Study Buddhism at the University

There are a wide range of opportunities for studying Buddhism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Postgraduate study and research

A Burmese Manuscript

Masters and doctoral level enquiries are very much encouraged. Although we do not have a specific programme for Buddhist Studies, you can study Buddhism as part of postgraduate programmes in Art History, Asian Studies, Philosophy, or Religious Studies.

Please browse members' profiles and contact EBS or appropriate individual members of the committee to chat about your project and supervision. For PhD programs, potential applicants are allowed to have two supervisors. Applicants should submit their applications to the school where their principal supervisor (or lead co-supervisor) is affiliated. It is not necessary for the assistant (or co-) supervisor to be affiliated with the same school as the principal supervisor.

Either taught or research masters and PhD degrees are available through our graduate schools.

Funding opportunities can be accessed via the relevant school pages:

Asian Studies postgraduate study

Divinity postgraduate study

History of Art postgraduate study

School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences postgraduate study


Undergraduate study

Man reading a newspaaper at Pagan

Depending on your interests there are many combinations and options within degree programmes that allow you to study Buddhism.

Course choices will give you the opportunity to tailor your programme to suit you within the Schools of

  • Divinity, 
  • Literatures Languages and Cultures,
  • History of Art (Edinburgh College of Art), and
  • Social and Political Science primarily.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started on exploring the possibilities.


Asian Studies

Unrolled scroll of The Perfection of Wisdom in 25,000 Lines

Literatures, and their languages of composition are important parts of the study of Buddhism.

The University has over 150 years of experience in the study and teaching of Asian languages.

There are specialists in Sinhalese, Korean, Pali, and Sanskrit on hand.

The University offers degrees in Japanese and Chinese that can unlock these cultural treasure chests.

MA Japanese

MA Chinese


History of Art

Ruined Temple in Sri Lanka

From The Buddha’s birthplace of Lumbini in modern day Nepal to the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Kagyu Samye Ling in the Scottish Borders, the places where Buddhists have lived and practiced over the centuries are rich in history and alive with artefacts.

An interest in Japanese temple architecture or a yearning to discover the oases of the ancient Silk Route might lead you to History of Art at Edinburgh College of Art.

MA History of Art


 Religious Studies

Monk at Cave Site

The study of religion can be approached from numerous directions. From texts and their translation and interpretation to ethnography and immersive fieldwork.

Perhaps you are interested in the modern Buddhists of California, the dynamics of Taiwanese diaspora communities, or wish to make a comparison of the two.

The School of Divinity offers it all along with a thriving community of scholars and students.

MA Religious Studies