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Masters Degree in Religious StudiesFind postgrad programs in RELIGIOUS STUDIES
There is a wide range of degree options when it comes to choosing a Religious Studies degree program in the UK. Students on most Masters in Religious Studies come from diverse backgrounds and have several different reasons for wanting to pursue a higher Religious Studies degree.
You may have an interest in one specific religion that you want to pursue – examples of these postgraduate courses include
- MA in Jewish Studies at UCL
- MA in Bible Studies at University of St Andrews
- MA in Islamic Studies at SOAS
Alternatively, you may be interested in religion in all its diversity as a global phenomenon.
Some students will be taking time out of their busy professional careers to undertake a higher degree course, while many students use a Masters in Religious Studies as ideal preparation for research PhD degrees.
Masters degrees in Religious Studies are a thought-provoking, academically vigorous challenge to all students who pursue them. It is a degree program that can become highly specialist depending on your needs, and one that can be highly satisfying.
Religious Studies course duration
Most Masters in Religious Studies take one year of full-time study to complete. However, it is also possible to undertake the program on a part-time basis over two or three years.
Some institutions also allow you to study by completing a module at a time, and choosing specifically when to undertake these, so that you complete the whole program over several years, around your busy lifestyle.
Distance learning programs also exist, with study done exclusively online. There are many flexible learning options, so it should be relatively easy to choose a degree program that compliments your learning style and life commitments.
Religious Studies MA entry requirements
Most Masters in Religious Studies require you to hold an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject. This is usually one of the social sciences, such as Sociology, Theology, Religion, Psychology, History or English. Some departments will consider candidates with degrees from outside these subjects, so it is advisable to contact the admissions team at your chosen university.
If English is not your first language, then you will probably have to provide the university with evidence of English language competency via a TOEFL or IELTS certificate.
Religious Studies specialisms
There are many areas of Religious Studies that you may wish to specialise in as part of your masters degree, and it is worth taking your time to look at the various options and modules on offer in different programs.
Most Masters in Religious Studies have both core and optional modules, with the aim of core modules to equip you with the necessary basic knowledge of religion, but also of the skills necessary to complete your chosen program. For example, there will usually be a module entitled 'An introduction to Religious Studies', and one called ‘An introduction to research methods in Religious Studies', or similar.
Once these are completed, you will be able to complete your degree by choosing more specialist modules where you can follow your own specific interests. There will be modules that focus specifically on the customs, traditions and beliefs of different religious groups, as well as modules that study the relationship between countries and governments and certain religious groups.
Studying a Masters in Religious Studies is a particularly exciting program, as it allows you to explore some of the biggest questions, and ethical dilemmas that people across the world have about their own lives every day.
Religious Studies student case study
“After pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing and working as a busy staff nurse in a local hospital, I came across people of many different faiths. I realised that sometimes, we didn't always get it right in providing cultural competent care to those with more unfamiliar religions. I'd always considered studying at masters level, and with my everyday dilemma, I decided to complete the Masters Degree program in Religious Studies. I am now co-ordinating a Religion and Culture Awareness Program in my hospital, to make sure staff understanding the specific needs of different world religions, I thoroughly enjoyed completing the program."
Why study a Religious Studies MA?
There are diverse and exciting reasons why you may wish to study such Religious Studies masters. The program is sure to stimulate your mind and ponder over many ethical and cultural dilemmas that we all face today, whatever our religion.
Many people undertake a Religious Studies masters to have a better understanding of self and to equip them with more understanding while challenging their academic ability. For others it maybe a new career direction that you wish to pursue after your undergraduate degree.
Students who complete such a program have many diverse career options – many work in public sector organisations such as the emergency services or the health service. Some may go on to ministry and others to further postgraduate study to complete a research degree.Find postgrad programs in RELIGIOUS STUDIES