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Masters Degrees in Islamic Studies, United Kingdom

We have 23 Masters Degrees in Islamic Studies, United Kingdom

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This unique and innovative programme is designed to develop students’ knowledge of the key areas of Islamic Studies. This programme will introduce Islam in terms of its fundamental beliefs, history and development from the Arabian Peninsula to other parts of the world. Read more
This unique and innovative programme is designed to develop students’ knowledge of the key areas of Islamic Studies. This programme will introduce Islam in terms of its fundamental beliefs, history and development from the Arabian Peninsula to other parts of the world. Students will examine the key teachings of Islam as a religion and a civilisation that has come in contact with other cultures and civilisations. They will also explore other areas such as women and Islam, Islamic core sources and Islamic ethics in light of contemporary developments.

This programme is SCQF credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). It is available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Future Study and Careers

This programme is relevant to any candidate who wants to learn about Islam and its connection with other revealed religions such as Christianity and Judaism.

Through establishing a foundation and some critical thinking on the subject matter, candidates will become confident in addressing various challenges in response to their personal or professional situations through working in a multicultural society.

Additional Information
For students requiring a Tier 4 student visa, an overall score of 6 in IELTS for UKVI (with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other areas) is required.
The programme is comprised of five compulsory units (+ 1 optional unit).

The whole programme is equal to 72 credit points with 12 credit points for each unit. The Advanced Diploma will be awarded to students who successfully pass all units.

The compulsory units are as follows:

Introduction to Islamic Studies will introduce students to Islam, its history, important personalities in the early history of Islam, the development of Islam, its main sources and basic teachings. The students will also be introduced to the skill of transliterating for correct pronunciation of some Arabic/Islamic terms. On successful completion of this unit, students should know the basic teachings and the main sources of Islam. In addition, students will be able to understand some of the similarities and differences between Islam and other religions.

Islamic Core Sources and Approaches will give students a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic core sources and approaches. They will be introduced to the different sciences developed within Islamic studies from exegesis (tafsir) to Islamic law (fiqh) and principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh). On successful completion of this unit, students should know the different methodological approaches developed by Muslim scholars within the Islamic tradition.

Islamic Ethics (Akhlaq) has always been an intrinsic and fundamental part of Islamic thought, manifested in both Muslim jurisprudence and Islamic theology. This unit will look at the centrality of ethics in the Islamic core sources and how early and classical Muslim scholars have conceptualised it. Modern debates about the significance of ethics in Islamic core sources will be critically examined.

Women and Islam is a lively subject used by those in both the Islamic and western worlds. It is a subject often used by critics to portray Islam as a misogynistic and oppressive religion. In their arguments, their first point of reference is the plight of Muslim women in many Islamic societies. The advocates of women’s rights in Islam encourage differentiation between the teachings of Islam and diverse cultural practices.

Research Methodology in Social Sciences and Islamic Studies is designed to strengthen students’ critical thinking while writing or reading scientific research, to familiarise students with theories and the practical application of research methodology, methods, design and strategy while conducting a research proposal. The unit also includes aspects of methodology of Muslim scholars in searching for the truth by considering the revealed knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah, evidence from iltizamand qiyas (logic) or even disputed sources

Core Units 

•Introduction to Islamic Studies (SCQF 9)
•Islamic Core Sources and Approaches (SCQF 10)
•Islamic Ethics (SCQF 10)
•Women and Islam (SCQF 10)
•Research Methodology in Social Sciences and Islamic Studies (SCQF 10)”

Optional Units 

•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 5)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 6)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 7)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 8)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 9)
•Arabic for Special Purposes (SCQF 10)
•Islamic Economics and Finance (SCQF 11)
•Islamic Commercial Law (SCQF 11)
•Applied Islamic Banking and Insurance (SCQF 11)
•Islamic Accounting and Auditing (SCQF 11)

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The MRes Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam. Read more
The MRes Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam. It is programme that is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total.

