also available in 2018
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
This degree in Religious Studies with Chinese allows you to explore the themes, concepts and events that have shaped religious life in the modern world, whilst studying Chinese language and culture.
You will begin your degree with the core module Religions of the Modern World and one core Chinese module which is designed for beginners with little or no prior knowledge of Chinese Language or Culture.
In your second and third years you will take Religious Studies modules that cover topics such as religion and politics; religion and violence; religion and the media; religion and gender; atheism and secularism; and Asian religious traditions. You will also continue to take Chinese Language modules and in your final year you will take a course on Chinese Culture and Society. You also have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, and may integrate your dissertation research with the study trip to China or the research-based placements that are organised by the department.
Throughout your degree you will develop skills in critical thinking and in examining controversial issues from multiple perspectives. You will graduate from this degree programme with a deeper awareness of cultural diversity and an informed understanding of the conflicts and challenges of the contemporary world.
A Level ABB
Required Subjects A level Chinese, or if this to be studied from beginners’ level, AS grade B or A level grade B in another foreign language, or GCSE grade A or 7 in a foreign language. Native Mandarin speakers will not be accepted onto this scheme.
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including appropriate evidence of language ability
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit accepted alongside appropriate evidence of language ability
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
Would you like to be able to communicate using Mandarin Chinese? Do you want to acquire key elements to become an expert of Chinese culture, society and institutions? We focus on teaching absolute beginners how to speak, listen and read so you can confidently use day-to-day Chinese. You’ll also about Chinese culture, history and contemporary society.
Learning a language so radically different from English offers an incredible insight into linguistics in action. You’ll also find out about Chinese culture and gain experience in Chinese ICT (Information and Communications Technology).
You will learn:
“Being a management student, I believe that having a knowledge of Mandarin will be very useful in dealing with the international business world.” Sofia Guimaraes, BBA Management
The Religious Studies Part I course - RST100: Religions of the Modern World - provides an outline of the growth and development of the world’s major religious traditions, their primary characteristics, and subsequently considers some of the various forms they take in the contemporary world.
After a general introduction to the study of religion, the course is divided into five sections. The first four sections reflect on four religious traditions – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. The first two lectures of these sections will set each religion in context and set out the varieties of its beliefs. The third and fourth lectures will explore religious ethics and practice, and examine some of the contemporary issues facing these religions today. The course concludes with a cross-cultural and inter-religious examination of some of the key issues for the study of religion in the modern world, such as ethics, politics, gender, and the character of religious life as it faces the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Teaching time is one two-hour lecture and a one hour seminar each week, supplemented by your own study, essay and project preparation time. The weekly workload is likely to be similar for the two 'minor' courses.
There are written coursework assignments during the first two terms, and an exam in the summer. Your first year mark is weighted 60% exam/40% coursework.
The Ethics, Philosophy and Religion Part I course - EPR100 - is designed to offer students the knowledge, academic techniques and skills to approach fundamental questions about the meaning of life and the human condition with confidence and, crucially, to consider what is at stake in ethical reasoning with self-assurance and maturity. The perspectives offered by EPR 100 include the philosophical, theological, religious, western, Asian, the cross-cultural, ancient and modern. By taking EPR 100 you will acquire a range of essential theories, approaches and questions that will enable you to understand and assess practical ethical standpoints, to offer criticism of them and to develop your own independent views.
Teaching time is two weekly one-hour lectures over two and a half terms, plus a weekly seminar.
Following on from Part I Chinese, this module introduces you to more complex Chinese grammar and key sentence patterns. You’ll increase your vocabulary range to help you interact more comfortably in more demanding situations.
This is achieved through four contact hours a week. You’ll attend a two-hour seminar to practise listening and speaking. A one-hour lecture each week will teach you grammar and language functions. Reading practice, grammar exercises and character learning is covered in a weekly one-hour seminar.
