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Masters Degrees in Theology & Religious Studies, London, United Kingdom

We have 25 Masters Degrees in Theology & Religious Studies, London, United Kingdom

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This course is designed as a bridge from undergraduate to master’s study and may be used as a qualifying course for study at MA level. Read more

This course is designed as a bridge from undergraduate to master’s study and may be used as a qualifying course for study at MA level. It offers a flexible structure where you can select modules from Theology, Religion in the Contemporary World and Religion, Philosophy & Ethics. 

Key benefits 

  • Theology & Religious Studies is taught in the very centre of one of the world's most dynamic cities.
  • It is one of the largest and most wide-ranging departments of Theology & Religious Studies in the UK.
  • Unparallelled access to specialist libraries, including the Maughan Library at King's, and other religious and cultural resources in central London.
  • A supportive educational environment within a department that specialises in the three 'Abrahamic' faiths.

Description

If you would like to study theology and religious studies at a postgraduate level, but do not have the academic background required, our course is perfect for you. It is specifically designed to ease the transition between subjects and provide you with the necessary skills and background to take your study further. You will only need to attend one or two days a week.

Course purpose

For applicants of graduate or equivalent status in areas of study other than Theology & Religious Studies. The Graduate Diploma may be used as a qualifying course to enable study at MA level, as it is especially designed to ease the transition to Theology & Religious Studies from another subject.



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University of Roehampton Department of Humanities
Distance from London: 0 miles
Why study at Roehampton. The MA draws on a variety of research centres, conferences and seminar series which include contributions from world-renowned academics, community organisers and civic leaders. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • The MA draws on a variety of research centres, conferences and seminar series which include contributions from world-renowned academics, community organisers and civic leaders.
  • It is delivered by an experienced subject team who consistently score well for excellence of teaching in the National Student Survey.
  • The course offers flexible teaching: the MA can be taken either full-time or part-time and teaching takes place in the evening, with the occasional weekend study day.
  • Roehampton is ranked best modern university in London (Complete University Guide 2018) and the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Course summary

As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how faiths interact with each other and society. This MA creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.

On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.

A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this,you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.

Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.

Content

The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.

On offer is specialised teaching in Hinduism and Islam as well as different aspects of Christian theology. You could study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or in Christian marriage and family life, also taking into account qualitative and quantitative data on marriage and family today, and the political and policy decisions that affect families.

As well as contemporary debates, you will look at historical issues, for example through the effect of Christian theology on art and culture throughout history. You will look at how depictions of nature and grace, suffering and redemption, and gender and incarnation, changed through the Reformation, and then how these new representations influenced modern art and philosophy.

The course also provides opportunity to investigate the relationship of religion and society through modules look at, for example, human rights and community engagement. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationship between the Church and the State, as well as the nature of Christian activism in public policy and public discourse. 

Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.

Modules

  • Research Skills
  • Reading Seminar
  • Dissertation
  • Islam and Women
  • Human Rights: Religious Perspectives and Challenges
  • Contemporary Issues in Hinduism
  • Christian Doctrine Today
  • Christian Spirituality and Ministry Practice
  • Public Theology and Community Engagment

Career options

This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to: pursue a PhD or conducting specific research; work in faith-based organisations, social services or education; work in international aid, the charity sector and community organisations.

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University of Roehampton Department of Humanities
Distance from London: 0 miles
Why study at Roehampton. You will be taught by a team of lecturers and researchers with ongoing experience as practitioners and consultants within the ministry sector. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • You will be taught by a team of lecturers and researchers with ongoing experience as practitioners and consultants within the ministry sector.
  • The University’s historical roots and links with vibrant congregations provide an excellent context for research into contemporary multi– cultural urban ministry and mission.
  • All Roehampton’s Ministerial Theology provisions are timetabled to fit in with busy ongoing ministry and leadership roles.
  • Roehampton is ranked best modern university in London (Complete University Guide 2018) and the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Course summary

The DTh is a professional doctorate programme in practical, ministry–focused theology. This programme offers strategic leadership training to senior level ministry personnel, seeking to broaden their applied theology in pastoral and missiological areas. The programme focuses on using research to develop theological practice.

There are two entry points for this programme. Stage 1A is for those with a good undergraduate degree and professional experience, and initially take a selection of preparatory taught modules. The second route, Stage 1B is for post-Masters applicants, and is an accelerated form of the course.

Regardless of entry point this programme will help those already engaged in Christian Ministry to develop the advanced research, evaluative and reflective skills necessary to further their professional and career profile. Students will prepare for more senior level, national or international roles, as leaders, advisors or consultants in ministry-related fields. As a practitioner of Practical Theology, this course will encourage you to reflect technically and theologically on your ministerial practice, and on the application of scholarship and research to a range of ministerial contexts.