Course Overview

The programme is taught by experts with diverse interests in Islamic Studies, encouraging students to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the Islam and Muslims in contemporary and historical perspectives. Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university, and our academic team have contributed to the field through publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences.

The MRes provides a high quality student experience suitable for those working within – or associated with - Muslim communities, in minority and majority contexts, especially those wishing to develop a greater understanding of the people, cultures and religious perspectives with in which they are working.

The programme is delivered as a full-time and part-time programme of study, and is also available as distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums or wikis.

All students will be supported through their studies particular during the Research phase of their programme which amounts to 120 credits overall. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.

Key Features

-Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university
-Academic team that contributes to publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences
-Excellent Continuing Professional Development for those working in the field of Islam or with majority and minority Muslim communities
-Our staff are highly experienced teachers who have taught in different institutions and countries and who bring with them valuable expertise in guiding international students through their programmes of study

Assessment

A range of assessment methods are used from essays and short written evaluation, and reflective pieces. The Dissertation is between 25,000 and 30,000 words.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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The MA Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam. Read more
The MA Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam.

Course Overview

The programme is taught by experts with diverse interests in Islamic Studies, encouraging students to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the Islam and Muslims in contemporary and historical perspectives. Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university, and our academic team have contributed to the field through publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences.

The MA provides a high quality student experience suitable for those working within – or associated with - Muslim communities, in minority and majority contexts, especially those wishing to develop a greater understanding of the people, cultures and religious perspectives with in which they are working.

The programme is delivered full-time or part-time through distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums or wikis.

Campus-based students will be supported through lectures, research seminars and public lectures. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.

Key Features

-Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university
-Academic team that contributes to publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences
-Excellent Continuing Professional Development for those working in the field of Islam or with majority and minority Muslim communities
-Our staff are highly experienced teachers who have taught in different institutions and countries and who bring with them valuable expertise in guiding international students through their programmes of study

Assessment

Assessment is usually based on written work in the form of long and short essays, reports, book reviews and reflective pieces.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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This Masters programme is designed for graduates with no prior knowledge of Islam as well as those who would like to develop their understanding of this major world faith.Our programme will enable you to acquire a profound comprehension of Islam both as a religious, intellectual and cultural tradition, and as a powerful political ideology. Read more
This Masters programme is designed for graduates with no prior knowledge of Islam as well as those who would like to develop their understanding of this major world faith.Our programme will enable you to acquire a profound comprehension of Islam both as a religious, intellectual and cultural tradition, and as a powerful political ideology.

You will study materials which delineate the core values and doctrines of Islam, and those which elaborate on the diversity of practice and manifold traditions of the Islamic faith. Your ability to analyse materials, contexts and issues - and to engage in informed academic discussion on your conclusions - will be strengthened through the study of methodologies and research tools used today in Islamic Studies by historians, social scientists and cultural anthropologists.

This combination of approaches to the study of Islam will enable you to acquire the analytical tools needed for independent study and interpretation of both medieval and contemporary aspects of Islam, not only within the context of the Middle East, but throughout the world.

Research

Research in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) is divided into disciplinary research clusters.

The Islamic Studies cluster(http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/research/clusters/islamicstudies/) includes postgraduate students and staff brought together by a common fascination with the theological, ethical and legal traditions of Islam. They gather under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of Islam(http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/research/centres/csi/), which holds regular study groups, seminars and conferences. The principal project linked to this research group is Islamic Reformulations: Belief, Governance, Violence, funded by the ESRC under the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme. The project examines the current state and future trajectories of Muslim thought.

Our research newsletter will also give you a flavour of our research (http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/research/researchnewsletter/).

