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Confirmation that this version of the module specification has been approved by the School Learning and Teaching Committee:

………………A. Stähler, 16 FEB 2015…………….(date)


  1. Title of the module

TH346 – Introduction to Asian Traditions

  1. School or partner institution which will be responsible for management of the module

SECL, Asian Studies

  1. Start date of the module

September 2014 (Revised for September 2015)

  1. The number of students expected to take the module


  1. Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation with other relevant Schools and Faculties regarding the withdrawal:


  1. The level of the module (e.g. Certificate [C], Intermediate [I], Honours [H] or Postgraduate [M])


  1. The number of credits and the ECTS value which the module represents

30 (15 ECTS)

  1. Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern)

Autumn or Spring

  1. Prerequisite and co-requisite modules


  1. The programmes of study to which the module contributes

Joint Honours with Asian Studies (BA). It may also be taken as an option within Single Honours Religious Studies or Joint Honours Religious Studies, or as a ‘wild’ module.

  1. The intended subject specific learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

11.1 demonstrate an appreciation of the richness and diversity present within specific Asian traditions and civilisation;

    1. describe and articulate a key concept, idea, theme or practice relevant to a South Asian tradition;

    2. describe and articulate a key concept, idea, theme or practice relevant to an East Asian tradition;

    3. demonstrate an appreciation of the problems of translating Asian traditions and concepts into a western interpretive framework and language;

    4. understand the broad historical development of Asian civilisations and traditions;

    5. improve their own learning and performance by applying a variety of methodological, hermeneutical, and historiographical perspectives relevant to the study of Asia.

  1. The intended generic learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

    1. enhance their communication skills, such as responding to written sources from the Asian traditions studied, presented information orally through class presentations, organised information in a clear and coherent fashion and

    2. develop their writing and organizing skills through essay writing and a pre-seen timed test;

    3. work cooperatively with others in the group on seminar tasks and defined and reviewed the work of others.

  1. A synopsis of the curriculum

This module provides an historical introduction to the philosophical, religious and cultural traditions of South and East Asia. It will provide a foundation for understanding the historical development, key concepts and important practices of the major worldviews of India, China and Japan with specific reference to the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Daoist and Shinto traditions.

  1. Indicative Reading List

  • Breen, J. and Teeuven, M. (2003) A Short History of Shinto, Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Cali, J. (2013) Shinto Shrines, University of Hawaii Press.

  • Flood, G. (1996) An introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge: CUP.

  • Harvey, P. (1990) An Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge: CUP.

  • Knott, Kim (1998) Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: OUP.

  • Keown, D. (2013) Buddhism – A Very Short Introduction, (2nd edition) Oxford: OUP.

  • Littleton, C. S. (2002) Understanding Shinto, London: Duncan Baird.

  • Oldstone-Moore, Jennifer (2003) Understanding Confucianism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places, London: Duncan Baird.

  • Rahula, W. (1997) What The Buddha Taught, (new edition) One World Publications.

  • Rainy, Lee Dian (2011) ‘Confucius and Confucianism: The Essentials, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

  1. Learning and Teaching Methods, including the nature and number of contact hours and the total study hours which will be expected of students, and how these relate to achievement of the intended learning outcomes

Learning and Teaching Methods:

  • 2 x 1 hour lecture for 10 weeks (20 hours)

  • 1 x 1 hour seminar for 10 weeks (10 hours)

  • Total Contact hours: 30

  • Total study hours: 300

Lectures are important to enable students to be introduced to the various historical, philosophical and textual elements of Asian traditions and civilizations, allowing time for questions and critical analysis. Lectures will also give students the opportunity to gain the tools necessary to make critical evaluations of concepts and ideas pertaining to Asian literature, traditions and ideas (Learning outcomes: 11.1-6, 12.3)

Seminars will enable students to enhance their oral skills and to work cooperatively with others in the group. In the directed learning, students will be advised to read the course literature, thereby developing their library and research skills, prepare written work, thereby developing their IT skills, and demonstrate responsibility and autonomy in learning. (learning outcomes 11.1-6, 12.1-3)

  1. Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended learning outcomes

Two coursework essays

(1). A 2500 word essay on a topic related to South Asian traditions and culture (50%)

(2). A 2500 word essay on a topic related to East Asian traditions and culture (50%)

Achievement of learning outcomes:

  • Course work essay 1 will address learning outcomes 11.1, 11.2, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3

  • Course work essay 2 will address learning outcomes 11.1, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3

  1. Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space

Most of the books on South Asian traditions are already available in the. A small number of relevant textbooks on East Asian traditions will need to be ordered.

  1. The School recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality legislation, and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need in its teaching. Within this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever necessary, including additional or substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment methods for students who have declared and discussed their learning support needs. Arrangements for students with declared disabilities will be made on an individual basis, in consultation with the University’s disability/dyslexia support service, and specialist support will be provided where needed.

  1. Campus(es) where module will be delivered:


Module Specification Template (v.October 2014)

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