In order to develop your research skills, the programme will provide you will extensive knowledge and understanding of areas of Practical Theology and the critical methods practiced at the forefront of the discipline. Students will then be able to reflect on these research methods in looking at their own practice, and you will be capable of producing findings that satisfy peer scrutiny and are deemed to be of publishable quality, making an original contribution to knowledge.

There is a wide range of areas in which students will develop their skills on this programme. You will enhance and apply your ability to handle written sources and empirical data, using appropriate advanced critical methods and controls. A further key skill is your ability to marshal coherent and effective arguments and communicate conclusions in oral and written form. The programme will moreover enable you to demonstrate a competent grasp of a range of technical skills arising within the discipline, including a range of approaches to textual historical, hermeneutical and cultural issues. You will also look at quantitative and qualitative approaches to the investigation of individual and social experience and behaviour, and be able to respond critically to their use by others.

Content

Throughout the course, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of practical theology, alongside formal academic and practical skills.

Stage 1A: This introductory stage of the course offers a variety of taught modules on topics in contemporary ministry and religious studies taken from our Masters’ programmes in Christian Ministry and Theology and Religious Studies, respectively. Tutors will assist any student taking this phase of the course to make an appropriate selection of modules.

Stage 1B: In the first year of this stage, you will study advanced methods and approaches to practical theology, as well as undertaking a major literature review relevant to your proposed area of research. During this in–depth investigation, you will identify gaps or problems in the literature and identify one or more research questions around which you can structure your research project.

In the second year, you will conduct an in–depth study of a more focused topic, developed to the level of a publishable article, before going on to draft and present a full project proposal which must be approved before transition to the dissertation phase.

Stage 2: The final phase of the course will allow you to work closely with staff members with particular expertise in your chosen research area, developing an original and substantial investigation of potential significance both to academic inquiry and professional practice. The thesis, which will build upon your work in years one and two, will typically run to 50–60,000 words, and will be defended in a viva voce examination. Departmental research strengths include empirical, pastoral and public theology across a range of UK and global church traditions and mission contexts, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Pentecostal. We also have a particular strength in Black Majority Churches.

Modules

Stage 1A: (representative selection)

  • Empirical Research for Christian Ministry
  • Approaches to Biblical Studies
  • Pentecostal Theology and Practice
  • Christian Ethics, Economics and the Environment
  • Christian Spirituality and Ministry Practice
  • Public Theology and Community Engagement

Stage 1B:

  • Practical Theology: Advanced Methods and Approaches
  • Research Design (1): Literature Review & Research Questions
  • Publishable Article
  • Research Design (2): Methodology and Research Proposal

Career options

The DTh is intended to enable existing professionals working in church ministry, mission, education, development or the para–church sector, move into senior or national positions within visionary research–led organisations.

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Goldsmiths is an exciting space for postgraduates, with numerous international speakers passing through, a huge range of interdisciplinary seminars and reading groups and a very open and warm environment for the exchange of ideas- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-religious-studies/. Read more
Goldsmiths is an exciting space for postgraduates, with numerous international speakers passing through, a huge range of interdisciplinary seminars and reading groups and a very open and warm environment for the exchange of ideas- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-religious-studies/

The MPhil programme in Religious Studies is part of the internationally renowned Faiths & Civil Society Unit, where an annual series of public seminars attracts speakers and delegates from all over the world, and a permanent group of 12 Fellows resources the Unit with ideas and connections straight in to the worlds of policy and practice.

Supervision is available for studies with a focus on any aspect of religion, belief and spirituality in the contemporary world, especially as studied interdisciplinarily, though including a focus on theology and/or religious studies, and/or the study of religion sociologically.

A particular specialism which is distinctive to Goldsmiths is the connection between religion and belief and social and public policy. Engagement between faith and the public professions (social work, teaching, youth work, health, community work) is another distinctive area of expertise and applications in these areas are particularly welcome.

Much of the work is organised through one-to-one supervisory sessions. You will also be able to participate in a range of methods training courses in both quantitative and qualitative methods, which will introduce you to the tools of the trade as well as innovative advanced methods.

These methods training courses are designed to help you with your MPhil/PhD study but also to help you become a full and capable social researcher equipped with the range of advanced methods skills that we are able to offer.

Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.

The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for you to continue your research to a PhD.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Adam Dinham.

Department

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies has human relationships at its heart

You’ll benefit from the wealth of experience of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that you’ll leave us as a reflective, research-minded professional.

We offer programmes in Community Studies, Social Work, and Therapeutic Studies.