Please see our website for further information on this programme: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/arabislamic/islamicstudiesma

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The political map of West Asia, home to more than 60 per cent of the world’s oil and gas wealth, is in flux. Read more

The political map of West Asia, home to more than 60 per cent of the world’s oil and gas wealth, is in flux. The on-going process of forming fundamentalist ideologies in the region, new waves of political Islamic revival, and the re-emergence of sectarian struggles in the region have heightened concerns about religio-political dynamics which are still not fully understood by scholars and policymakers. Moreover, the growing number of organised Islamic groups in the region, representing diverse political goals, are generating tensions that threaten to move beyond the borders of West Asia.

The MA in Islamic and West Asian Studies is designed for students interested in the Islamic and West Asian world, as well as those wishing to pursue either a career in international affairs or further research on Muslim and West Asian communities.

The course is taught by scholars affiliated with Royal Holloway’s Centre for Islamic and West Asian Studies (CIWAS), an inter-disciplinary centre whose mission is to promote the exchange of ideas and knowledge among scholars from East and West. You will have the opportunity to engage critically with the history and politics of West Asian societies and Muslim communities, and have access to a wide range of regional resources which CIWAS has recently acquired.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Introduction to the Historical Study of the Modern Muslim World
  • Islam and West Asia in International Relations
  • Dissertation

You must also take at least one from the following:

  • Research Development
  • History Past and Present - Definitions, Concepts and Approaches
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations
  • Theories and Qualitative Approaches in Politics and International Relations
  • Fieldwork Methods

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • Political Economy of the Middle East
  • The Infidel Within? Muslims in the West
  • Politics and Religion in the Middle East Since 1914

Teaching & assessment

Teaching and learning is delivered primarily by means of seminar discussions, informal lectures, oral presentations, guided independent research, and guided independent study.

Assessment takes the form of various formative and summative assignments, including, in the case of some modules, an unseen written exam.

The final assignment is a dissertation on a topic developed in consultation with an assigned supervisor. It is expected that the dissertation will be researched and written primarily in the summer months, although supervision and dissertation training will begin during the academic year.

Your future career

Graduates of political degrees have much to offer potential employers having developed a range of transferable skills, both practical and theoretical, whilst studying with us. With up to 90% of our most recent graduates now working or in further study, according to the Complete University Guide 2015, it’s true to say our graduates are highly employable. 

The methodological nature of a politics degree provides graduates with valuable analytical and research skills in preparation for careers in government, political consultancy, NGOs and research organisations.

In recent years, departmental graduates have secured jobs in a wide range of professions, such as the law, the civil service, accountancy, management, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, international development and diplomacy. In fact, six-months after graduation, 90% of our most recent graduates are enhancing their skills with further study or forging careers in companies and institutions such as:

  • Amnesty International
  • Bloomberg
  • The Church of England
  • Citigroup
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • The Conservative Party
  • Ernst & Young
  • The European Commission Global Capital
  • HM Treasury
  • The Henry Jackson Society
  • House of Commons
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Labour Party
  • KAYAK
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children


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This programme offers a flexible framework within which you can develop knowledge and skills in Islamic Studies in historical and/or contemporary contexts, and provides an ideal foundation for further research. Read more

This programme offers a flexible framework within which you can develop knowledge and skills in Islamic Studies in historical and/or contemporary contexts, and provides an ideal foundation for further research.

You will have the opportunity engage with material that is at the forefront of contemporary academic research in Islamic Studies, and explore a range of topics in Islamic Studies that reflect the expertise of academic staff: this may typically include content with historical, sociological, contextual, legal, textual or philosophical emphases.

Course details

The programme combines a set of core modules to provide you with a foundation for your studies with a range of options which allow you to specialise in areas of particular interest.

You will study three core modules:

  • Approaches to Studying Islam (traditional)
  • Approaches to Studying Islam (modern)
  • Research Methods

You will also choose three optional modules from a range which typically includes:

  • Feminism in the Muslim World
  • Islam in Europe
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Muslim Thinkers of the Western World
  • Political Islam 

Full module descriptions are available below.

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by written assignment. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Learning and teaching

Modules are delivered via a range of learning and teaching methods, including mini-lectures, seminars and tutorials. You also receive one-to-one supervision in the development of your dissertation.

