service

You can also search EThOS to see if the thesis has been digitized for immediate download. If it has not been digitized you can request for the thesis to be digitized. If the thesis is not catalogued on EThOS you can make a request for a digital copy providing the details of the thesis and where it was completed. It takes 30 days for a thesis to be digitized.

SOAS PhD Digitization Project 2017

SOAS is currently working with Proquest to digitize our entire collection of PhD theses. The results of this project will mean that theses will be made available to anyone to read, without charge, via SOAS Research Online. In addition, a copy will be added to ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses online database, a very well established database used by students and researchers internationally.

Please note that this may affect access to the printed library copy of some theses in 2017, if this is the case there will be a note in the catalogue records of the individual thesis. Once a PhD thesis is added to SOAS Research Online you will be able to find a link to the digital copy via the SOAS Library Catalogue.

We have written to our SOAS PhD graduates by letter and email to ask authors to opt-out of the project if they do not want their thesis to be digitized. If you are an author of a SOAS PhD thesis and did not receive this communication and do not want your thesis to be included in the project please let us know by writing to Please note any thesis submitted from 2011 onwards is not included in this project as authors have already selected whether they wish to have their thesis digitized and these existing agreements will stand.

Finding theses not held by SOAS Library

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