Sanskrit | University of Oxford


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.

BA in Oriental Studies (Sanskrit)

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).

BA in Classics and Oriental Studies

Sanskrit can also be studied as a main or second subject in the joint degree of Classics and Oriental Studies. This course allows you to combine the study of an Oriental language and culture with Latin and/or Greek and the study of the ancient world.

BA in Religion and Oriental Studies

Religion and Oriental Studies is a three-year course that gives you the opportunity to combine the study of Sanskrit with a range of options offered as by the Theology Faculty.