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: Theology and Religion

Birmingham’s Theology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Many of our graduates go into careers in churches of various denominations. Other students use their transferable skills in a range of employment sectors, including publishing, education and social work. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Church of England; Methodist Church; NHS; and University of Birmingham.



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Research profile. In this research area, you can pursue interdisciplinary study of Islamic thought and practice, and of historical, theological, ethical and political encounters between Christianity and Islam. Read more

Research profile

In this research area, you can pursue interdisciplinary study of Islamic thought and practice, and of historical, theological, ethical and political encounters between Christianity and Islam.

Staff research interests focus on Islamic theology (kalam), law (shari‘a and fiqh), and philosophy; Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir; Muslim views of Christianity and Judaism; Christian theological engagements with Islam; constructive theology and ethics from a Christian or Muslim perspective; Arab Christianity, classic and contemporary; political Islam; political theology; comparative theology; migration, religion and politics.

You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School’s staff profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.

At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.

Masters by Research

If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the Masters by Research may interest you.

You can study full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation. Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path. All students receive research training.

Training and support

The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.

  • At the start of the academic year, you will be invited to Welcome Week, an intensive introduction to study and life in Edinburgh. Some events are especially for international students new to Scotland and the UK, but everything is open to all.
  • In the first weeks, the School provides a general orientation to research skills and to wider opportunities for training and support.
  • From your first days as a PhD or MPhil student, you will work one-to-one with your primary research supervisor.
  • Your progress will be tracked, through regular supervisions and milestone reviews, to ensure that you get the support you need to bring your project to fruition.
  • You will be part of the research seminars in Theology and Ethics, and in Religious Studies, to which visiting speakers are invited and to which postgraduates present work-in-progress.
  • You will be able to follow taught courses that contribute to your interests and research needs, and can also take advantage of opportunities to learn ancient and modern languages.
  • If you are a PhD student, after successful completion of your first year, you will be eligible to apply for tutoring opportunities, to gain teaching experience.

A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.

Facilities

The School of Divinity, one of the largest centres for the study of religion in the United Kingdom, is located in the historic setting of New College, close to Edinburgh Castle and overlooking Princes Street.

Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, and the nearby National Library of Scotland. New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.

The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study of World Christianity.

You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term time.



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This programme provides the opportunity to study a variety of religious traditions, in combination with advanced learning in the theory and method of the study of religion. Read more

This programme provides the opportunity to study a variety of religious traditions, in combination with advanced learning in the theory and method of the study of religion.

Religious beliefs, behaviours and institutions are powerful components in human societies. Understanding their motivations and structures can help the search for solutions to major challenges in the contemporary world.

This programme allows a deepening engagement with theory and method in religious studies, while encouraging in-depth study of one or more religious traditions. This combination of theoretical know-how with studies in specific traditions equips you to compare, interpret and explain religion in a cross-cultural perspective.

You can study Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Indian traditions, as well as indigenous religions of Africa, North America and East Asia, and new age and diasporic traditions. The programme also offers the opportunity to learn Sanskrit, Arabic or Persian (subject to availability) through our expertise in Asian Studies and in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

Programme structure

This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses comprise Theory and Method in the Study of Religion; one further course from the options specific to this programme; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least one must be a course in religious studies, such as:

  • Contemporary Theories of Religion
  • Hindu Traditions: Critical Investigations
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Christian-Muslim Relations
  • New Age Spirituality in Contemporary Culture

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.



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The Studies in Philosophy and Religion MRes Distance Learning Programme is scheduled for a duration of one year (full-time) or three years (part-time). Read more
The Studies in Philosophy and Religion MRes Distance Learning Programme is scheduled for a duration of one year (full-time) or three years (part-time). It is tailor-made to suit your interests in consultation with the areas of expertise offered by the School. It is designed also to suit the needs of those who are unable to attend time-tabled sessions at Bangor. It comprises two parts.)

