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Masters Degrees (Sociology Of Religion)

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Globalisation and immigration have transformed the religious and cultural landscape in 21st century multicultural societies, leading to many challenges and complexities posed by religion in modern democracies. Read more

Globalisation and immigration have transformed the religious and cultural landscape in 21st century multicultural societies, leading to many challenges and complexities posed by religion in modern democracies.

This new course, which is the first of its kind in the UK, addresses those challenges and complexities and will provide you with a framework to engage with issues relating to the place of religion in public life.

The course is hosted by Westminster Law School and shares modules with the rest of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities as well as Westminster School of Media Art and Design. The course is not affiliated to any particular faith but takes a broad approach to religion including non-religious beliefs. It will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the place of religion in society and the role of law.

You can choose whether you want to study for the MA or LLM. For the MA you will need to have obtained a minimum of 180 credits at Level 7. You will have to take the three compulsory core modules which are: Law and Religion: Theory and Practice; Law and Religion in Context and Sociology of Law and Religion. In addition, you will have to write a dissertation and take an additional three optional modules of your choice.

Students who wish to obtain the award of LLM will need to write a dissertation with a substantial law element and are expected to take at least one law option in addition to the core modules.

MA

  • Law and Religion Theory and Practice (20 credits)
  • Law and Religion in Context (20 credits)
  • Sociology of Religion (20 credits)
  • MA Dissertation (60 credits)   
  • 3 options of your choice (from the proposed list)

LLM

  • Law and Religion Theory and Practice (20 credits)
  • Law and Religion in Context (20 credits)
  • Sociology of Religion (20 credits)   
  • LLM Dissertation in Law (60 credits)   
  • 3 options, one of which must be from Law

The course will equip you with key skills such as the ability to carry out independent research and to deal with sensitive topics. You will develop an awareness of world challenges posed by religion, a thorough knowledge of equality and non-discrimination legislation, debating and mooting skills, the ability to be non-judgmental, and to work in a multicultural environment.

Students will also benefit significantly from the Law and Religion Research Cluster which launched in February 2017. The research cluster will hold regular events on topical issues and provide an opportunity for students to network with academics and professionals associated with the field of religion, law and society. 

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Please note that option modules are subject to student demand and staffing availability, therefore not all modules will be offered in the same academic year.

Core modules

OR:

Option modules

Option modules from Westminster School of Law:

Options from Politics and International Relations:

Option modules from Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design:

Career path

Destinations for graduates will include - for example - academia, government departments, local councils, politics, education, human resources, the legal profession, marketing and journalism.



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Pg Cert. This programme aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts and issues relating to Religion in a variety of intellectual traditions and historical and contemporary contexts. Read more

Pg Cert

This programme aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts and issues relating to Religion in a variety of intellectual traditions and historical and contemporary contexts. You will gain a systematic understanding of a range of debates and discussions raised by past and present religious belief and practice. In addition, the PgCert will equip you with the necessary skills appropriate to evaluating, analysing and interpreting both academic and practitioner approaches to Religion.

In addition to the core module of Studying Religion you will choose two optional modules from the range available in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion.

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.

Pg Cert (distance learning)

The programme, delivered entirely online, aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts, issues and practices relating to Religious Studies. You will gain a systematic understanding of a number of ways in which the scholarship of religion frames and analyses religious belief and practice in the modern world. In addition the PgCert will also allow you to gain a firm grasp of the necessary skills appropriate to evaluating, analysing and interpreting the concrete contexts of contemporary religious belief and practice.

The programme comprises three modules, two compulsory and one taken from the suite of religion modules specifically designed for distance learning delivery.

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.

MA

This is a broad MA programme for anyone interested in the academic discipline of Religious Studies. It is designed to introduce you to key theoretical and methodological issues in the study of religion from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

The programme explores key topics such as the social and cultural transformations of contemporary religion and spirituality; religion and conflict; religion and popular culture; modern religious thought and history; new religious movements; and religion and gender. In addition, the programme provides you with an opportunity to explore the history, texts and contemporary contexts of specific religious traditions.

The advanced research skills, developed through the programme, are relevant to a range of professions. Equally, it also provides a firm foundation for those looking to pursue academic careers.

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.



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The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

It typically suits students falling into one of the following three categories:

- students planning to pursue further research, which may involve at a subsequent stage the acquisition of a doctoral degree and a career in higher education;

- students willing to pursue a career or professional activity, for which advanced knowledge of the religions of Asia and Africa and of the theoretical and practical issues involved in their study is essential: arts, media, teaching, NGOs and charities, interfaith dialogue, consultancy for governmental agencies or the private sector, religious institutions, museums, and more.

- students who wish to pursue the academic study of religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments: religious ministers and clerics from all confessions, believers, yoga and meditation practitioners; anyone interested in specific religious traditions or in religion as an essential dimension of life, and in the critical and experiential enhancement that their academic study may offer.

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa at SOAS offers the premier postgraduate curriculum in the U.K. for the study of the religions of Asia and Africa. It covers a wider range of religious traditions than most comparable programmes, whether in the U.K. or abroad: Buddhism in nearly all its doctrinal and regional varieties, Asian and African Christianities, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism as well as the local religious cultures of Asia and Africa.

