Sanskrit is the key to Indian civilization, and is taught in this spirit at Oxford. While India may be best known in the West for its religious leaders from the Buddha to Gandhi, it has excelled in fields from logic to music. Sanskrit literature, both sacred and secular, is immensely rich and varied.
The BA in Oriental Studies (Sanskrit) is a three-year degree. The course concentrates on giving students a thorough grounding in the language, and the bulk of the teaching proceeds by the reading and explication of classical texts. Students also specialise in a subject area of their choice.
Students initially focus on learning Sanskrit, and are also required to take a subsidiary language from the second year. The choice of a subsidiary language lies between Old Iranian, Hindi, Pali, Prakrit and Tibetan. The material in Old Iranian is mainly Zoroastrian literature, in Pali exclusively Buddhist literature, and in Prakrit both Jaina literature and secular creative literature (poetry and drama).
For further information please download a copy of the Course Handbook.