Part 1:

Students will write two essays, each of 5000 words (30 credits each). The essay titles and content will be decided in consultation with your supervisor. However, they will follow any two topics listed below. Students will have full support from a supervisor (via e-mail, telephone, Skype, or any other means that is mutually convenient).

Topic List:

Eastern Philosophy and Religion (Hinduism, Sikhism, Shinto and Confucianism
Islamic Philosophy and ethics
Religious fundamentalism
Political Philosophy (including social theory such as Marx, Weber, Rawls etc.)
Globalization (including, multiculturalism)
The Enlightenment
Democratic theory
The Philosophy of Nietzsche
Psychoanalytic Studies
Jungian Theory
Old Testament
Ethical Theory
Applied Ethics
Religious Experience
Part 2:

Part 2 is a supervised dissertation of 40,000 words (120 credits). The subject of the dissertation will be decided by you in consultation with your supervisor. It is usually expected that the subject will relate to the broad range of topics listed above.

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This programme provides a thorough and cutting-edge exploration of classic and contemporary debates in theology and religious studies, incorporating the latest scholarship in the field. Read more
This programme provides a thorough and cutting-edge exploration of classic and contemporary debates in theology and religious studies, incorporating the latest scholarship in the field.

Why this programme

◾You will have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of the field and to develop an area of expertise.
◾You will be taught by academics who are currently engaging in and shaping the international debates around the specialisations offered.
◾This programme is open to those of all faiths and none, and to those who are new to the study of religion.

Programme structure

The 180 credit programme is comprised of two compulsory 30 credit core courses, two 20 credit optional courses, a compulsory 20 credit research skills course, and a compulsory 60 credit dissertation of 12,000 - 15,000 words.

The 12 month programme structure for full-time students is as follows:

Semester 1:
◾Core 1: Reason, Religion and Culture
◾Option 1
◾Research skills course

Semester 2:
◾Core 2: Reading, Religion, and Culture
◾Option 2
◾Dissertation (submitted in September)

Theology and Religious Studies has a selection of optional courses available, including:
◾Modern Islamic Thought
◾Muhammad
◾Reading Theology: Hermeneutics and Interpretation Theory
◾Writing Theology: Creative Writing as Theological Reflection
◾Central Issues in Christian Theology
◾Theology in the Catholic Tradition
◾Foundations of Contemporary Biblical Studies
◾Bible, Culture and Criticism
◾Sacred Texts and Critical Theories
◾Political Theologies
◾Religion and Violence
◾Directed Study

Please contact the Programme Convener for further details about planned taught courses. In order to promote interdisciplinary study, students can elect to take one optional course from any other University of Glasgow Masters programme. The directed study option allows for one-to-one supervision on a topic of personal interest.

Career prospects

As a graduate of this programme, you will be in possession of a variety of subject specific and transferable skills and graduate attributes which will equip you for a wide range of careers and for further academic study.

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Theology and religion is a diverse subject area, employing a wide variety of methodological approaches in its discourse. . It is not only growing in academic significance, but it is also a living, active area of study that engages communities of faith, politicians and those working in non-academic contexts. Read more

Theology and religion is a diverse subject area, employing a wide variety of methodological approaches in its discourse. 

It is not only growing in academic significance, but it is also a living, active area of study that engages communities of faith, politicians and those working in non-academic contexts.

The MA in Theology and Religion reflects this complexity and is designed to prepare you for professions which depend upon an advanced awareness of issues of theology and religion, and allow you to better appreciate the significance of these issues in contemporary society. It also provides ideal preparation for further research.

Course details

Depending on your module choices you could become critically acquainted with the ‘sources’ of theology, such as scriptural writings, historical traditions and theologies and ethics issues.

You will also examine the importance of the sociological and cultural background; for example, in terms of new ‘readings’ of theology that have emerged out of gendered and ethnic contexts, and new insights into biblical scholarship which have arisen from contemporary culture.  