The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, offering advanced learning in theories and methods in the study of religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions. It ensures students can benefit from the unique opportunity to tap cutting-edge academic expertise and library facilities on Asian and African religions as part of a spirited, cosmopolitan student community and within the intense religious and cultural scene of London.

Email:

Phone: 020 7898 4217

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/

Structure

Overview:
1. Students take taught courses (half and/or full units) equivalent to three units in total from the list of taught courses.

2. The 4th and final unit is a Dissertation.

3. Languages: Students in the MA Religions of Asia and Africa may substitute one of their taught courses for a language course (most are taught in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures).

Note: Students wishing to take other SOAS courses relevant to their studies but taught outside the department may do so with the written approval of the tutor of the relevant course, the Department's MA Convenor and the Faculty's Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

Programme Specification

MA Religions of Asia and Africa Programme Specification 2012-13 (msword; 223kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/file80695.doc

Employment

An MA in Religions of Asia and Africa from SOAS equips students with important knowledge and understanding of different cultures, history and beliefs across the regions of Asia and Africa. As well as subject expertise, students develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional careers in the private and public sectors as well as essential skills necessary to pursue further research. These include: the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources - often both in the original or other relevant languages; analytical skills to assess critically the materials relevant to a specific issue; written and oral communication skills to present, discuss and debate opinions and conclusions; and problem solving skills. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at SOAS, University of London. The Faculty is home to the departments of Anthropology & Sociology, Art & Archaeology, History, Music, Study of Religions and the Centre for Media Studies, as well as a number of subject specific Centres.

The study of arts and humanities has been central to SOAS activity since 1917. All Faculty staff are specialists in regions as well as disciplines, and all subjects taught at undergraduate level within the Faculty can be combined with other disciplines across the School. Indeed, the range of course options and combinations is a distinctive characteristic of studying at SOAS, with the option of studying language units included within all our degrees.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Music, which was already ranked highly, has risen to 5th in the UK, with over half of its publications judged ‘world-leading’; History of Art and Archaeology has seen a dramatic rise up the league tables, from 17th to 8th (out of 25), coming in the top 5 nationally for the quality of its publications. This is just one indication of the international importance of the research activity carried out by academic staff, and staff research provides the basis of teaching activity in the Faculty.

At postgraduate level the Faculty is committed to providing stimulating courses that enable students to study particular countries or regions in depth, and to explore comparisons and contrasts across the major areas of Asia and Africa. The programmes are designed to provide students with the knowledge they need to understand the nature of other societies and cultures, and to form ideas about the past, present and future of the complex and multicultural world in which we all live.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Oxford Brookes University is the home of the Centre for Medical Humanities, which is renowned nationally and internationally for its innovative and cutting-edge scholarship. Read more
Oxford Brookes University is the home of the Centre for Medical Humanities, which is renowned nationally and internationally for its innovative and cutting-edge scholarship.

The MA History (History of Medicine) is a distinctive strand within our MA History. The strands offers you the unique chance to focus specifically on the social, scientific and cultural history of medicine, as well as the relationship between medicine and the humanities (history, philosophy, sociology, literature and art) through a course of research training. It also gives you the flexibility to pursue taught modules in other aspects of history if you wish.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/history-of-medicine/

Why choose this course?

- You will benefit from being taught by a team of nationally and internationally recognised scholars. We are all active researchers and we include all aspects of our own research on the course, teaching specialist modules in our areas of expertise and supervising dissertations in our specialist subjects.

- The knowledge and expertise you gain is grounded in the latest scholarship within the field.

- You will have the opportunity to conduct advanced research on a dissertation subject of your choice.

- The course provides an excellent preparation for students intending to continue with PhD research. It will also be of interest to health care professionals and to graduates in history or the social sciences seeking further personal development.

- All classes are held in the evening. There are no exams - assessment is by written work only.

We welcome further enquiries – please contact the MA Subject Co-ordinator, Dr Viviane Quirke, or the History Programme Administrator, Poppy Hoole, email:

Teaching and learning

The MA course is taught through small-group seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Assessment is entirely by written work. There are no examinations.

Specialist facilities

Oxford Brookes is home to the Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH). The Centre was established in early 2015. It marks an exciting expansion and diversification of the work previously conducted through the Centre for Health, Medicine and Society which over the past 15 years has been the beneficiary of substantial support from both Oxford Brookes University and the Wellcome Trust. The CMH is building on this track record of outstanding research and grant successes, innovative teaching, career development and public outreach. Engaging with the expanding field of medical humanities, the CMH brings historians of medicine together with scholars from History, History of Art, Philosophy, Social and Life Sciences as well as Anthropology and Religion. It thus aims to foster genuine interdisciplinary collaboration amongst staff and students through a range of new research and teaching initiatives, which reflect the new concerns with the relationship between medicine and the humanities in the twentieth first century.

Students have access to Oxford Brookes University’s special Welfare collection, as well as numerous local medical archive resources. They also have access to the world famous Bodleian Library, a copyright library, which houses all books published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In addition to the Bodleian and its unparalleled collection of books and rare historical manuscripts, there are affiliated libraries such as Rhodes House, home to the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, and the Vere Harmsworth Library of the Rothermere American Institute, where students will find one of the finest collections of publications on the Political, Economic and Social History of the United States from colonial times to the present.

