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Course content

Our MA in Religious Studies allows you to specialise in one of two pathways: Asian Religions or Late Antiquity.

Late Antiquity Pathway:

On this pathway you will discover the great religious and cultural transformations of Late Antiquity - the landmark period when contemporary world faiths emerged. This pathway draws on internationally-recognised expertise in Religion from Late Antiquity to the contemporary era, across a wide geographical area, and with sensitivity to issues in the public eye. Acquiring advanced theological, historical and linguistic skills, you will analyse major texts and artefacts of the period (200 - 800AD) to better understand the major world religions. Drawing on the concentration of expertise found in the Centre for Late Antique Religion and Culture, you will explore religions such as Paganism, Gnosticism and Zoroastrianism. A highlight is the availability of Arabic, Greek or Latin teaching for deeper understanding of original sources.

Asian Religions Pathway:

This pathway allows you to explore the religious literature and culture of South Asia or China in combination or isolation in this specialist programme. You will be rooted within the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia, with expertise ranging from Chinese Buddhism to the study of the ancient Indian religious tradition of Jainism. At the heart of the UK’s largest single concentration of Mahabharata scholars, you also have the rewarding option of gaining a firm grounding in the classical Indian language of Sanskrit if you wish.

Distinctive features

• Teaching by internationally renowned experts and informed by the latest research of our Centres for the History of Religion in Asia and Late Antique Religion and Culture.

• The opportunity to engage in postgraduate research culture, by participating in Research Centre activities

• Designed to be flexible to your interests.


This course can be completed in 1 year with full-time study or in 3 years with part-time study.

You will take a mixture of core and optional modules totalling 120 credits over two (full-time) or four (part-time) semesters.

On successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to your dissertation (60 credits), researching and writing a dissertation (20,000 words) on a topic or theme of your choice in consultation with your academic supervisor.


Classes are delivered via small student-focussed tutorials rather than formal lectures, and with individual interests and flexibility in mind.

As part of the programme, you will be encouraged to deliver presentations to your fellow MA students within our supportive community.


Assessment is via written assignments of approximately 4,000 words, and language exams if you specialise in language study.

Career Prospects

This programme is essentially a research preparation programme. Graduates from this programme have successfully applied for funded places as PhD students. Beyond that, this programme also enhances the skills and knowledge base acquired through a first degree in Religious Studies. Previous graduates have therefore successfully embarked on careers in a range of employment, such as religious organisations, primary and secondary teaching, print and broadcasting media, and higher education administration and management.

Visit the Religious Studies MA page on the Cardiff University website for more details!




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