Tibetan and Himalayan Studies MPhil

The golden chorten at the Tashiding monastery complex in West Sikkim. Photograph by Dhillan Chandramowli. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This programme aims to introduce Tibetan and Himalayan studies to students who do not have a background in the subject. Emphasis is on teaching the Tibetan language (both spoken and literary). Students are also introduced to the history and civilisation of the area, including Tibetan history, society, literature and religions.

You will read academic articles and books by way of general background to the region, and will attend weekly lectures on various aspects of Tibetan history and civilisation in the Michaelmas and Hilary terms. Selected topics will be treated in more detail in a set of eight essays/tutorials. You will also be encouraged to attend a series of introductory lectures on Buddhism. Throughout the whole course, attendance at lectures by visiting scholars as well as the weekly student presentations in Tibetan studies will be strongly recommended.

You will be encouraged to use the long summer vacation between the first and second year to attend summer schools abroad or visit Tibetan-speaking communities in Tibet or in South Asia to develop your language skills, and to begin work on your dissertations.

Teaching takes place through language classes, lectures and tutorials. Students submit their dissertations in the third (Trinity) term of the second year.


The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

Entry Requirements

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should normally hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any subject.

If your degree is not from the UK, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

Graduate Destinations

Many graduates of Oriental studies have undertaken further research and pursued successful careers in the academic world, education, publishing and in museums. Some graduates have also chosen a different career path and found employment in other fields including business, finance, law, civil service, journalism, government and industry.

Graduates or Tibetan and Himalayan Studies often move on to postdoctoral academic positions, research projects in Tibetan studies, or Buddhist translation projects. While teaching and research in an academic context is the most typical career path, it is also possible to find employment in other fields such as charities and NGOs, public education, copy editing for publishers specialising in Buddhism, or fillm making, to name just a few examples.

Further Information

Tibetan and Himalyan Studies is collaborating closely with the Tibetan & Himalayan Studies Centre at Wolfson College.

For further information please refer to our Postgraduate Taught Courses Handbook.

Please click here to access the Tibetan Graduates Studies Seminar (TGSS), a weekly series of colloquia and guest lectures at the Oriental Institute.