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Religion MA

Course Description

The MA in Religion provides advanced study of the religious traditions of both the West and Asia. The programme offers two pathways:
-Buddhist Studies
-Theology and Religious Studies

These reflect the expertise in the Department of Religion and Theology and allow you to study various religious traditions with scholars who are world-renowned experts in those fields.

Programme structure

Students follow one of two pathways, taking units worth 180 credit points.

Core units (40 credit points):
-Buddhism: the Foundations (20 credit points)

Plus one of the following language units (20 credit points):
-Introductory Sanskrit I
-Classical Chinese
-Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit (only available to students with one year of Sanskrit)

NB: Not all languages will be taught each year

Optional units (80 credit points total; 20 credit points each). Optional units can vary each year but may include:
-Introductory Sanskrit 2
-Buddhism: The Mahayana Tradition
-The Practice of Theravada Buddhism in Asia
-Aspects of Chinese Buddhism
-Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
-The Origins and Development of Zen Buddhism
-Yoga and Meditation
-Supervised Individual Study (on an aspect of Buddhism not covered by other units)
-An open MA unit chosen from those available in the Faculty of Arts

You will engage in supervised research on a topic of your choice and submit a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words.

Core units
-Buddhism: The Foundations (20 credit points)
-History of Christianity: Core Texts (20 credit points)

Optional units (80 credit points total; 20 credit points each)
-Medieval Mystics and Visionaries in Medieval England
-Reflection on Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Society
-Alchemy, Magic and Science in Early Modernity
-The Renaissance and the Rise of the Modern Age
-Reflection on Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Society
-Greek Language Level A
-Latin Language Level A
-Jesus in an Age of Colonialism
-Ancient Jewish Novels
-Buddhism: The Mahayana Tradition
-The Origins and Development of Zen Buddhism
-Yoga and Meditation
-Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
-An open MA unit chosen from those available across the Faculty of Arts.

You will engage in supervised research on a topic of your choice and submit a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words.


Students who complete this MA programme have taken up many different careers, including academic research, social work, banking and industry, counselling and teaching, design, journalism, film and the arts.

Visit the Religion MA page on the University of Bristol website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Monica Kling

5284.jpg I studied at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in Communication Arts. I decided to continue straight through for my masters since a lot of the work I want to do in higher education requires a Master's degree.
I looked up top universities for Religious Studies, mainly programmes which involved the study of multiple religions. Bristol was up there on the list and matched what I wanted. During the decision-making process, I couldn't come and visit, so I mainly researched the city and talked to staff members. Everyone was really nice and I just felt like it was the right fit. I had a good gut feeling about Bristol.

The Theology and Religious Studies department has really been there for me every step of the way, giving me individual attention and challenging me to be my best. I'm accomplishing things I never thought possible, all with the support and encouragement of my professors. I feel that the personal attention from supervisors has impressed me the most. In a large university, it's easy to get lost, but my department has managed to keep a personal connection with their students. It makes me want to work harder and makes me comfortable to go out of my comfort zone.

Bristol is a fantastic place to have a great educational experience while also living in an amazing city. The way the university and city work together and are intertwined makes me feel like I can explore and I feel I’m actually living in Bristol, not next to it.

I love the people and the diversity of the city. Each area is new and exciting and completely different from other areas, yet they are all part of Bristol! It's really easy to travel around in the UK, which is really nice. I love the tea, as an avid tea drinker. But most importantly
I love the people in England, I have always made great and lasting friendships here!

My plans are to work in Campus Ministry in a university setting, or some other spiritual aspect of campus life. After working for a few years, I want to get my PhD and teach at a university. Previously I felt like a PhD might not be in my reach, but this year has shown me that it is more than possible, and that I can achieve that goal!


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent). Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered.

Last Updated

16 September 2016

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