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SHAN STATE BUDDHIST UNIVERSITY
MA in Pali and Buddhist Studies
Academic year 2018-19

Overview:
Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU) offers an MA programme in Pali and Buddhist Studies. In this unique MA degree, students can tap into our rich tradition of excellence in textual, philological, philosophical, psychological and doctrinal study and gain perspective on ways in which Buddhism informs and is informed by the contemporary world.

Why study at SSBU?
Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU) founded in 2014 by Ven. Prof. Dr. K. Dhammasami (DPhil. Oxford) is the first Buddhist university established in Shan State, Myanmar. It is located around serene hills which only takes about ten minutes by car from downtown of Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State.

SSBU’s MA programme offers a wide range of courses, including Pali, Tipitaka studies, Meditation, Buddhist Philosophy and Buddhism in Myanmar. The tutors of the students who will also be the MA lecturers of SSBU include Ven. Prof. Dr. K. Dhammasami (Oxford Sayadaw) (Dhammacariya, MA and MPhil. Kelaniya, DPhil. Oxford); Prof. Peter Koret (PhD SOAS University of London), a specialist on Lao literature and culture; Dr. Susan Conway (BA West Surrey College, MA Goldsmith’s College, PhD Brighton), a Research Associate at SOAS and a specialist on Shan culture; Dr. Aleix Ruiz Falqués (BA Barcelona, MA Pune University, PhD Cambridge), a Pali scholar; Dr. Pyi Phyo Kyaw (BA Oxford, MA SOAS, PhD King’s College, London), a Postdoctoral Fellow of Buddhist Studies at King’s College; Dr. Anuja Ajotikar (MPhil. Pune University, PhD ITT Bombay), a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Sanskrit Library; and Dr. David Wharton (PhD University of Passau), a specialist on the language, orthography and Buddhist manuscript culture of the Tai Nuea ethnic group. More scholar-tutors will join.

Moreover, since 2015, SSBU has been training the teachers of our MA programme. The academic training workshops for our teachers have covered a wide range of areas, including how to teach at a postgraduate level and how to be research-active scholars, all of which are important aspects of good academic practice. We strongly believe that academic excellence comes from continuous academic training and development. Therefore, SSBU provides in-house academic training for our teaching staff to ensure our teachers are of the highest standard.

As part of our commitment to academic excellence, library is an important component of SSBU, supporting the university’s teaching, learning and research activities. SSBU library currently houses over ten thousands of academic books collected from Europe, America and Asia, covering diverse areas of study. In the future, we hope to make SSBU library an outstanding Buddhist library containing books and resources in many different languages.

Entry requirements and length of study:
Academic requirements —–
Applicants who apply for one-year MA programme (12 months) at SSBU will be expected to hold an one-year MA in Buddhist Studies or an MA in other disciplines.

Applicants who apply for two-year MA programme (24 months) at SSBU will be expected to hold a BA degree, including Dhammācariya Degree from Myanmar, Pali IX from Thailand, and Prachina Pandit from Sri Lanka.

Language requirements:
Applicants are expected to have a good knowledge of Pali and English. For English language entry requirements, applicants are expected to have 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill for IELTS or 60-78 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing, 23 in reading and 20 in each of the other skills for TOEFL, or any other equivalent.

Structure of one-year MA programme:
Students on a one-year MA programme must complete a total of 180 credits, made up of a combination of compulsory courses, optional courses and a dissertation.

Compulsory courses:
The one-year MA programme consists of three compulsory courses:
Pali Language and Literature (40 credits)
Theravada Buddhist Meditation (20 credits)
Independent Research (20 credits)

In addition, students must complete a compulsory dissertation (60 credits).

Optional courses
In addition, students are required to take up to 40 credits from a list of courses which may typically include:
• Vinaya Texts (Not running 2018-19)
• Sutta Studies
• Abhidhamma Studies
• Buddhist Philosophy
• Buddhism and Society
• Buddhist Ethics
• Buddhist History
• Abhidhamma in Theravada World (Not running 2018-19)
• Buddhism in Myanmar
• Buddhism in Thailand
• Anthropology and Material Culture of the Shan

Structure of two-year MA Programme:
Students on a two-year MA programme must complete a total of 360 credits, made up of a combination of compulsory courses, optional courses and a dissertation.