Oxford is a lively centre for events, exhibitions, seminars and open lectures in various specialist areas of history, which staff and students at Brookes regularly attend.

It is also an easy bus or train ride to London for convenient access to a wider resource of historical materials. These include various seminars and lecture series offered by the University of London and the Institute of Historical Research. In addition, The National Archives at Kew, The British Library and other specialised libraries will be of particular interest to students.

Oxford is also within easy reach of other archival collections in Birmingham, Cambridge, Reading and Bristol.

Careers

Students who have completed an MA have developed a variety of careers. A significant number have gone on to undertake PhD study and secondary school history teaching. Others have taken up careers in archive management; law; accountancy; local government and the civil service as well as GCHQ - all jobs which require excellent research and analysis skills.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

The department boasts a wealth of research expertise and is home to two important research centres:

- Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH)
The centre seeks to promote the study of medical humanities. , It is one of the leading research groups of its kind in the UK and has research links with a wide network of associates, both national and international. The centre also provides associate status opportunities to researchers from outside the University who wish to advance their studies and gain experience in the field.

- Centre for the History of Welfare
The centre provides a base for collaboration between all those with an interest in the history of welfare both within Oxford Brookes and across the wider academic and professional communities. It acts as a focus for research in this field. It aims to support and disseminate research which makes connections between historical research and current welfare policy, and thereby fosters links between historians of welfare and policy makers.

Research areas and clusters

Our thriving research and postgraduate culture will provide you with the ideal environment in which to undertake a research degree on a broad range of topics from 16th century to the present day, and to engage in interdisciplinary research. Research skills are developed in preparation for your dissertation and provide a potential pathway to PhD study.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside scholars of international standing as well as receiving comprehensive training in research methods. Principal research areas in which our teaching staff specialise include:
- History of fascism
- History of race
- Social history
- History of crime, deviance and the law
- History of religion from the Reformation onwards

As well as meeting to discuss and analyse central texts in the field, each group undertakes a number of activities. This includes organising work-in-progress seminars, and offering support and feedback for external grant applications.

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Do you want to explore deeper the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics? . Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path? . Read more

Do you want to explore deeper the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics? 

Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path? 

On the MA Philosophy of Religion and Ethics programme you will explore a variety of questions - for example: Are there shared human values? How do we negotiate different belief systems in pluralistic societies? Is there a conflict between science and religion? Do people with different religious views have the same morals? Is life without God meaningless? You will be taught by a vibrant community of philosophers, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics on which expert supervision is available.

We also offer this programme by distance learning - for more information, see Philosophy of Religion and Ethics MA (Distance Learning).

Course details

You will study six taught modules in total, two of which are core Philosophy modules:

  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
  • Bioethics or Ethics and Global Ethics

You will also study a core module in theory and methods: Research Skills and Methods (for Philosophy) if you are writing a dissertation in Philosophy, or Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion if you are writing a dissertation in Theology and Religion.

Your remaining three modules are optional, and can be chosen from across the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, including at least one from each Department. Modules available typically include:

  • Classic Problems in the Philosophy of Religion: Evil, Miracles and Immortality 
  • Islamic Philosophy 
  • Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Problems of Religious Diversity
  • Religion in Contemporary Global Politics I and II
  • Religious Nationalism

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment. MA students will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation, or a placement-based dissertation, with support from a supervisor.

Learning and teaching

As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, you are encouraged to participate in our weekly Postgraduate Seminar and in the regular meetings of PhilSoc, so you'll be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers from across the department.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Philosophy

Birmingham's Philosophy postgraduates develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in the job market, including: articulacy; precise analytical thought; clarity; rigour in formulating complex problems; and the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments.

Due to the transferable nature of their skills, Philosophy postgraduates traditionally enter a wide range of employment areas, from teaching and lecturing to publishing. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: BBC; Friends of the Earth; Birmingham Children?s Hospital; Highways England; and University of Birmingham.



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Your programme of study. Religion was recorded in the Palaeolithic period and during the Middle Ages it started to be shaped and formed. Read more

Your programme of study

Religion was recorded in the Palaeolithic period and during the Middle Ages it started to be shaped and formed. The programme draws on a rich history of religion since 1495 to understand religion in its modern context in the West. You are taught by active international researchers and practitioners.

The University of Aberdeen MSc in Religion and Society provides a unique opportunity for postgraduate study in the sociology of religion. Taught by well-known leaders in the field, the programme provides students with study in both the sociological study of religion and training in advanced sociological methods. This programme is ideally suited for anyone considering the pursuit of doctoral studies in sociology of religion, and also provides a broad-base of social-scientific skills that are both marketable and useful for those pursuing careers either in government or in the third-sector.

The University offers you very useful facilities which include a chapel from the Middle Ages on campus along with services, ceremonies and guided tours plus text and research built up since this time. The degree can be studied full time or part time and it allows you to combine it with your other work. Apart from work in the Ministry you can go on to work within Counselling, Researcher, and Teacher.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods
  • Advanced Social Theory

Semester 2

  • Religious Belief and Practice in the Modern World

Optional Course

  • The Comparative Study of European Societies
  • Dimensions of Globalisation
  • Sex. Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches
  • Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods
  • Post-Conflict Justice and Peace building
  • Global Conflict and Peace Processes

Semester 3

  • Dissertation in Religion and Society

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Religion and Society stem from a rich heritage within Kings College dating back to 1495
  • Strong research defines excellent teaching from other disciplines

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

Find out about fees

  • International
  • Scotland and EU
  • Other UK

Find out more from the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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Development and expansion in undergraduate studies in religion and belief, together with the expansion of national and international ‘faith awareness’ initiatives, has resulted in a high demand for postgraduate studies within this discipline. Read more
Development and expansion in undergraduate studies in religion and belief, together with the expansion of national and international ‘faith awareness’ initiatives, has resulted in a high demand for postgraduate studies within this discipline.

