MA Religious Studies
UCAS code: V627
Duration: 4 years
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Religious Studies
Religious studies is a vibrant interdisciplinary field of study focusing on religious beliefs and practices and their relationship with the wider world. Religious studies is concerned with the concepts and emotions which underpin religious belief and practice, and their role and function in culture and society.
We look at practices as well as texts and consider a range of expressions of religion from popular culture to systematic ideas. We approach religion at both the individual and collective level and study traditions in comparative international context.
We study historical as well as contemporary material and are equally interested in the groups and individuals who practice religion as in the gods, deities, ancestors and spirits with whom they interact.
Religion has a long history and remains a powerful force in the contemporary world. Religious studies provides the tools and skills to help you get to grips with this vital field of study.
You will study two compulsory religion courses, covering a range of religious traditions and approaches, and also choose from a range of additional courses on particular religious traditions including Asian religions, Christianity and Islam.
You can also choose courses from ancient history, history of art, classics, music, Scottish history, politics, social anthropology, social policy and sociology as combined options, or courses from other University subject areas.
You will study two compulsory religion courses, covering a range of religious traditions and approaches, and other courses following on from Year 1.
You will choose advanced courses on one or more religious traditions and will take other courses in the study of religion.
Students who took combined options in Years 1 and 2 may continue with these. You have the option of graduating after the third year with a BA degree.
You will choose further advanced courses on one or more religious traditions and complete a dissertation with academic supervision. Students who took combined options in their first three years may continue with these.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Teaching takes place primarily in the School of Divinity, based in New College. You will also have access to all the University's libraries and computer facilities.
There is a varied range of opportunities to spend time abroad. For shorter periods, these include summer programmes and work abroad.
During Year 3, you will also have the opportunity to study abroad on exchange for up to a year at a wide selection of leading global universities. These include Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands and Dartmouth College, United States, with which the School has ongoing relationships.
Going abroad expands horizons and is great fun, as well as bringing academic and career benefits.
How will I learn?
Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and online learning.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including examinations, coursework, participation in seminars, presentation of your work and an honours dissertation.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Our graduates pursue a wide range of careers within a variety of settings, including the creative arts, non-governmental organisations, finance, teaching, management, administration, government, counselling and the voluntary sector.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: English at grade C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
SQA National 5 Grade C
SQA Standard Grade 3
SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
GCSE Grade C or 4
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
This programme is also available as a part-time programme. For more information and an application form, contact Undergraduate Admissions.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.