As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how faiths interact with each other and society. This MA creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.
On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.
A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this,you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.
Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.
The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.
On offer is specialised teaching in Hinduism and Islam as well as different aspects of Christian theology. You could study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or in Christian marriage and family life, also taking into account qualitative and quantitative data on marriage and family today, and the political and policy decisions that affect families.
As well as contemporary debates, you will look at historical issues, for example through the effect of Christian theology on art and culture throughout history. You will look at how depictions of nature and grace, suffering and redemption, and gender and incarnation, changed through the Reformation, and then how these new representations influenced modern art and philosophy.
The course also provides opportunity to investigate the relationship of religion and society through modules look at, for example, human rights and community engagement. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationship between the Church and the State, as well as the nature of Christian activism in public policy and public discourse.
Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.
This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to: pursue a PhD or conducting specific research; work in faith-based organisations, social services or education; work in international aid, the charity sector and community organisations.
The master's programme in Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University gives you the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations from a comparative perspective.
This one-year MA programme offers you the best of Leiden University, from outstanding teachers to world-class resources including its library's famous collections. A comparative approach is taken to the study of theories and concepts, which are applied to real-world empirical findings. Topics are explored from a wide range of disciplines from history to sociology.
The multidisciplinary programme offers an expansive curriculum through which you can explore religion as well as tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You will be able to choose between two specialisations:
Religion, Culture and Society is unique for its wide spectrum of religions and themes including modernisation and globalisation. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on skills, tools, methods and theories. You will be equipped with everything needed to analyse situations and tackle problems in society at large. Our staff members are specialised in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Religious movements.
Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity focuses on the changing role of Christianity and the impact of biblical criticism, modern historical scholarship, science and cultural transfers. What makes this specialisation particularly attractive is its non-confessional and comparative approach to the study of Christianity and its diverse expressions in (early) modern history and present-day society. You will study secularising developments including non-religion, agnosticism, and atheism, and underlines the importance of biblical criticism in the tradition of Erasmus and Spinoza.
At Leiden, you are treated as a valued member of a tight-knit academic community. Small classes create an informal atmosphere and provide the opportunity to interact with lecturers. You will develop advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to any societal issue.
This course will prepare you to teach secondary religious education in a variety of school settings, including Roman Catholic faith schools, academies and local authority secondary schools, across the 11-16 age range with post 16 enhancement . You will develop a good understanding of religious education and gain a solid foundation of professional awareness and understanding to help you develop your competence and confidence in imparting your subject knowledge to young people. In addition to enhancing your subject knowledge, the course will develop your practical teaching skills to meet the standards for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will improve your ability to demonstrate a range of key skills, that will support your wider professional development.
The course is designed to help deepen your knowledge and understanding of not only Christianity, which is the main religion taught within all schools, but also all of the other major world religions including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. During your studies you will be introduced to current debates and practices within religious education, as well as those issues relating to the promotion of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. You will be provided with opportunities to engage in the use of study trips to a variety of places of worship, including synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and pagodas in teaching RE.
You will gain a vast amount of experience of teaching as a substantial component of the course involves teaching placements. You will undertake 40 weeks of full-time study at Newman (from early September to the beginning of July), and you can expect to spend at least 24 weeks in school. This focuses on an introduction to secondary teaching, developing standards through partnership school experience and extending and developing your professional skills. Experienced teaching colleagues, including subject mentors – teachers trained to provide beginning teachers with support and guidance - will support you through these placements.
Partnership Tutors from Newman will also be allocated to provide advice and support. You will attend taught sessions at Newman which will provide you with a thorough understanding of education theory that you will be able to apply in the classroom. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to develop your own professional interests thorough individual experiences. You will be encouraged to explore further aspects of religious education with groups of pupils across the age and ability range, including those with special educational needs.
One of the best features of studying this course at Newman is the high level of tutor support it offers. You may also have the option to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS), which enables you to teach in Catholic schools.
You can expect a variety of different teaching methods including off-site teaching, study visits, seminars, lectures and visiting experts in related fields of RE.
• Newman has excellent links with Birmingham’s faith communities.
• Assessment methods are varied and include essays, presentations, seminar preparation, school-based reports, teaching files and appraisal of practical teaching skills.
• To enable you to teach in Catholic schools you will have the opportunity to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS)
A variety of teaching methods are used, including off-site teaching, study visits, seminars, lectures and visiting experts in related fields of RE. Assessment methods include essays, presentations, seminar preparation, school-based reports, teaching files and appraisal of practical teaching skills.