The programme explores the impact and influence religion and belief has on social structures, community, politics, economics, policy (education), citizenship, culture & identity, sexuality, pluralism, spirituality, and national & international relationships. The MA also introduces critical analysis of ethics, systems of belief, human rights and social justice issues and the application of these concepts within lived environments from diverse religious perspectives.

The programme is of interest to both graduates and practitioners who wish to specialise further in Religion, Culture & Society. Graduates may wish to extend their knowledge to prepare for academic and professional careers in the private or public sector.

INDUSTRY LINKS

The RCS team at UCLan have a wide variety of links with local, national and international faith and intercultural forums, faith schools and academic institutions, all of which provide valuable contacts for students wishing to enter professions related to Teaching, Ministry, inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and relations. RCS also work with charity organisations both home and abroad and global outreach programmes. Further details and contacts are available from members of the RCS teaching team.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Students may study the MA full time over one year or part time over two or three years. In either case students will be required to successfully complete six MA modules and one MA dissertation (the dissertation is equivalent to 3 x modules). Each module requires an estimated 2 hours class contact per week plus extensive reading and dedicated personal study.

We strive to give our students key employability and transferable skills which will serve them in the world of work. Our assessment practices illustrate a move away from exams and essays per se and incorporate a move towards a more inclusive assessment which benefits our diverse student body. Assessment strategies include coursework, individual and group presentations, individual and/or group projects, reviews and ICT interaction.

OPPORTUNITIES

Religion, Culture & Society (RCS) also includes field trips to national and international places of interest such as; Rome, Istanbul, Auschwitz, Liverpool Cathedrals, Ladywelle Pilgrimage and Shrine, the Hindu Temple etc. Although these trips are optional to MA students, they aim to draw attention to shared values, beliefs and practices, and supports students in achieving a mutual appreciation of different faiths and traditions. The international trips in particular aim to develop an experienced awareness of cultural heritage, traditions and practices of different faiths, and widen students’ appreciation of how those faiths and belief systems interact within lived environments, communities and in different social settings. Thus enhancing not only MA provision but also the learning experience and the environment where that learning experience takes place.

The programme is of interest to both graduates and practitioners who wish to specialise further in Religion, Culture and Society. Graduates may wish to extend their knowledge to prepare for academic and professional careers in the private or public sector, including local government, race relations officers, ministry, equality/diversity training officers, social services, social welfare, community development, youth work, research, education and communication support workers, lecturing in further or higher education. Practitioners may wish to update their knowledge or gain a higher qualification for personal or professional development. The programme will also appeal to working individuals who are interested in the range of topics offered and do not wish to specialise in a rigidly defined Theology based MA programme. In addition, many students are currently seeking Masters’ programmes as a way of weathering the economic recession.

RCS offers progression routes onto PGCE courses for graduates wishing to develop a career in teaching. There are also opportunities to further study for PhD or professional doctorate.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The MA in Religion, Culture & Society brings together disciplines of Theology, Philosophy, Sociology and International Relations – a very innovative, exciting and challenging post-graduate degree award.

The whole philosophy of the Religion, Culture and Society MA is to promote inclusively, encourage reflection on interfaith dialogue and highlight the important contribution religion and belief can make to community cohesion and the combating of religious prejudice and discrimination (QCA & DfES, 2004). The MA evaluates how and why the role of religion and culture has changed within society, and explores the impact and influence of religion and belief within economical, political and social constructs. Religion and faith is critically analysed within the framework of theistic and atheistic approaches to sexuality, spirituality, human rights, territory and space and cultural relationships. The application of classical and contemporary theological and philosophical concepts and theories of faith are examined in relation to lived environments.

The MA in Religion, Culture and Society embodies and supports the objectives outlined in the AHSS 2007-2012 strategy, is aligned to Theology and Religious Studies benchmarks, HEQ (2008) descriptors and is situated specifically within a social science framework. The course supports a pluralistic perspective on and within religion and belief traditions, and engages with a range of methods of study, explores a number of interesting and challenging modules and includes and a diversified range of assessment practices.

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Containing 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia is the setting for many of the most important political issues in the world today. Read more
Containing 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia is the setting for many of the most important political issues in the world today. These issues include the rise of China and India, economic dynamism of the Asian-Pacific area, regional integration (ASEAN, SAARC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization), security hotspots (Korean Peninsula, Taiwan Straits, India-Pakistan, the ‘global war on terror’), democratic transition and consolidation, the survival of non-democratic regimes, and identity conflicts of ethnicity, religion and language. To understand these and other political processes, this MSc programme draws upon the concepts and methods of the sub-disciplines of comparative politics (political sociology and political economy) and international relations. The evidence from Asia will also reveal the relevance and limitations of the concepts and methods derived from North American/European settings and suggest ways in which they may be modified. The expertise available in the Department enables students to concentrate on one of the sub-regions of Asia, (East Asia. South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia) should they choose to do so. Alternatively, they may follow a more comparative approach by selecting a mixture of units covering different sub-regions.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/mscaspol/

Programme Specification

MSc Asian Politics Programme Specification 2012 (pdf; 191kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/mscaspol/file80041.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught courses (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

- Lectures

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Learning Resources

- SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world.