Our degrees are informed by our commitment to social justice and applied practices – whether you want to:

understand and challenge the ways that vulnerable individuals and groups are disadvantaged and marginalised
become a social worker, community and youth worker, therapist or counsellor
change people’s lives through dance, drama and music

You’ll benefit from the wealth of experience of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that you’ll leave us as a reflective, research-minded professional.

How to apply

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body.

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.

This should be in the form of a 2,000-word statement of the proposed area of research and should include:

delineation of the research topic
why it has been chosen
an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
a brief list of major secondary sources

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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University of Roehampton Department of Humanities
Distance from London: 0 miles
Why study at Roehampton. You will reflect upon their experience, acquired as practitioners of Christian mission and ministry, in a structured and rigorous manner. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • You will reflect upon their experience, acquired as practitioners of Christian mission and ministry, in a structured and rigorous manner.
  • You will generate new knowledge and insights through original research into ministry and mission in the contemporary world.
  • The course will develop your expertise and capacity to think theologically and strategically about concrete issues confronting Christian ministry and mission today.
  • Roehampton is ranked best modern university in London (Complete University Guide 2018) and the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Course summary

This MA is designed for lay and ordained Christians with significant experience of working (paid or volunteer) in churches, mission agencies, or not-for-profit organisations (faith-based or secular), enabling you to engage theologically and strategically with the contemporary world.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to integrate biblical, theological, and empirical studies in the context of Christian spirituality. The aim is to engage faithfully and practically with existing and emerging challenges to Christian ministry and mission in the twenty-first century.

Students on this course become highly learned and educated professionals capable of providing intellectual leadership in, and adapting to the needs of, contemporary churches. You will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the contribution that theological, and biblical studies can make to the effective provision of Christian ministry in the community, and be equipped with the knowledge and critical skills to bring advanced academic expertise to professional work in church and ministerial practice.

The course will provide you with an integrated framework for theology and biblical studies in the context of Christian ministry and mission, which you can use to transform your ministerial practice. You will also develop the critical faculties of analytic and research skills, to enable you to create and interpret new knowledge in theological and ministerial studies, and extend the reach of the discipline in society.

Our networks with other local universities and places of learning will give you regular access to a range of extra-curricular seminars and other educational events relevant to the study of Christian ministry. The University’s proximity to the centre of London with its rich religious history, its diverse religious communities, and its many museums, art galleries, libraries and places of worship, makes it an ideal venue for those who are interested in exploring the histories, interactions and influences of religious communities in contemporary culture as part of their studies.

Content

You will first of all reflect theologically and strategically on the character, nature, purpose, and practice of Christian ministry in church and society. You will be equipped to research the practices of ministry and mission, through study of key Missiological texts.

You will study ministry across a range of denominations and traditions including Pentecostal, Charismatic, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist and Catholic. You will explore and evaluate the language, secular/sacred ideas, rituals and cultural norms that nourish spiritualities, ministerial formation, and ministry practice within different historical and cultural contexts. In particular, you will examine how forms of Christian worship, such as prayer, scriptural readings and sacraments, influence conduct, moral behaviour and patterns of life, in order to develop your ministerial abilities within different political, social and economic environments.

You will also be able to take modules which look at the theological ideas from both classical and modern periods, which are of greatest relevance to church ministry and mission in the contemporary world. Using this theoretical grounding, you can pursue your interest in practical areas of ministry such as marriage and family life, or community work. In these complex and demanding areas, the Christian minister and theologian are faced with new challenges. These modules will give students the historical and academic understanding to be able to offer fresh Christian perspectives, and encourage you to develop your own responses.

There will also be the opportunity for you to reflect deeply on a particular aspect of ministerial practice through the dissertation module.

Modules:

  • Empirical Research for Christian Ministry
  • Missiology
  • Christian Ministry in Church and Society
  • Approaches to Biblical Studies
  • Pentecostal Theology and Practice
  • Christian Doctrine Today
  • Christian Spirituality and Ministry Practice
  • Marriage and Family in Christian Theology and Practice
  • Public Theology and Community Engagement
  • Dissertation

Career options

Students of this course include ordained ministers wanting to pursue continuing ministerial education (CME), and lay Christians seeking careers as practitioners in faith-based or secular organisations. Students may go on to pursue further academic study.

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Please note. this programme is subject to validation. The MA in Biblical Studies offers excellent scholars who will help you learn, think and reflect about interpreting the Bible in today's world. Read more
Please note: this programme is subject to validation.

Why study Biblical Studies?

The MA in Biblical Studies offers excellent scholars who will help you learn, think and reflect about interpreting the Bible in today's world. You will engage with Scripture in its ancient and modern contexts, by reading the texts in conversation with high-quality scholarship and in relation to a wide range of issues.

