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Religious Studies (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

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

Religious beliefs, behaviours and institutions are fascinating and 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 the methodological ramifications of the field, while encouraging in-depth study of one or more religious traditions.

Our focus extends beyond theory and method in religious studies to specific local, national and international religious traditions. We 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.

This combination of theoretical know-how with studies in specific traditions equips you to compare, interpret and explain religion in a cross-cultural perspective.

The programme also offers the opportunity to learn Sanskrit, Arabic or Persian (subject to availability) through our leading expertise in Asian Studies and in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

Programme structure

This MSc is run over one year full time (or two years part-time).

You will participate in seminars, tutorials and lectures. You will be given training in research methods and will receive individual supervision for your 15,000-word dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
Selected Themes in the Study of Religion
Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies

Option courses:

Contemporary Theories of Religion
Gender and Ethics in Islam
New Age Spirituality in Contemporary Culture
New Dimensions in Jewish Thought
New Indigenous Religious Movements
Religion and Nationalism
Religion and the New African Diaspora

You can choose a further postgraduate course offered elsewhere in the School of Divinity, or a course or language from another School, at the discretion of the Programme Director and subject to availability.

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to give you a good basis for postgraduate research in religious studies, or for employment in a wide range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.

Visit the Religious Studies (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in humanities or social sciences, including religious studies. Any appropriate experience will also be considered.

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