You will also be encouraged to interrogate and critically analyse your own, and others’, presuppositions and approach your studies in ways that show sensitivity to the multi-disciplinary nature of the issues under discussion. 

You will study one core module - Research Methods - and five optional modules, in addition to completing a 15,000-word dissertation.

You will choose your optional modules from a range of modules which typically includes the following (for descriptions, see 'modules' below):

  • Advanced Biblical Studies
  • Bible and Sacred Space
  • Contemporary Issues in Sikhism
  • Feminism in the Muslim World
  • Goddess Spirituality and Thealogical Embodiment
  • Historical and Contemporary Debates on the Holocaust
  • Independent Special Study
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Political Islam
  • Religion in Contemporary Global Politics I and II
  • Sikh Perspectives on Interreligious Relations
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls: Texts and Context 

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment. MA students will complete their programme with a 15,000-word dissertation, or a placement-based dissertation.

Learning and teaching

As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, the Department of Theology and Religion has a busy programme of research seminars, conferences and workshops which you can attend, 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: Theology and Religion

Birmingham’s Theology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Many of our graduates go into careers in churches of various denominations. Other students use their transferable skills in a range of employment sectors, including publishing, education and social work. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Church of England; Methodist Church; NHS; and University of Birmingham.



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One of the big strengths of our Theology MA is how well it matches the current research interests of our academic staff. That means you get the maximum benefit of our expertise whichever module options you choose. Read more

One of the big strengths of our Theology MA is how well it matches the current research interests of our academic staff. That means you get the maximum benefit of our expertise whichever module options you choose. We will train you in research methodologies and skills so that you can engage with key texts and sources, we can also help you develop expertise in biblical languages as well as Latin, patristic Greek and Aramaic if you need it.

You will have the chance to take an interdisciplinary approach to Theology, which is increasing in popularity and importance with Research Councils. You might choose to exchange insights with disciplines like Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History.

We pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive department. We are always happy to make time to talk to you one-to-one and give you all the support you need to be a success. We hope you will join us at Exeter and become an active part of our vibrant research community.

Programme Structure

The degree normally involves five taught modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Skills in Theology;
  • Dissertation;
  • Research Proposal in Theology ;
  • Evaluative Bibliographical Diary
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences.

Optional modules

Some examples of the optional modules which may be available are;

  • Reception of Christian and Jewish Traditions;
  • Intermediate Biblical Hebrew;
  • Introducing Biblical Hebrew;
  • Theology, Ethics and Public Issues;
  • Reading Early Jewish and Christian Texts;
  • Approaches to Biblical Studies

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Research areas

We have a very active research culture with international scholars who are publishing cutting-edge research, we encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative research which is reflected in our projects.

Our research focuses on the interaction between theology and matters of current social and political importance. Some of our specialist areas of interest include:

  • The relationship of Christian theology with environmental concerns
  • Urban planning, criminal justice, international law, sexuality and gender, and the visual arts
  • Interfaith dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths; sacramental theology
  • Ecumenical theology, especially in Ireland
  • Christian theology and science

We also operate the Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology (EXCEPT) which provides a centre for research into contextual, practical and ministerial theology. Our Network for Religion in Public Life promotes co-operation between academics and religious communities on matters concerning the relationship between religions and public and political issues. And our Centre for Biblical Studies provides a focus for a range of research activity and research projects including seminars, public lectures and hosting academic visitors.

You can find out more about our Academic Staff and their research interests from the Theology web pages.



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Census data shows that Muslims are now the second largest faith community in British society. Read more
Census data shows that Muslims are now the second largest faith community in British society. Our rewarding programme delivers a comprehensive understanding of the development of Muslim communities in the UK, the current challenges they face, and an introduction to the scholarly study of Islam in a modern Western European society.

On this programme, you will gain the social science skills essential to pursue high calibre research on Islam in Britain today within our flagship Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK.