Compulsory courses:
The two-year MA programme consists of three compulsory 40 credit courses:
Pali Language and Literature (40 credits)
Theravada Buddhist Meditation (40 credits)
Independent Research (40 credits)

In addition, students must complete a compulsory dissertation (60 credits).

Optional courses
In addition, students are required to take up to 180 credits from the list of courses which may include:
• Vinaya Texts (Not running 2018-19)
• Sutta Studies
• Abhidhamma Studies
• Buddhist Philosophy
• Buddhism and Society
• Buddhist Ethics
• Buddhist History
• Abhidhamma in Theravada World (Not running 2018-19)
• Buddhism in Myanmar
• Buddhism in Thailand
• Anthropology and Material Culture of the Shan

Programme format and assessment

Teaching and learning
One of the aims of SSBU is to train our students to a high standard of education in a multidisciplinary MA programme so that they become confident, independent teachers and researchers after their graduation. In order to achieve this aim, we would follow teaching and learning methods and approaches that put students at the centre. This means that responsibility for the learning path is in the hands of students. Moreover, teaching focuses on skills and practices, such as essay writing and research projects, that enable lifelong learning and independent problem-solving.

As part of your academic training to become an independent learner, we will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study per week. Each week we will provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars.

In terms of student’s workload, one credit typically equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment:
Methods of assessment vary between courses. They typically involve the submission of regular essays (one essay every three weeks), some coursework, class tests and a written examination. A few courses are assessed through only one or two of these methods.

How to apply?
Application procedure
Applicants must complete an application form, and submit it along with supporting documents to SSBU by email or post.

Supporting documents –
• An essay (1,500 words) on a topic which is related to areas of study offered at SSBU. See the list of courses mentioned above for areas of study offered at SSBU.
• A personal statement, which clearly explains why you wish to take our programme, and outlines your relevant background experience.
• A copy of Degree Certificate or Dhammacariya Certificate (with officially certified English translation).
• A copy of Academic Transcript (with officially certified English translation) (No transcript needed for Dhammacariya Degree holder).
• IELTS or TOEFL English Language certificate. (6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill for IELTS or 60-78 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing, 23 in reading and 20 in each of the other skills for TOEFL, or any other equivalent.)
• A recommendation letter from the abbot/abbess of current residing monastery/nunnery or the head of previous university/college.
• Certificate of Health.
• A copy of ID card (for locals) or passport (for foreigners).

Application closing date:
We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our application deadline is the 14th February 2018.

Entrance examination and interview:
Shortlisted candidates will be invited (by email) to sit an entrance (written) examination and an interview in March 2018.

The entrance examination will consist of two components, testing the level of Pali and general knowledge of Buddhism, and last 2 hours.

Fees:
For clergy, courses, accommodation and food are free of charge.
For laypeople, courses and food are free of charge. Accommodation should be arranged by yourself.

Only registration and final examination fees are charged.

You can also expect to pay for:
1. Personal expenses
2. Library fee and fine
3. Photocopies and printings
4. Travel costs for field trip and study tour
5. Graduation costs

Important Note:
1. Your application must be complete — including supporting documents — and submitted before the deadline, i.e. Wednesday 14 February 2018. Late applications cannot be accepted.
2. There are two choices to submit your application documents:
• Email completed application forms with all documents to ssbuadmissionoffice@gmail.com
• Mail completed application forms with all documents to the following address:
Admission Office,
Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU),
Phaya Phyu Quarter, Pannabodhi Street,
Taunggyi, Shan State,
Myanmar.
3. Application with incomplete application form, documents and uncertified certificates will not be processed.
4. We will let you know by email whether or not your application is successful.

FAQs
I have submitted my application. How can I tell whether it has been received successfully?
If your application has been sent successfully, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt via email. If you receive no acknowledgement, it means the application has not been submitted.

When will SSBU run undergraduate programmes?
Undergraduate degrees will be offered soon.

Note: Download the SSBU Application Form from given link below. (Clicking copy & paste the links on web browser):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUpSAfhLygd4cSY0oNetCMRzBqspYEhv/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JtwiBNuYaphd3m1iS8BRIpQ62ZM2gebK/view?usp=sharing

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