This MA is suitable for many kinds of people:

- the MA will prepare you well for doctoral study in Biblical Studies, and includes opportunities to engage with biblical texts in the original languages, or to learn one of the languages which you have not previously studied
- if you serve in Christian or Jewish leadership, the MA will deepen and strengthen your engagement with Scripture in your preaching, teaching and ministry
-the MA is open to you if you have completed suitable prior theological study, to enable you to grow in understanding, reflection and thoughtful engagement with the Bible.

You can focus your MA in different ways through your choice of options and your dissertation topic. In your dissertation you will dig deep into a topic of your choice with the supervision and support of one of our team of outstanding biblical scholars.

Why St Mary's?

Whilst studying the MA in Biblical Studies at St Mary's you will:

- learn from our team of world-class biblical scholars who bring their own research into the classroom
- grow in skills and understanding through first-hand engagement with the Bible in our text-focused modules
- reflect on how others read the Bible in relation to a wide range of issues today, in society, politics, and in faith communities
- have chance to study with fine visiting scholars from elsewhere in the world, who will offer 'intensive' modules focused in a two-week period on their specialism
- be part of a university committed to treating Scripture seriously as part of its mission to serve faith communities
- have access to a good library, including electronic access to many books and journals
- have opportunities to attend the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible's conferences, and research seminars on biblical themes and topics

Course content

Full-time students take two modules each semester, plus the dissertation. Part-time students take one module each semester for two years, and write their dissertation in the third year.

Every module is not offered every year, to ensure that class sizes are sufficient for a good student experience. To gain the MA, you must take the core module, Aspects of Biblical Interpretation, plus three options and the dissertation.

All modules can be seen on our website:
https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/biblical-studies

Career opportunities

The MA will enhance employability in a number of roles where advanced skills in interpreting the Bible, and reflecting critically on such interpretation, are key elements, including:

- school teaching
-work with Christian or Jewish charities and agencies, including churches and synagogues
-educational roles with Christian and Jewish communities
-pastoral ministry in church or synagogue; senior leadership within churches and the Jewish community regionally, nationally and internationally

In addition, the MA is designed to lead naturally into doctoral study and the opportunities which such study provides.

The programme will also provide an education which sensitises students to engaging with religious texts from other times, cultures and places, and thus will equip them for work engaging with cross-cultural situations, such as NGOs in the UK and overseas, international relations, and the Civil Service in both the Home and Foreign Offices.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

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In this distinguished MA degree, students can tap into our rich tradition of excellence in textual, theological and philosophical study while also gaining perspective on ways religion shapes and is shaped by the contemporary world. Read more

In this distinguished MA degree, students can tap into our rich tradition of excellence in textual, theological and philosophical study while also gaining perspective on ways religion shapes and is shaped by the contemporary world. Attracting students from around the globe, the MA in Religion offers an outstanding range of teaching from internationally leading scholars, with the option to follow one of four pathways of study or to forge your own path.

Key benefits

  • King’s is home to a large, vibrant Department of Theology and Religious Studies, with special expertise in Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism and a variety of contemporary religious movements within and outside these traditions.
  • The Department is ranked joint third in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Our teaching makes the most of London’s immensely diverse and rich religious culture and resources, including many places of worship and the collections of the British Museum and the National Gallery.
  • King’s central location offers easy access to numerous libraries across London.
  • Students develop key transferable skills which can lead to a variety of different careers

Description

The MA in Religion is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. Under the umbrella of a single MA, you will have the choice of four pathways that can be tailored to your interests.

If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of religion in the contemporary world from political, sociological and anthropological perspectives, follow the Religion in Contemporary Society pathway.

For a comprehensive understanding of Christian thought and practice as it has been reasoned and debated over the centuries, take the Systematic Theology pathway.

The Biblical Studies pathway introduces students to the world, text and context of the Bible in antiquity and in the modern world, reading it as literature and as a theological text.

The Jewish Studies pathway opens up the richness of Jewish texts and experience from antiquity to modern times, with particular attention to current issues in multi-religious societies.

The final option available to you is to not follow a pathway and to instead forge your own path, choosing the MA-level teaching you desire from across our diverse and interdisciplinary Department of Theology and Religious Studies and beyond.

 

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We strongly believe that teaching and research should be closely related. All our teaching staff are therefore research-active, many enjoying international reputations as leaders in their fields. Our commitment to original research means that we can introduce students to new discoveries in a diverse range of fields being explored by our staff.

If you are a full-time student, each week we will provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study.

If you are a part-time student, each week we will provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 17 hours of independent study.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Methods of assessment vary between modules, but typically involve the submission of some coursework (usually an essay) and a written examination. A few modules are assessed through only one of these methods.