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam and the skills to undertake high quality research according to social sciences professional ethics codes.

Our recognised qualifications are recognised as indicators of professional competence to work with British Muslims.

Encouraged to contribute to the Centre’s highly respected Public Seminar Series, you will have ample opportunity to engage in placements and volunteer with local Muslim organisations.

You are encouraged to undertake voluntary work with Muslim communities in Cardiff in activities ranging from assisting with homework clubs run via local mosques to contributing to the Muslim Council of Wales ‘iLead’ programme which aims to support young Muslims developing leadership skills.

Distinctive features

• Gain in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam

• Develops essential skills for high quality research on Islam in Britain in accordance with codes of professional ethics in the social
sciences

• Recognised qualification indicating competence to work in a professional capacity with British Muslims

• Opportunities to engage in placements/volunteering with local Muslim organisations

• Ideal for professional development within the public sector

• Excellent resources and facilities including excellent library resources, access to a wide range of relevant journals and online sources and extensive audio-visual resources via Vimeo

• Dedicated seminar room.

Structure

The PGDip or MA can be completed in 1 year with full-time study or over 3 years with part-time study.

For the taught element of the programme you will study three core modules (60 credits) and choose a further three optional modules (60 credits).

On successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to your dissertation if you are completing the MA. Your dissertation is an essay of up to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice (approved in consultation with your tutor).

Core modules:

Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
History and Development of Muslim Communities in Britain
Contemporary Debates in British Muslim Studies
Module Title: Muslims in Britain Today
Qualitative Research Methods
Social Theory and Research Design
Dissertation (MA only)

Teaching

Teaching is via lectures, small group tutorials, seminars, audio-visual resources, guest speakers, and optional placement/voluntary work.

You are encouraged to attend and contribute to our Islam UK Centre Public Lecture Series, known for bringing high-profile speakers to the region to discuss a wide range of topical research.

Assessment

You will be assessed via essays, other assignments (such as book reviews and presentations), or written exams depending on the modules chosen.

Placements

You are encouraged to undertake voluntary work with Muslim communities in Cardiff in activities ranging from assisting with homework clubs run via local mosques to contributing to the Muslim Council of Wales ‘iLead’ programme which aims to support young Muslims developing leadership skills.

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Research profile. Religious Studies or the Study of Religion/s is a vibrant research cluster, based in theoretically informed and comparative studies of religion. Read more

Research profile

Religious Studies or the Study of Religion/s is a vibrant research cluster, based in theoretically informed and comparative studies of religion.

You can specialise in a variety of areas which include contemporary and historical topics and fields such as Asian Studies, History of Religions/New Religions, and Jewish Studies.

You will be encouraged to frame your research using a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, from the classic to the cutting-edge. You will be able to draw on methodological expertise which includes biographical analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography, historical and textual studies, memory studies and narrative studies. The thematic interests of academic staff include ethnicity, gender, indigeneity, nationalism, textuality and the transnational.

You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School’s staff profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.

At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.

Masters by Research

If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the Masters by Research may interest you.

You can study full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation. Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path. All students receive research training.

Training and support

The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.

  • At the start of the academic year, you will be invited to Welcome Week, an intensive introduction to study and life in Edinburgh. Some events are especially for international students new to Scotland and the UK, but everything is open to all.
  • In the first weeks, the School provides a general orientation to research skills and to wider opportunities for training and support.
  • From your first days as a student, you will work one-to-one with your primary research supervisor.
  • Your progress will be tracked, through regular supervisions and milestone reviews, to ensure that you get the support you need to bring your project to fruition.
  • You will be part of the research seminar in Religious Studies, to which visiting speakers are invited and to which postgraduates present work-in-progress.
  • You will be able to follow taught courses that contribute to your interests and research needs, and can also take advantage of opportunities to learn ancient and modern languages.

A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.

Facilities

Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, and the nearby National Library of Scotland. New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.

The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study of World Christianity.

You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term-time.



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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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