The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (L&SS)

Welcome to the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS. The faculty is the largest in the School in terms of student and staff numbers and consists of the departments of Development Studies, Economics, Financial and Management Studies, Politics and International Studies and the School of Law, as well as the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Sciences, the Centre for Gender Studies, the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the Centre of Taiwan Studies and a number of department-specific centres. All five departments offer undergraduate programmes, and all but Finance and International Management offer joint undergraduate degrees which can be combined with other disciplines from across the School. Each department also offers a range of masters-level programmes with a regional or disciplinary specialism, as well as a postgraduate research programme. The range of course options and combinations is one of the most distinctive characteristics of studying at SOAS and all students are given the option of studying an Asian or African language, either as part of or on top of their degree.

Staff in the faculty come from all over the world and combine regional knowledge with disciplinary specialisms. Teaching draws heavily on academic staff’s individual research which allows the faculty to maintain a large portfolio of courses, often exploring cutting-edge issues. Many faculty members have played a significant part in public debates and policy-making in relation to Asia and Africa. Academics in the faculty are regularly consulted by governments, public bodies and multilateral organisations including the United Nations and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, European Commission, DFID and other country-specific organisations and NGOs.

-Excellent student satisfaction for Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (LSS) at SOAS, University of London has performed extremely well according to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

Department of Politics and International Studies

The Department’s academic staff are leading and highly-regarded scholars in their fields and most have knowledge of one or more languages of their regions of interest, in addition to their disciplinary specialism.

Staff members conduct cutting-edge research on the politics of the Global South, with expertise in nationalism, urban politics, political violence, security, migration and diaspora mobilization, Islamic political and intellectual history, transitional justice, politics of multiculturalism, international relations theory, gender, comparative political economy, human rights, and the study of ideologies.

View Degree Programmes - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Religion and faith are major influences on social, cultural and political life around the world. This interdisciplinary MA draws on a range of perspectives to study the public roles of religious communities and individuals. Read more

Religion and faith are major influences on social, cultural and political life around the world. This interdisciplinary MA draws on a range of perspectives to study the public roles of religious communities and individuals.

You’ll think about theological and philosophical responses to issues in the public sphere, the place of religion in public policy on issues such as discrimination and multiculturalism, and the bonds that tie individuals to their communities. Using approaches from sociology, religious studies, theology, history, anthropology and philosophy among others, you’ll also learn about the research process.

Core modules will introduce you to key issues and approaches, and you’ll choose from optional modules to explore topics that suit your interests such as religion and gender, Muslims and multiculturalism, or remembering the Holocaust. Guided by experts in an active research environment, you’ll gain an insight into the significance of religion in the public sphere.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

In your first semester you’ll take a core module that develops your understanding of the research process, equipping you with a range of skills from different disciplines. You’ll learn about interviewing and other forms of fieldwork as well as working with legal and historical documents, the use of theory and ethics among others.

A second core module in the following semester will build your knowledge of the role of religion in public life, focusing on issues such as the meaning of secular and post-secular society, tolerance and religious freedom, multiculturalism and globalisation. By the end of the year, you’ll be able to showcase the knowledge and skills you’ve gained with your dissertation – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice – and you can even choose to extend your dissertation to go into greater depth.

You’ll also have the chance to select from a range of optional modules. These will allow you to specialise in topics that suit your interests, from religion and global development to Islam in the modern world. You’ll take two optional modules if you do the standard dissertation, or you can swap one for the extended dissertation.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

There are three compulsory modules throughout the year including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose two optional modules, or just one if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits).

  • Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods 30 credits
  • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • Modernity and the Jews 30 credits
  • Science and Religion Historically Considered 30 credits
  • Sin, Public Discourse and Public Life 30 credits
  • Religions and Global Development 30 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
  • Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30 credits
  • Religion, Politics and the Future: From Apocalypse to Utopia 30 credits
  • Theology and Public Life 30 credits
  • Research Project (Theology and Religious Studies) 30 credits
  • Special Options in Theology and Religious Studies 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Religion and Public Life MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Religion and Public Life MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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 including 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.

Careers support

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.



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The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Read more

Multicultural, Multi-Disciplinary MA

The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Students analyse imperial ascendancies, race and racial theories, nationalist movements, postcolonial experiences, the rise of neo-colonial thought, multiculturalism and interculturalism, and the implications of globalisation and development for the modern world.

This MA allows students to combine the specialisation of postgraduate research with the adaptable skills training of a multi-disciplinary approach. Students benefit from the legacy of an MA programme established in 1994; the programme has continuously re-invented itself in changing ideological climates while maintaining its primary goal: to offer a critical education in the cultural discourses of power.