Career prospects

Our graduates use the skills and knowledge that they develop with us to pursue careers in teaching, journalism, media, civil service, policy consultancy, museum work, community organisations and the church or other religious institutions. Others have continued their studies to further research.



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Religion has become a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary global geopolitical landscape and as such demands a reassessment of once predominant understandings of processes of secularisation, as well as the meanings of, and tensions inherent within, secular assumptions and secularist positions. Read more
Religion has become a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary global geopolitical landscape and as such demands a reassessment of once predominant understandings of processes of secularisation, as well as the meanings of, and tensions inherent within, secular assumptions and secularist positions. The so-called ‘resurgence’ of religion in the public sphere in recent decades is now a significant area of interdisciplinary scholarship eliciting a complex array of responses, ranging from vehement opposition to the very idea that religious concepts and commitments have a right to expression in political debates, to a reassessment of the origins and implications of divisions between the secular and the religious and their relationship to the nation state. The notion that there is no singular secularism, but rather a plurality of secularisms, and of ‘religion’ as an invention of European modernity and colonial interests are two of many emerging efforts to reconceptualise the meanings of religion and the secular and the entangled relationship between them.

About the MA

The MA Religion in Global Politics offers an opportunity to examine these questions and issues at an advanced level by studying the complex relationships between religion and politics in the histories and contemporary political contexts (both national and international) of the regions of the Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A core objective is to challenge the Eurocentrism of current debates around secularism, secularisation, the nature of the public sphere within modernity, by indicating the plurality and contested nature of conceptions of both religion and the secular when considered in a global framework.

The programme is unique: it has a regional focus and disciplinary breadth rarely addressed in similar programmes in the subject area, draws on a wealth of multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives (Law, International Relations and Politics, History, Philosophy, Development, Anthropology, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Gender Studies, amongst others) and has a rigorous theoretical basis built in, such that students will be familiarised with the current state-of-the-art debates regarding religion in the public sphere, secularisms, postsecularism, and political theology and their relevance to issues of democracy, war, violence, human rights, humanitarianism and development, multiculturalism, nationalism, sectarianism, religious extremism, and free speech amongst others. The range of course options available on the programme is unparalleled, ensuring that students will benefit from a truly interdisciplinary, intellectually rigorous, and regionally focused programme.

Course detail

Designed as a professional development qualification as well as a platform for doctoral research, this programme will give you the opportunity to examine the complex relationships between religion and politics in the histories and contemporary political contexts (both national and international), across the globe.

You will engage in current topical debates regarding religion in the public sphere, secularisms, post-secularism, and political theology and their relevance to issues including democracy, war, human rights, humanitarianism, nationalism, sectarianism, religious extremism and free speech.

You will have access to a wealth of study resources including the SOAS Library, one of the world's most important academic libraries, attracting scholars from across the globe.

A global perspective

The unparalleled range of course options available will allow you to benefit from an intellectually rigorous and globally focused programme which provides a disciplinary breadth rarely addressed in similar programmes. A wealth of multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives are drawn upon including Law, History, Philosophy, Development, Anthropology and Diaspora Studies.

Expert at where the world is changing

With our highly diversified expertise, our comprehensive resources and our interdisciplinary approach, we offer a unique learning and research environment for a truly inter-cultural approach to systems of belief and thought.

Programme Aims

The programme’s inter-disciplinary focus aims to provide students with advanced training in the area of religion and politics through the study of a wide range of theoretical and regional perspectives. It will serve primarily as a platform for professional development and further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research. The programme offers students:

• Advanced knowledge and understanding of significant approaches, methods, debates, and theories in the field of religion and politics, with particular reference to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;

• Advanced skills in researching and writing about topics in and theorisations of religion and politics;

• Advanced skills in the presentation or communication of knowledge and understanding of topics in religion and politics as they pertain to regional, international, and transnational contexts

Format

Students are required to follow taught units to the equivalent of three full courses and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words. Courses are assessed through a variety of methods including short and long essays, examinations, oral presentations, and response papers. An overall percentage mark is awarded for each course, based on the marks awarded for individual assessment items within the courses.

The MA may be awarded at Distinction, Merit or Pass level in accordance with the common regulations for MA/MSc at SOAS.

Postgraduate Open Evenings

You’ll be able to have one-to-one discussions with academics and current students. You can also attend specialist subject talks and take a tour of our campus.

Book now: http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/openevenings/

Webinars

Our webinars give you an opportunity to hear and ask questions about the subject you’re interested in studying. We also cover topics such as making an application, Tier 4 Visa entry, fees and funding, scholarships, accommodation options as well as career related information.

