Our MA programme is designed both for specialists to deepen their knowledge and skills and for graduates of other Humanities disciplines to switch into postgraduate level understanding of our subjects. The key to us being able to do this is the centring of the courses around high-level, small-group seminar discussion, mainly assessed by essays that form mini-research projects in areas of your interest. These courses are followed by one-to one supervision for a research dissertation. This structure means that if you have studied an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy, Ethics or related subjects, the MA provides an extended opportunity to work in depth in what fascinated you in your BA, while also offering the chance for exploring other areas that you might have missed. On the other hand, if your degree is in another area of Humanities, the small-group and one-to-one focus gives us the chance to provide tailored help to get up to speed in any area of Religions and Theology. You are also able to join in undergraduate classes, whether that is to have an extended exposure to the basics of a topic or to learn a language. In fact, even students who already have a BA in the field quite often find that they want to pick up a subject that they previously missed. One of Manchester's key distinctive features is that you are very free to do this.
This programme enables specialisation, while stressing a broad, interdisciplinary and comparative approach. Courses can be taken from across the offerings within the discipline and beyond. Courses cover a wide range of topics, including Biblical studies, Jewish studies, Christian studies, South Asian studies, philosophy, ethics, gender studies and politics.
Twilight menu of courses available for CPD and other study. The core courses and the main MA course unit options are generally timetabled between 4-6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday evenings, enabling the MA to be completed by studying in time-slots designed to be as suitable as possible for continuing professional development for school-teachers and others in full or part-time work.
Multi-religious Manchester . We offer the opportunity to study the religious life of one of the world's most ethnically rich cities. Our MA covers a wide range of religious traditions. There are particular dissertation and other learning opportunities in South Asian Studies : study of religions of India, Pakistan and their neighbours, and of UK communities with roots in those countries, ethnic minorities and religious identities.
John Rylands Library . The library houses many collections of world importance, including papyri, manuscripts and the world Methodist archive. As an MA student you are able to access the archives and propose a dissertation topic using archive material, for use of which you will receive training.
Bill Williams Library. A study space for Religions and Theology, housing a major collection on Anglo-Jewish history and other resources for Jewish Studies.
Please see our Facilities section below for further information on:
MA students take two core courses and up to six options, then write a dissertation. The programme takes 12 months full-time or up to 27 months part-time. Assessment is usually by essay on a topic agreed between the student and lecturer. Language course units may also involve an examination. The dissertation is 12-15000 words and you will receive one-to-one supervisory support.
The primary focus of all our postgraduate degrees is to give people research skills, whether for academic work or for another career. Many professions today require investigative skills. Some in the media spend time researching angles of events that relate to religions. Some in the health service investigate the experiences of various cultural groups in accessing services. Many in museums, libraries and other archives require the textual and historical research skills that our courses teach. Postgraduate study in Religions and Theology gives you a high level qualification for a wide range of investigative tasks.
Our masters degrees qualify you for research study at Manchester or at virtually any other high-level academic institution in the world. Many of our MA students are preparing for PhD study. Other students take Manchester MAs to enhance their understanding of a particular religious tradition, either their own or that of others. The programmes in Biblical Studies and Theology, Culture and Society offer particular opportunities for continuing professional development for church ministers. All of our courses offer valuable further professional development for teachers of Religious Education. In applying for a job in any field, a Manchester postgraduate degree will mark you out as someone with high-level skills and a track-record of successful engagement with serious and complex issues.
The political and social dimensions of religions are at the heart of this innovative programme, which explores the role of religions and theology in global development. You’ll consider religion as a resource, obstacle and participant in development, exploring the relationships between religions, aid agencies and local communities.
You’ll develop your understanding of both development and religious studies, as core modules introduce you to theories and issues in development and how they relate to developing countries across the Global South. In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules in each area, allowing you to specialise in topics such as the links between conflict or gender and development, or the role of religion in public life.
Drawing on sociological, historical, anthropological and political approaches, this diverse degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge to research the relationship between religions and development in a stimulating environment.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.
This course is taught jointly by Theology and Religious Studies and the Centre for Global Development.
Across the year you’ll study a core module introducing you to theories and approaches in development studies, and how social, economic and political inequalities lay at the heart of development. In Semester Two another core module will focus on the complex relationships between religions and global development – the views of different religious traditions towards issues such as poverty, gender and welfare, and the roles they can play in development.
