Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)
The programme, delivered entirely online, aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts, issues and practices relating to Religious Studies. You will gain a systematic understanding of a number of ways in which the scholarship of religion frames and analyses religious belief and practice in the modern world. In addition the PgCert will also allow you to gain a firm grasp of the necessary skills appropriate to evaluating, analysing and interpreting the concrete contexts of contemporary religious belief and practice.
The programme comprises three modules, two compulsory and one taken from the suite of religion modules specifically designed for distance learning delivery.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Whether global, national, ethnic or ethical, conflicts frequently involve religion. Between themselves, in their relations with secular states and ideologies, and even at the level of sects or denominations, religions engage in conflict arising from deeply held beliefs and values, as well as in struggles for power, status and legitimacy. Understanding how and why religious groups contribute to global and regional conflicts and civil wars – from terrorist attacks, through historically embedded disputes in Israel/Gaza and Northern Ireland, to Christian/Muslim violence in Nigeria, Uganda and India – is vital for development, humanitarian intervention, international relations, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
This module provides the knowledge and skills to help students understand and analyse why conflict happens within and between religious groups, and to assess the positive and negative contributions that religions make to wider struggles – from local disputes through to global terrorism.
The module is designed to introduce students to key concepts and issues in scholarship on religion and conflict: e.g. on the relationship between conflict and violence, religion and ethnicity, the ‘clash of civilizations’, intra-religious as well as inter-religious conflict, jihad and martyrdom. Equal attention will be given to the importance of context – historical, social, geographical and political. Analysis and debate about religion and conflict will be situated in particular cases, from the UK and Europe, the US, the Indian sub-continent and sub-Saharan Africa. Lecture podcasts and online discussion activities will be complemented by online talks by experts and short films. There will be plenty of opportunities for online interaction with peers and tutors.
Cavanaugh, William T. (2009) The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Haynes, Jeffrey. (2011) Religion, Politics and International Relations. New York: Routledge.
Kaplan, Benjamin J. (2007) Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard.
Maréchal, Brigitte and Sami Zemni (eds). (2012) The Dynamics of Sunni-Shia Relationships: Doctrine, Transnationalism, Intellectuals and the Media. London: Hurst.
Murphy, Andrew (ed). (2011) The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
This module allows students to study the nexus of religion, politics and society by way of some of the most controversial and pressing debates of today. Inspired by the national ‘Westminster Faith Debates’ which are organised out of PPR, the module makes use of the contributions of leading figures who have taken part, such as Richard Dawkins, Polly Toynbee, Tony Blair and Rowan Williams.
By way of these debates, students will be introduced to methods, approaches and theories from the range of relevant disciplines, including the sociology of religion, religious studies, politics, and philosophy. They will be equipped and encouraged to think about key themes for themselves, in dialogue with existing theories, interpretations and arguments.
The module will consider religion and secularity past and present, but will have a particular focus on the contemporary situation and ‘religious futures’. The approach will be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The teaching will be interactive, and assessment will be by essay, online interaction, and writing a blog entry.
Podcasts and videos on the ‘Westminster Faith Debates’ website, especially the series on ‘Religion and Public Life’ (2012), ‘Global Religious Trends’ (2014) and ‘Religion, Violence and Cohesion’ (2015)
Jeff Haynes, Religion, Politics and International Relations. Routledge: 2011.
Linda Woodhead and Rebecca Catto, Religion and Change in Modern Britain. Routledge: 2012.
This distance learning module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to key sociological concepts and by analysing how these concepts play out within the sociology of Quaker traditions worldwide. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of key issues within contemporary Quakerism and how they can be understood sociologically. Understanding the sociology of different Quaker traditions is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing theologies to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of complex layers of identity-construction amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker past and present sociologically.
Students will gain a broad understanding of key debates and theories in the study of contemporary religion and spirituality and how they relate to Quakerism. They will develop an understanding of the role of belief and practice within Quakerism worldwide and will begin to interrogate categories such as class and gender in Quakerism.
Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.
Woodhead, Linda and Heelas, Paul (2000) Religion in Modern Times: An Anthology (Religion and Spirituality in the Modern World), Wiley Blackwell
Collins, Peter and Dandelion, Pink (2009) The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion, Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Furseth, Inger and Repstad, Pal (2006) An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical And Contemporary Perspectives Ashgate
This module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to key theological ideas espoused by the leaders of early Quakerism and how these concepts have been changed and adapted across time and across new traditions of Quakerism worldwide. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of theological innovation and constancy across global Quaker history. Understanding Quaker theology is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing theologies to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of complex layers of theological meaning and religious identity amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker theology and concepts within Quaker theology to better understand global Quakerism in the 21st century:
The teaching focuses on the theology of different traditions rather than on noteworthy lives of Quakers. The way in which different theologies have different consequences for relationships between Quakers and ‘the world’ is also explored. Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.
Dandelion, Pink (2007) An Introduction to Quakerism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Punshon, John. Portrait in Grey: a short history of the Quakers. London: Quaker Home Service, 1984, reprinted 2007.
This module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to the central Quaker concepts of peace and justice and how these ideas have been understood in different political and theological contexts. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of key issues within this aspect of Quaker ‘testimony’.
Understanding the differing attitudes to this historic Quaker witness amongst different Quaker traditions is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing values to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of differing emphases of witness in the world amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker past and present in terms of peace and justice work:
The teaching and learning strategy of this distance learning module is designed to give students comprehensive understanding of key issues in Quaker concepts of peace and justice. Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.
Brock, Peter (1990) The Quaker Peace Testimony: 1660 to 1914. York: Sessions.
Mendl, Wolf (1974) Prophets and Reconcilers: Reflections on the Quaker Peace Testimony. Friends Home Service.
Allman, Mark J. (2008) Who Would Jesus Kill? War, Peace, and the Christian Tradition. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic Press.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Duration: 12 months, full-time
Entry requirements: An upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, in an appropriate discipline
IELTS: 6.5 overall, with 5.5 in each element
Assessment: Coursework, coursework preparatory tasks and online activities
Funding: All applicants should consult www.lancs.ac.uk/pgfunding/
The University will not increase the Tuition Fee you are charged during the course of an academic year.
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years
of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are
determined varies according to an individual's 'fee status' as set out on our fees webpages.
Studying at a UK University means that you need to pay an annual fee for your tuition,
which covers the costs associated with teaching, examinations, assessment and graduation.
The fee that you will be charged depends on whether you are considered to be a UK,
EU or overseas student.
Visiting students will be charged a pro-rata fee for periods of study less than a year.
Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12 month session,
which usually runs from October to September the following year.
Overseas fees, alongside all other sources of income, allow the University to maintain its abilities
across the range of activities and services. Each year the University's Finance Committee consider
recommendations for increases to fees proposed for all categories of student and this takes into
account a range of factors including projected cost inflation for the University, comparisons against
other high-quality institutions and external financial factors such as projected exchange rate
Lancaster University's priority is to support every student in making the most of their education.
Many of our students each year will be entitled to bursaries or scholarships to help with the cost of
fees and/or living expenses. You can find out more about financial support, studentships, and awards
for postgraduate study on our website.
Take five minutes to experience Lancaster's campus