Careers

MA in Culture and Colonialism graduates have gone on to careers in development work, NGOs, law, university lecturing, publishing, media, journalism, community work, teaching (primary and secondary), film-making, advertising, and the Civil Service. The programme has a particularly strong record in research training: a high proportion of its students have proceeded to doctoral programmes in Ireland, Britain and North America, with many of them winning prestigious funding awards.

Teaching Staff

The programme's teaching staff over the years has been drawn from the disciplines of English, History, Political Science and Sociology, Economics, Irish Studies, Film Studies, Spanish, French, Archaeology, German, Italian, and Classics, and is supplemented by Irish and international guest lecturers.

Programme Outline

The full-time degree taken over a twelve-month period from September. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April), with the summer period devoted to completing the dissertation. A two-year part-time option is also available. Students take six taught modules together with a (non-assessed) research training seminar, and produce a 15,000-word dissertation (30 ECTS) on a topic of their choice.

Programme Modules

Central Modules

EN541 Colonialism in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Cultural Theory
This module focuses on issues of identity, political agency and representation. It offers an introduction to twentieth-century theorisations of colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially in relation to cultural production, and their implications for twenty-first century socio-political thought. The distinctive position of Ireland in relation to postcolonial theory is considered, together with other national and international contexts. Some of the theorists discussed include Fanon, Said, Spivak and Ahmad.

SP544 Decolonization and Neo-Colonialism: The Politics of 'Development'
The phenomena of development and underdevelopment in those lands that have experienced colonial rule have been theorised in two broadly contrasting ways in social science: the modernisation perspective, which derives from the northern hemisphere by and large, and a series of counter-perspectives (such as structuralism, dependency, neo-Marxism and world systems theory), whose exponents hail from the southern hemisphere in the main. The module also considers the issue of how much light modernisation and counter-perspectives can shed on the Irish experience of development and underdevelopment.

HI546 Studies in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism
This module introduces students to some of the key thinkers and concepts in the writing of British imperial history. The work of scholars such as J. A. Hobson, Ronald Robinson and Jack Gallagher, Peter Cain and Tony Hopkins, Chris Bayly, Alan Lester and John Darwin will be discussed. Concepts such as finance imperialism, informal empire, the official mind, gentlemanly capitalism, colonial knowledge, imperial networks, and bridgeheads will be examined from a critical perspective. Students will be asked to read key texts, undertake wider reading and research to help put these key texts in context, comment on their readings, and present their own ideas as the basis for class discussion and debate.

Research Seminar (compulsory but not examined)
This module provides a training in research, analysis and writing techniques appropriate to the programme, as well as individual consultations on the formulation of dissertation topics. The seminar will take place throughout the year.

Option Modules (two chosen)

EN547 Literature and Colonialism
This module considers the relationship between literary modes and aesthetics and political power. It analyses literature connected to the British Empire and its former colonies, discussing English, Irish, Indian and African writers in relation to colonial power structures, nationalist movements and postcolonial developments. Genres covered include imperial adventure fiction, travel writing, late-Victorian urban Gothic, modernist and post-modernist fiction and poetry, postcolonial writing, and the twenty-first century multicultural novel.

EC535 Political Economy, Colonialism and Globalization
The aim of the module will be to identify the fundamental concepts of globalization by analysing the various ideologies, systems and structures that underpin the progression of global capitalism through the ages. Underlying philosophical theories will be linked with political, legal sociological and economic ideals that are often the driving forces behind these processes.

EN573 Travel Literature
The genre of travel writing includes a vast array of literary forms from journals to letters, ambassadorial reports, captivity narratives, historical descriptions, ethnographies, and natural histories. The appearance of such accounts explodes in the early modern period in an era of expanded travel for purposes of trade, education, exploration, and colonial settlement. This module looks at a range of documents from different historical moments to track the development of this important genre, including the emergence of travel writing by women.

EN549 Cinema and Colonialism
This module considers the relationships between colonialism and the theory and practice of cinema. Seminars may address the following themes: the Hollywood genres of the ‘Western’ and the ‘Vietnam movie’; postcolonial theories of cinema; Cuban cinema; cinema of anti-colonial revolution; neocolonialism and Irish cinema; African cinema; gender, colonialism and cinema; and Western representations of imperialism.

HI588 Studies in Regional Identities
This module introduces students to concepts of regional identities and explores various interpretative approaches to regional identity. Students will examine the role of history, language and religion in the construction and perpetuation of regional identity and will consider the relationship between regions and nation states. This is a team-taught module. While the content may vary according to the availability of staff from year to year, it will include Irish and European case studies.

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This programme gives knowledge of various relationships between religion and society in an increasingly global and multicultural world. Read more
This programme gives knowledge of various relationships between religion and society in an increasingly global and multicultural world. The study programme is based on courses in the social sciences and religious studies. An essential part of the programme is to give insight into the different ways by which religion is shaped by various local and regional social conditions. This involves courses within: • Ethics • Sociology of religion • Intercultural communication • Diaconia The programme provides opportunities to specialize according to the students’ own interests. The programme is interreligious in its orientation. Future positions This programme aims at providing education for positions within research and education, as well as within Norwegian and international institutions and organizations, where knowledge of religion in an international and global perspective is required. It is also relevant for positions of leadership within the public and private sector. The Master’s degree qualifies for further studies on a doctoral level. The study programme is based on courses in the social sciences and religious studies. An essential part of the programme is to give insight into the different ways by which religion is shaped by various local and regional social conditions. This involves courses within: • Ethics • Sociology of religion • Intercultural communication • Diaconia The programme provides opportunities to specialize according to the students’ own interests. The programme is interreligious in its orientation. Future positions This programme aims at providing education for positions within research and education, as well as within Norwegian and international institutions and organizations, where knowledge of religion in an international and global perspective is required. It is also relevant for positions of leadership within the public and private sector. The Master’s degree qualifies for further studies on a doctoral level.