You’ll reach a standard beyond A-Level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
This module progresses from Part 1 Chinese. It will introduce you to more complex Chinese grammar and key sentence patterns. You’ll be encouraged to expand your knowledge of vocabulary to help you communicate in demanding interactive situations.
You’ll develop a more independent approach to language learning and academic enquiry. There will be a shift from spoken to written linguistic skills. This will provide you with new academic, narrative and journalistic approaches to studying a language.
All of this is supported through four contact hours of teaching a week. You’ll attend a two-hour seminar to practise listening and speaking. A one-hour lecture each week will teach you grammar and language functions. Reading practice, grammar exercises and character learning is covered in a weekly one-hour seminar. By the end of this module you should reach the B1-B2 Level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
It’s not necessary to have studied the Part I or Chinese Language 2 module first. However you must have reached a CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) A2-B1 level of Chinese proficiency.
This module aims to provide students with a solid knowledge base and understanding of a range of important issues, key concepts, contemporary debates, and approaches regarding Buddhism and modernity in Asian countries. It covers different historical, social, political, and economic factors that have impacted on the development of Buddhism in respective societies as well as looking at the intersection between secular power and religious authority.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to make informed judgements and present their own views on key concepts and issues that have impacted on Buddhism in the past and present of select countries in Southeast Asia and in the Far East. They will also be able to articulate the differences and describe critically the transformations taking place in regard to Buddhism through discussing concepts of modernity, authority, gender, development, and power.
This module aims to survey and critically examine the main themes, key concepts, debates and approaches to the study of Christianity and theological change in the modern word. Students will develop an analytical and interpretive framework within which to situate competing Christian traditions and theologies in a historical context.
Throughout the module students will learn to demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of established debates, theoretical literature and emerging insights in respect of the modern history of Christianity, as well as evidence an understanding and critical evaluation of developments and debates within Christian theology and history. The module will critically analyse developments in Christianity in relation to changing social and cultural contexts, and apply various theoretical frameworks and critical tools in order to understand, explain and analyse developments in the field.
This module surveys and critically examines the main themes, key concepts, debates and approaches to the study of Hinduism. It pays particular attention to Hinduism in the modern world and Hinduism's relationship with other religions of South Asia during and since the 19th century.
On this module, students will develop an analytical and interpretative framework within which to situate competing Hindu traditions in a historical context. Lectures will include topics such as: religious pluralism, the limitations of the term Hinduism, the impact of colonialism on Indian religious traditions, gender, the caste system, yoga, and the relationship between Hinduism and politics.
This module examines the historical formation of Islam; its renewal movements, past and present; and modern reform discourses on gender, politics, and law. The aim of the module is to gain an understanding of continuities and discontinuities in the Islamic tradition in relation to religious authority, theology, politics and contemporary practice.
Some of the topics studied include: the formation of Shari'a (Islamic law); competing Sunni and Shi'i orthodoxies; the rise of radical political movements and global Jihad; Islamic feminists; Islam and the West; and Islam in Britain.
The module offers a strong foundation for more specialised study in second and third year courses.
This module introduces the sociological study of religion. It will consider selected key figures in the history of the sociological study of religion and will also tackle a selection of basic issues. Examples drawn from a range of contexts will also be considered. The module may cover Marx, Weber, Durkheim and others, as well as topics such as secularisation, definitions of religion religious organisation.
This module aims to encourage students to think philosophically about religious issues. Using the work of both classical and contemporary philosophers and religious thinkers, it addresses some of the central philosophical questions raised by religious belief. In addition, students will be encouraged to think historically ad contextually, in order to understand the ways in which the role of philosophy in relation to religion in the west has changed over time.
The module introduces students to the work of some of the most important philosophers from Plato to Wittgenstein and the implications of their thought for religion. It will also address themes and issues which may vary from year to year but will be drawn from the following: the nature of theism; immortality; the problem of evil; religious experience; and the implications of postmodern thought for religious belief.