Book now: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/webinars/

How to apply

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

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Christianity and the Arts is taught in association with the National Gallery in London. The course investigates how Christian scripture, beliefs and practices have found expression in art over 2,000 years. Read more

Christianity and the Arts is taught in association with the National Gallery in London.

The course investigates how Christian scripture, beliefs and practices have found expression in art over 2,000 years. It traces the idea of beauty in Western theological tradition; makes use of examples in London.

Leads to further research or careers in teaching, journalism or the church.

Key benefits

  • Will enable students to work across disciplinary and specialism boundaries, and in particular to explore simultaneously the art-historical and theological dimensions of Christian art – approaches which are generally pursued in isolation from one another.
  • Will use rich cultural resources beyond the university – and specifically the artistic, human and web-based resources of the National Gallery.
  • Will provide opportunities for students to learn outside the university, in the context of an art museum, with likely additional visits/links to institutions with related collections, like the Courtauld Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • Will enhance the experience of international students at the university by giving them a stimulating and privileged understanding of one of London’s (and the world’s) greatest treasuries of art.

Description

Our MA in Christianity and the Arts will investigate how Christian scripture, beliefs and practices have found expression in the arts over 2000 years. The course features a required module on the Idea of Beauty in Western Theology and a wide range of optional modules looking at different forms of artistic expression, different artistic periods with a focus on specific elements of the Christian narrative. You will also have the opportunity to explore a topic in detail through your dissertation.

Wherever possible the course draws on examples and case studies here in London, particularly the collections at The National Gallery, The Courtauld Institute and The Victoria and Albert Museum. We will help you to work across disciplinary and specialism boundaries, and in particular to explore both the art-historical and theological dimensions of Christian art – approaches which are generally pursued in isolation from one another.

Course purpose

To enable students to work across disciplinary and specialism boundaries, and in particular to explore simultaneously the art-historical and theological dimensions of Christian art – approaches which are generally pursued in isolation from one another.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

If you’re a full-time student, each week we’ll provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We’ll expect you to undertake 34 of independent study.

If you’re a part-time student, each week we’ll provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We’ll expect you to undertake 17 hours of independent study.

Typically one credit amounts to 10 hours of work. 

Assessment

We assess the majority of our modules through coursework and/or examination, although other departments may differ. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word thesis.

Career prospects

Our graduates use the skills and knowledge that they develop with us to pursue careers in teaching, journalism, media, museum work and the church, or other religious institutions. Others have continued their studies with further research. 



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'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton. Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. Read more
'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton

Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. As well as teaching the theoretical aspects of the faith, our postgraduate theology programmes have always placed a special emphasis on the application of theology to specific practical situations and the preparation and formation of people for Christian ministry in a fast moving age:

'Theology has importance for the Church in every age so that it can respond to the plan of God "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4). In times of great spiritual and cultural change, theology is all the more important.' (Donum Veritatis, 1)

Why St Mary's?

At St Mary’s we are particularly concerned that academic theology should be in the service of the churches, the world, and wider society. For over a decade we have worked directly with numerous Roman Catholic Dioceses to deliver a comprehensive training in ministry. Consequently we now offer three specialist postgraduate theological pathways:
• Chaplaincy and Ministry
• Christian Spirituality
• Systematic Theology

It is possible to study for three postgraduate qualifications in Theology: the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master's Degree. Each builds on the other so having completed the two core modules of the course you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Certificate. If you successfully complete the Optional Modules you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma and if this is followed with the Dissertation you will be eligible for the Master's degree.

St Mary’s now has agreements with the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Northampton, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, and the Southern Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme. We teach the MA at Saturday classes in Ashburton (Devon), Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire), Winchester (Hampshire) and - for those training for Catholic diaconal ministry - Wonersh (Surrey).

A Student View

Teresa (London)
"One of the great benefits of this MA Course is the opportunity the oral and written assignments have given me to reflect theologically on, and relate the issues discussed in the lectures to, my work as a School Chaplain... I also greatly appreciated the opportunity the lectures afforded to meet regularly with a group of fellow Chaplains and to share our own experiences and reflections on Chaplaincy."

Career Prospects

The study of Theology develops students intellectually in a way that fits them in particular for pastoral work. It is an excellent preparation for any profession that involves working with people in a pastoral context.

In addition to the more general employment opportunities that require graduates with a breadth of human understanding, critical and social skills, and an awareness of current affairs, there are some professional openings in which expertise in biblical, theological and pastoral skills is an integral part of professional training.

These include the various forms of pastoral work and pastoral ministry, chaplaincy in schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, armed forces, prisons, retreat work, spiritual direction and guidance, teaching, catechesis and adult formation.