At the same time you’ll be thinking about your dissertation: an independent research project on a topic of your choice which allows you to demonstrate the skills and subject knowledge that you gain. You can choose to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even greater depth. You’ll submit the finished dissertation by the end of the programme in August.
You’ll also have other opportunities to specialise, as you choose from optional modules to focus on topics that suit your interests or career plans. In development studies, you’ll select from modules on topics such as democracy and development, or Africa in the modern world. If you opt for the standard dissertation, you’ll choose another module from religious studies.
If you decide to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
There are three compulsory modules throughout the programme including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose an optional module, or if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits) you’ll take a single optional module.
Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures and seminars, which allow you to discuss the issues arising from your lectures and reading. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, as it allows you to develop your skills and gives you space to form your own ideas.
We also use a range of assessment methods. These usually include essays, but some modules may involve project reports and presentations. Modules taught by other Schools within the University may also use different methods.
This programme will equip you with diverse and in-depth subject knowledge, as well as strong political and cultural awareness. These are all valuable in a wide range of careers – and you’ll also have advanced skills in areas such as analysis and interpretation, oral and written communication, and different types of research.
Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors where they can use their knowledge of development and religion, as well as a variety of other fields. These include the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.
We offer plenty of support to boost your employability, including an impressive array of research training offered by the School, the University Library and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. The School also has a dedicated postgraduate employment advisor who can offer tailored careers advice.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This master's programme was started in response to the growing salience of the interaction of society, law and religion in our multi-religious and yet highly secularised global world.
The Master of Society, Law and Religion provides a unique introduction to the strategic area of society, law and religion and brings you in contact with outstanding international experts in the field.
What is the 'Master of Society, Law and Religion' all about?
The programme aims at enabling students to gain a solid and critical knowledge on key issues such as the place of religion in the public sphere, the debate on secularism, the role of the State vis-à-vis religion, church and relationships, human rights and religion, European and international law and religion, and domestic and international politics of religious freedom. Taught at the Faculty of Canon Law, the programme is particularly sensitive to the autonomy of religions, religious self-government, and religious laws.
While all students receive a basic training in the law of the Roman Catholic Church, the programme embraces all religions and faith communities, and includes classes in Jewish, Islamic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant law. African and Asian religions and customs are also investigated, as far as their relation to law and society is concerned.
The programme can be taken as a self-standing programme or as a gateway to the Master of Canon Law. This initial master's program can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. In order to facilitate students wishing combine education with employment or social engagement, the programme allows for distance learning and spreading of examinations. The large choice of subjects from different faculties enables students to tailor their educational experience, to their interests, needs and projects.
The Master of Society, Law and Religion suits students who are genuinely interested in the interaction of society, law and religion and who are willing to engage critically with the issues at stake. Any background in the area of law, social sciences and religious studies is fit for the purpose, provided that the student is ready to cope with the various methodologies and languages.
Thanks to extensive course offerings in the area of Roman Catholic canon law, the programme also suits those students preparing to enter the Master of Canon Law programme with the aim of achieving the canonical degree 'Iuris Canonici Licentiatus' (JCL).
Main goal of the programme is to develop the acquired basic skills in the Bachelor of Law, the Bachelor of Theology or another programme in view of a specialized exploration of the area 'Society, Law and Religion'. The student obtains a basic knowledge on the legal system of the Roman Catholic Church and the other christian churches. He gets acquainted with legal sources and obtains the required skills to interpret the rules incorporated in the Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC). The student is initiated in the complex interaction between social structures and secular law on one side, and the legal structures of the Church at the other side. Research, consultancy and communication skills as well as other social elements are stimulated. The student is able to develop a sound research strategy, and to present an accurate synthesis of existing knowledge and a well-argued personal and critical reflection. He is able to present a well-considered research question, to develop a research plan, and to select relevant sources. Those who selected optional courses in canon law are allowed to start in the programme 'Master of Canon Law'.
Religion is increasingly acknowledged as a crucial factor in areas such as politics and the economy, social and corporate management, culture, employment, education, health care, international cooperation, and conflict resolution.
Candidates for positions in these areas, in the private or public sector, as well as those already employed, will benefit from gaining a topical knowledge in the field.
Graduates can further develop their education at the Faculty of Canon Law through by moving on to the Master in Canon Law or the doctoral programme in Society, Law and Religion.