Degree Programme Specification 2020/2021
MA Religious Studies
|To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. This information is created when new programmes are established and is only updated periodically as programmes are formally reviewed. It is therefore only accurate on the date of last revision.|
|Awarding institution:||The University of Edinburgh|
|Teaching institution:||The University of Edinburgh|
|Programme accredited by:||N/A|
|Final award:||MA Honours|
|Programme title:||Religious Studies|
|Relevant QAA subject benchmarking group(s):||Theology and Religious Studies|
|Postholder with overall responsibility for QA:||Head of School|
|Date of production/revision:||April 2012|
|Further Information:||View the prospectus entry for this programme|
Programme outcomes: Technical/practical skills
Programme structure and features
Full details of course structures are given in the Divinity section of the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study.
The MA (RS) degree is an Honours degree taken over four years. It consists of two years of pre-Honours courses totalling 240 credits at SQCF level 8 and two years of Honours courses also totalling 240 credits at SQCF level 10.
Courses within Divinity are taught for a total of eleven weeks (worth 20 credits). In years one and two teaching is largely lecture-based, augmented by small group tutorials. Honours teaching is largely seminar based in small group classes of usually two hour duration. Assessment is variable but is normally one in course essay and other course work (blogs, tutorial sheets, presentations etc), making up 40% of the final mark and one two hour exam at the end of the course, making up 60% of the final mark.
In the first year, all students attend a course in contemporary religious traditions (40 credits). In addition, students take further courses (80 credits). These include at least one further course related to a particular religious tradition (40 credits). (In addition to the School of Divinity, these may be taught by colleagues in Asian Studies and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies). The final third of the course may comprise a further religious tradition, or a variety of other courses (including languages). There is also a Combined Studies option, which commits a student to studying courses in another subject for one third of each of the four years of the course. (The list of such subjects may vary, see DRPS C-28.) In addition, students must complete a one year, non-credit course on Academic Skills for Divinity students providing all students with the basic skills they require for their studies.
In the second year, all students attend a course on theories and methods associated with the study of religions (40 credits), and further courses (80 credits). These include at least one course on a particular religious tradition (see above), (40 credits). Students following the Combined Studies option continue with their chosen subject (40 credits).
Honours students may follow a variety of paths. They may specialise in one or two particular religious traditions. Alternatively they may retain a broader focus on a variety of religious traditions, issues, methodologies and/or associated languages. Students following the Combined Studies option continue with their chosen subject (80 credits over the 2 years).
Final year Honours students undertake a research project supervised by a member of staff. The resulting 10,000 word dissertation comprises 40 credits (one third) of their final year's assessment.
Further information on the content and rationale of individual courses is contained in the First, Second and Honours Handbooks of the School of Divinity, see http://www.ed.ac.uk/divinity. Through the School’s quality assurance and enhancement procedures the teaching and learning processes are closely monitored, this includes feedback from students through staff/student liaison meetings and course monitoring forms.The School has adopted a policy on Equality, Diversity and Respect in the School of Divinity covering all students and staff in the School.
Teaching and learning workload
You will learn through a mixture of scheduled teaching and independent study. Some programmes also offer work placements.
At Edinburgh we use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions, technical workshops and studio critiques.
The typical workload for a student on this programme is outlined in the table below, however the actual time you spend on each type of activity will depend on what courses you choose to study.
Assessment method balance
You will be assessed through a variety of methods. These might include written or practical exams or coursework such as essays, projects, group work or presentations.
The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme are outlined below, however the balance between written exams, practical exams and coursework will vary depending on what courses you choose to study.
The Religious Studies MA programme is one of the largest in the UK and offers specilisation in theory and method in the study of religion(s), as well as in a variety of religious traditions, several of which are rarely taught elsewhere: Indigenous, New Age, Jewish, Indic (especially 'Hindu' and 'Buddhist'), Christian, New Religious Movements and Islamic.
Opportunities for studying abroad for one semester in the 3rd year of study are available to students, for example to Dartmouth College (U.S.A.), Bayreuth (Germany) and Nijmegen (The Netherlands).
Students in the programme have access to the School of Divinity’s excellent computing facilities. Their studies are supported by a dedicated site Library at New College which has extensive holdings in Religious Studies, and the wider collections in the Main Library.More information about the School can be found at http://www.ed.ac.uk/divinity