Introduction to Buddhism

Subject Code: 


  Lecture Date Census Date Location

Semester 1 2017 20-24 Feb 2017 20 Feb NTI Wollongong Campus
Semester 2 2017 17-21 July 2017 17 July NTI Wollongong Campus

'Introduction to Buddhism' is an overview of the history of Buddhist thought, and provides the essential foundation for further studies in Buddhism and a portal to all other NTI subjects.

It provides an in-depth introduction to key concepts and practices of the Buddhist tradition across sectarian and historical boundaries, from its origin to later developments spanning 2,500 years. It covers the key Buddhist doctrines and the basic concepts of Buddhist philosophy across various traditions, and critically examines the spiritual meaning of life from the Buddhist perspective. The role of Buddhist theory, meditation, and practice in approaching morality and ethics, as well as contemporary developments in global Buddhism, will be introduced and critically appraised.

'Introduction to Buddhism' studies Buddhism through reflection and experiential learning, and provides experience of Buddhist philosophy and practice in daily life. It fosters critical, inquiring assimilation of Buddhist philosophy and practice through open debate and discussion, innovative angles of interpretation, and experiential immersion in meditation.

Students will:

  • Enhance their knowledge of fundamental concepts of Buddhism.
  • Develop critical thinking on the traditional interpretations of major concepts of Buddhism.
  • Develop specific research questions, objectives or hypotheses for a research project.
  • Explore and develop a personal understanding of the central teachings of Buddhism.

Who is it for?

‘Introduction to Buddhism’ is ideal for:

  • any student starting an NTI postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters program in Applied Buddhist Studies or Health and Social Wellbeing
  • academics, teachers, publishers, librarians
  • health practitioners, including psychologists, psychotherapists, and other mental health professionals
  • anyone involved in international diplomatic relations or foreign aid programs
  • devotees of Buddhism and anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism.


Preliminary reading

1 week prior to lectures and workshops

Lectures and workshops (5 day intensive on-campus)

9:00am - 5:00pm daily


3 weeks - Final assignments due 


'Introduction to Buddhism' is a core subject of Nan Tien Institute's postgraduate Applied Buddhist Studies program. It provides the foundation for all of NTI's courses.

This 6 credit point subject can taken as a Non-Award subject or as a core component of the:

Master of Arts (Applied Buddhist Studies)

72 credit points

Graduate Diploma of Applied Buddhist Studies

48 credit points

Graduate Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies

24 credit points

Study costs/scholarships

The total subject cost is $1,250.00 for Domestic students, and $1,600.00 for International students.

Australian students


International students


Entry requirements

There are no prerequisites to study this subject as a non-award student. Buddhists and non-Buddhists are welcome, and no prior knowledge is required. There are academic and/or program and work experience prerequisites for studying this subject as part of the NTI Applied Buddhist Studies and Health and Social Wellbeing programs. Contact NTI for details on entry requirements.