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This highly regarded postgraduate degree will be of interest to all who hold or are aiming for leadership positions in Catholic schools and colleges. Read more
This highly regarded postgraduate degree will be of interest to all who hold or are aiming for leadership positions in Catholic schools and colleges.

About one-third of the 150-plus students are senior leaders - headteachers and college principals; deputies and assistant heads. The other two-thirds are subject or pastoral leaders, primary curriculum coordinators, classroom leaders or aspiring school leaders.

All are welcome and will enjoy participating. Securing quality leaders committed to modelling leadership on Christ constitutes one of the key challenges for Catholic and indeed all Christian schools.

This course aims to promote a vision that sees the maintenance of a balance between school improvement and Catholic distinctiveness as a feature of the mission of schools and colleges.

Why St Mary's?

Several students have cited the flexibility of this degree as a particular advantage since it is possible to complete the programme within one to five years.

The variety of modes of delivery, including blended and full-distance, also makes the programme especially attractive. The combination of personalised learning and tutorial support - together with the excellent reading materials and online resources - is noted by students as distinctive.

The course helps students understand the core aims and values of a Catholic school while encouraging them to reflect upon the reality of practice within their schools.

Course Content

The aim is to provide a vocationally oriented programme of academic rigour, which enables students to integrate a Catholic philosophy of education with the principles and practice of school leadership. Students should, as a result of following the course, demonstrate greater confidence and competence in articulating and implementing the principal features of Catholic education in their work, and it will provide students with the theological literacy welcomed by appointing bodies.

The modules for the Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice have been constructed to ensure that they are relevant to school and college leaders at all levels and in all phases of Catholic education.

The modular course allows students to build credits towards the 60 required for a Postgraduate Certificate, the 120 required for a Postgraduate Diploma or the 180 required for the full MA.

The five modules studied are as follows:
1. Catholic Education
2. Leadership and Management
3. Spiritual and Theological Foundations
4. Leadership and Learning
5. Research Methods and Dissertation

Each of the first four 30 credit modules contains two strands to ensure that principles and practice are addressed in each module.

Please note: All information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career Prospects

The MA in Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice is the only postgraduate course of study available in the UK that specifically supports the distinctive leadership development needs of leaders and aspiring leaders at all levels and within all phases of Catholic education. NPQH is no longer a requirement for headship, so aspiring headteachers will find that this course offers the ideal alternative qualification.

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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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This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. Read more
This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. It includes within its scope diverse countries, regions and time periods from antiquity to the present, with a particular emphasis on Buddhism in South, Central and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea and Japan. Hinduism, Shinto and animistic and syncretic practices are also studied. Students consider iconography, ritual, faith and pilgrimage in their multiple regional and historical guises. They study temple buildings, statues and paintings, formal, informal and popular.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of Asia, many of whom are principally concerned with religious art. Their ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students working in other related fields, such as music and religion in Asia, historically and in the present. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the religions, languages, history and cultures of Asia.

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/maraa/

Teaching & Learning

- Teaching
Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

- Assessment
For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

- Learning Resources
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.

Employment

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Asia House
Bonhams
British Museum
Christie's Hong Kong
Design Museum
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Hong Kong Museum Of Art
India Foundation For The Arts
Museum of East Asian Art
National Gallery National Museum of Singapore
People Projects Culture & Change
Schoeni Art Gallery
Sotheby's
Taiwan Embassy
The Alliance for Global Education
The British Embassy
The Chester Beatty Library
The National Museum Of Korea
The Royal Collection

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Manager of Communications
Culture Programme Coordinator
Research Assistant
Social Anthropology Lecturer
Specialist - Indian Art
Architect
Art Historian
Development Specialist
Archivist
Gallery Director Innovation Programmes Learning Manager
Creative Director
Organisational Consultant
Travel writer
Art Collector
Chinese Painting Specialist
Professor of Silk Road History
Rights and Reproductions Officer
Public Education Coordinator
Senior Curator of Photographs

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

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

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The thematic components and cross-regional perspectives typically suit students with the following interests and/or aspirations. - Experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shaped their traditions. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The thematic components and cross-regional perspectives typically suit students with the following interests and/or aspirations:

- Experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shaped their traditions.

- Students with a background in psychology seeking to gain knowledge of meditation and mindfulness for their clinical work.

- 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 seeking to pursue a career or professional activity for which advanced knowledge of the yoga and meditation traditions of Asia is required.

- Students who wish to pursue the academic study of these traditions as a complement to their personal experience.