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Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. Read more

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. The course complies with the statutory guidance from the National College for Teaching and Leadership for Initial Teacher Training courses.

Social Sciences is an exciting secondary school curriculum subject area. It covers topics such as: sociology(socialisation, culture, identity, social differentiation, power, stratification, education, family, health, work, poverty, welfare religion, globalisation, media, crime, research methods); health and social care (human growth and development, communication and values, positive care environments, social aspects and lifestyle choices, activities for health and well-being, public health, meeting individual needs, promoting health and well-being, investigating disease, using and understanding research, social issues and welfare needs, understanding human behaviour); and personal, social, health and economic education. As a trainee you will learn how to teach social sciences to pupils in the 14-19 age range within the secondary age phase, with additional experience in the 11-14 age range and primary enhancements. You will learn how to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for teaching social sciences through a combination of university-led and school-led training.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

This Social Sciences route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION Frequently Asked Questions

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you will undertake learning at University and other educational settings. You will spend 120 days divided between at least two different school placements across the 14-19 age range within the Secondary age phase.

Your University tutor team is available to assist you throughout your training, supporting development of reflection. Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom.

All course modules provide examples of good practice in pedagogy which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style - you will be expected to actively participate in your own learning and development.

Teaching on the course comprises a variety of methodologies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led discussions, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery, problem based learning, e-learning and the provision of individual targets.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities, and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

Typical activities may include:

  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or small groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through reflection on planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research that takes place in both University and school settings on selected aspects of your practice.

PGCE: Programme Structure

The PGCE course takes place over 180 days, and 120 of those days are spent in a school. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms.

One of our strengths is that we have a vast network of high quality partnership schools in which to place you for the extended school placements. We ensure that you receive high quality school-based training by selecting schools with highly trained mentors and a proven track record of excellent trainee outcomes. We will also take other factors into consideration when placing you, such as your geographical location and transportation, to provide you with the best possible experience in a convenient and suitable setting.

The University-led elements of the course take place at our Walsall Campus. Our PGCE starts in early September and ends in June, and it is an intensive academic and professional training course that effectively prepares you for your first teaching post and beyond.

The course comprises of a two day professional placement in mixed subject groups, two extended school placements in your subject specialism and two periods of University-based teaching – September to October and January to February. The programme also includes a short Primary school placement and additional opportunities for a range of enhancements to your course; for example, experience of teaching pupils with special educational needs, teaching pupils at post-16 level or teaching pupils for whom English is an additional language.

Career path

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.

In secondary schools you could be considered for a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR), which may comprise any of the following:

  • Leading a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • Leading the achievement of a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • Leading a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

Later, you could progress to a senior leadership position such as a deputy or assistant head and head teacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of a school and the education its students receive.

Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

Find out more about further study that can be taken after completing this PGCE award.



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If you are interested in the world around you, like to engage in deep questions about the nature of life, religion and religious traditions and wish to communicate your enthusiasm with young people, this course will prepare you to do this effectively. Read more

If you are interested in the world around you, like to engage in deep questions about the nature of life, religion and religious traditions and wish to communicate your enthusiasm with young people, this course will prepare you to do this effectively.

The aim of the Religious Education course is to develop reflective teachers who care about developing pupils’ understanding about the world around them and want to foster pupils’ appreciation of different beliefs, practices and religions. You will be encouraged to develop effective and inspirational practical teaching skills underpinned by a sound grasp of theoretical concepts.

Successful completion of the course will lead to the award Qualified Teacher Status along with 60 credits towards a Masters.

What happens on the course?

  • Over the one year course, you undertake two periods of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you spend at least 120 days divided between two different school placements across the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase.
  • Your University tutor is available to assist you throughout your training, and every effort is made to ensure you have a high-quality school placement, where you can learn from experienced teachers
  • All course modules provide examples of good practice in teaching which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style. You will be expected to participate actively in your own learning and development
  • Teaching on the course reflects a variety of methods that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and the provision of individual targets. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, classroom based investigation and other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills. The majority teaching sessions will be alongside trainees from the other the science routes.
  • All University-based elements of the course take place at the Walsall Campus.
  • Typical modules may include
  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research in the University and school on the use of ICT in the teaching of your subject

PGCE: programme structure

  • Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.
  • The course comprises of two school placements and two periods of University-based teaching September to October; January to February.
  • 24 weeks of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms. During the second attachment a proportion of your teaching at key stage 4 will be focussed on your chosen specialist area.
  • We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.

Why Wolverhampton?

  • We are one of Britain's largest and most established providers of teacher education. A national survey conducted by the Centre for Education and Employment Research has ranked Wolverhampton as the second most successful UK Higher Education Institute for graduate teacher training employment.
  • We have a state of the art Education and Teaching Building with teaching rooms fitted with interactive whiteboards, two lecture theatres as well as social learning areas and a coffee shop.
  • Access to regular Professional Skills Test Support

Career path

  • The PGCE Secondary School Teaching leads to qualified teacher status, and allows you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school
  • In secondary schools you could move up and across the management structure to gain responsibility for:
  • a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)
  • Ultimately, you could progress to a senior management position such as a deputy or assistant head and, of course, headteacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the management of a school and the education its pupils receive
  • ·Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

What skills will you gain?

  • If you are successful you will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status and you will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase with primary and post-16 enhancement.
  • The course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching science in two separate secondary schools, working with trained school-based tutors to aid your development. Successful completion of the course will result in the award of Qualified Teacher Status along with 60 Masters-level credits.
  • Become a critical reflective teacher with high levels of subject knowledge and a wide understanding of educational theory and practice.
  • Professional skills required to achieve Outstanding results in relation to student progress including data analysis, communication, lesson planning and assessment methods.

Who accredits this course?

  • This course leads to the professional qualification of QTS – Qualified Teacher Status. The University will recommend students who have demonstrated competence in the Professional Standards to the Teaching Agency – who will award QTS.
  • The award of QTS is essential to teach in a school in the United Kingdom and on gaining this award the student becomes a qualified teacher.


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This MA provides students with the opportunity to study key concepts and approaches in political sociology and theoretical debates about the relationship between state and society, and identity and power. Read more

This MA provides students with the opportunity to study key concepts and approaches in political sociology and theoretical debates about the relationship between state and society, and identity and power. Graduates acquire a mix of in-depth area knowledge of Russia and Eastern Europe, research skills and theoretical understanding.

About this degree

The programme centres on sociology but is interdisciplinary in nature, combining topics and methods from political science, anthropology, history, cultural studies and economics to analyse the relationships among individuals, groups, institutions, governments and their environments. Students choose two core modules in political sociology and social science methods and can then select thematic or area-based options as well as options to study Russian or another East European language.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), one of a choice of four modules in social science methodology (15 credits), optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

Students take a 15 credits core module in Political Sociology and a 15 credit course from a list of options in social science methodology.

  • Political Sociology
  • Methodology
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Understanding and Analysing Data
  • Comparative Analysis in Social and Political Research
  • Introduction to Discourse Analysis

Optional modules

  • Causes, Consequences and Control: Corruption and Governance
  • Cities in Eastern Europe
  • Ethno-Political Conflict in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Gender and Sexuality in Modern Russian Culture
  • Informal Practices in Post-Communist Societies
  • Migration in the EU
  • Nations, Identity and Power
  • Politics of Southeast Europe
  • Sexuality and Society in Russia and Eastern Europe
  • Sociology of Religion

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions, workshops, presentations, self-study and specialist language classes. Students are assessed by a variety of methods, including unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and a dissertation.

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

With their specialist knowledge and language skills, SSEES Master's graduates can be found in business, finance, the media, international agencies, charities, diplomacy, international security organisations, the law, and academia.

Some graduates advise the Russian, Polish, American, and other governments, and the European Commission.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Editorial Intern, Financial Times
  • Major Gifts Co-ordinator Fundraiser, British Film Institute (BFI)
  • Marketing Analyst, Business Services International
  • Programme Co-ordinator, Open Society Foundation
  • Television News Reporter, ETV (Eesti Televisioon) (Estonian Television)

Employability

The MA opens up a range of opportunities and previous graduates from this programme have gone on to work in think tanks, political parties; national, European and international private and public sector organisations; and in the media and NGOs as political analysts. Other graduates have progressed to further academic study. Networking is facilitated by two major collaborations led by SSEES: CEELBAS and the International Master's (IMESS). Scholarships, internship opportunities and excellent links with other universities in the region provide further benefits.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) is a world- leading specialist institution, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia.

This MA allows you to study the social and cultural issues in the region in unparalleled breadth and depth and to develop analytical and research capacities, language skills and practical insights.

Our nationally unequalled specialist library and central London location provide an ideal environment for research, while our close contacts with employers, policy-makers and alumni afford excellent opportunities for networking and career development.



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This Master's degree in politics will give you an advanced understanding of 2 increasingly interconnected phenomena in world politics. Read more
This Master's degree in politics will give you an advanced understanding of 2 increasingly interconnected phenomena in world politics: the responses of states, international institutions and non-governmental organisations to the opportunities and challenges of globalisation; and the enhanced international, economic and political influence of emerging powers such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. We explore key international institutions, such as the World Bank and the Group of Twenty (G20), as well as key non-governmental actors such as Amnesty International. The programme uses concepts, theories and evidence from the study of international relations, comparative politics and public policy to understand real-world policy problems across different sectors of the global economic and political system. This course will appeal to students who wish to learn more about international public policy and cutting-edge issues in the study of world politics; it brings together a unique body of UK and international students with a passion for world politics and, in many cases, relevant policy experience.

The first core module examines the emerging powers of Brazil, Russia, India and China, among others, from a comparative, interdisciplinary perspective and in the context of global politics. The other core module takes an in-depth look at global governance and the responses of national and international institutions to globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, war and conflict, nationalism and religion, and international political economy. The culmination of the programme is applying the concepts and methods you have learnt to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree draws on comparative politics and the study of public policy to help you build an innovative and flexible intellectual framework for understanding current real-world problems.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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