This MA offers an in-depth introduction to the yogic and meditational techniques and doctrines of India, Tibet, China and Japan within the historical and cultural context of their formation. Furthermore, it explores the nature of spiritual experience that arises from yoga and meditation through a cross-cultural, inter-regional perspective.

Classes are held three evenings per week with Full-time and Part-time Study Available.

The thematic, but inter-regional, focus of this MA programme promotes the academic study of the different traditions through the deployment of a wide range of regional perspectives. Its core unit explores the methodological foundations at the heart of yoga/meditation practice. The specialist components integrated within this MA are organised to serve as platform for further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research; the more general components of the programme provides those students who do not intend to pursue doctoral research with an advanced introduction to the physiological dynamics, doctrinal foundations, history, regional context and theoretical presuppositions that shaped the traditions of yoga and meditation. The programme thus offers students (a) advanced knowledge of the background to, and understanding of, yoga and meditation, from their origin in ancient India to their apex in mediaeval Japan; (b) advanced skills in research and writing on topics that pertain to yoga/meditation, drawing on both primary sources (in translation) and secondary sources; (c) advanced skills in presentation and communication of their knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures.

This MA is taught through evening classes, typically running between 18.00h and 20.00h on weekdays, at the SOAS Russell Square Campus in Central London.

The reading materials connected to all four courses of this MA programme are largely disseminated through online resources. Essay submission takes place either in hard copy or electronically.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-traditions-of-yoga-and-meditation/

Teaching & Learning

Students are required to follow taught units to the equivalent of three full courses and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words. All courses in this MA are assessed through a combination of short and long essays. An overall percentage mark is awarded for each course, based on the marks awarded for individual assessment items within the course. The MA may be awarded at Distinction, Merit or Pass level in accordance with the common regulations for MA/MSc at SOAS.

The MA ‘Traditions of Yoga and Meditation’ is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

Programme Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge:

- Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically, locate and synthesise source materials, critically evaluate conflicting interpretations and sources, use research resources (library catalogues, journal databases, citation indices) and other traditional sources.

- Subject specific skills, for instance, text analysis, comparative investigations, interpretation of art-historical evidence, familiarity with the study of the traditions of yoga and meditation as a field of critical enquiry in its various regional and historical contexts.

- Aspects of literature in the study of yoga and meditation with its manifestations in philosophy, religion, iconography and history, as well as the impact of these traditions on religious societies.

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

- Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.

- Students will develop the capacity to discuss theoretical and epistemological issues in an articulate, informed, and intellectual manner.

- Students will learn to become precise and critical in their assessment of scholarly arguments and to question interpretations, however authoritative, in order to reassess evidence for themselves.

- Students will learn to present complex theoretical arguments clearly and creatively.

- Students will acquire both theoretical and regional expertise in order to develop and apply self-reflexive approaches to the issues raised by the cross-cultural study of yoga and meditation traditions.

Subject-based practical skills:
The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:

- Academic writing
- IT-based information retrieval and processing
- Presentational skills
- Independent study skills and research techniques
- Reflexive learning

Transferable skills:
The programme will encourage students to:

- Write concisely and with clarity.
- Effectively structure and communicate ideas (oral and written).
- Explore and assess a variety of sources for research purposes.
- Work to deadlines and high academic standards.
- Assess the validity and cogency of arguments.
- Make judgements involving complex factors.
- Develop self-reflexivity.
- Develop an awareness of the ethical complexity of representational practices.
- Question the nature of social and cultural constructs.

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

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About the MSc programme. This programme provides a unique interdisciplinary, broad social science perspective on the study of religion. Read more

About the MSc programme

This programme provides a unique interdisciplinary, broad social science perspective on the study of religion. It offers you the opportunity to investigate the increasing prevalence of religious and secular dynamics across the globe and how concepts of religion interweave with aspects of today’s society, in theory and practice.

The programme tackles topics of key importance, from policy-relevant connections between religion and public life, and religion and politics, to more theoretical debates about the nature of belief, ritual, and questions of being. It allows you to explore the role of religion in the developing world, and illuminates Western models of religion and secularisation through comparison with those in the global south. The Department’s strong tradition of fieldwork is an important element of the programme, with the core course giving you an in-depth knowledge of case studies based on your lecturers’ own expert primary research on religion.

The programme is intended for graduates of the humanities and social sciences, but will be of interest to those with a traditional theological background, or with pastoral or vocational training, or careers in journalism, charity or NGO work, or teaching, as well as those who would like to consider religion from an alternative and complementary perspective.

Graduate destinations

The programme is an ideal preparation for research work in the study of religion. Many graduates from the Department go on to complete PhDs. It will also provide a foundation for those wishing to find employment in the civil service, policy and diplomacy, education, social work, journalism and NGOs.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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