Chinese modern culture is profoundly influenced by its historical, commercial and philosophical tradition. This module will provide you with a general knowledge of the key aspects of Chinese socioeconomic expansion and its role in international relations.
From Daoism and Confucian philosophy to political strategy, from dining etiquette to indirect and impersonal communication, Chinese culture has evolved over thousands of years. We’ll concentrate on China’s economic and socio-political developments and intercultural communication. We will dive deep into the Chinese way of thinking and living.
An hour-long lecture and a one-hour seminar each week will present you with (inter-) cultural, political and historical knowledge. This will be invaluable if you’re thinking about a career that will intersect with China and Chinese institutions.
This module includes authentic texts only slightly adapted from the originals, with a special focus on contemporary Chinese society and institutions. You will learn how to communicate comprehensively and systematically using the appropriate expressions and language norms in the right context.
You’ll develop your skills in understanding and joining political, academic and journalistic discussions using advanced Chinese language skills. You’ll be able to translate between English and Chinese and develop an idiomatic style of formal writing.
All of this is supported through four contact hours of teaching a week. You’ll attend a two-hour seminar to practise listening and speaking. A one-hour lecture each week will teach you grammar and language functions. Reading and writing practice is covered in a weekly one-hour seminar.
It’s not necessary to have studied the Part I, Chinese Language 2 or 3 modules before this. However you must have reached a CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) B1-B2 level of Chinese proficiency.
China's rise is commonly understood as a key factor that will shape future world order. In this seminar-based module students will become familiar with different approaches to understanding China's rise, and critically evaluate the opportunities and challenges this poses to both China and the surrounding world. In each seminar, students will consider a key issue in China's relation to the world from different perspectives.
Issues that will be explored include: the possibility of an alternative modernity; sources of party-state legitimacy; Chinese nationalism; the limits of Chinese identity; new tools of China's soft power; the Chinese school of International Relations theory; questions of territorial integrity; and Chinese ideas of world order and the China model. This module will thus offer students an opportunity to discuss familiar concepts like nationalism, democracy and modernity in the context of post-Mao era China. Students enhance their understanding of the complexity of issues in contemporary China, and critically examine conceptual tools of political analysis in the Chinese context.
This module will introduce major themes and issues in Indian philosophy, focusing on the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions. Beginning with philosophical sections in the Upanishads and the dialogues of the Buddha, the module will trace the development of Indian philosophy from the early to the classical periods. Various ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological concepts will be covered, such as: order and virtue (dharma), consequential action (karma), ultimate reality (Brahman), the nature of the self (atman), the highest good (moksha), and the means for attaining knowledge (pramana).
Throughout the module, students will look at the dialogical relationship between the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions, particularly the shared practice of debate.
This module will examine some of the major debates in religious and atheistic thought, looking in particular at the way in which these debates are framed by a specifically modern epistemological framework, and the ways in which religious thought and atheistic thought might be though to be mutually constitutive and mutually implicated rather than simply oppositional.
The aim of this module is to examine and evaluate some of the most central issues in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Western religious and atheistic philosophical debates. The module will begin by looking the philosophy of G W F Hegel and its implications for subsequent religious and atheistic thought. It will then proceed to consider the thought of the post-Hegelian masters of suspicion: Feuerbach, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche. After this, it will look at ways in which religious and atheistic thought have been brought together, as manifested in various forms of Christian atheism. Finally, it will consider postmodern critiques of modern atheism and the nature of the associated return of religion.
The religious landscape in the West has changed significantly over the last hundred years or so. While the emergence of new religions and alternative spiritualities is not a recent phenomenon, the previous century, particularly since the 1960s, has witnessed a remarkable proliferation of new religious trajectories. Factors such as increased travel, advances in global communication, and the virtual worlds of cyberspace have made available a bewildering variety of options for religious seekers. This module enables students to understand what is taking place in this territory. Through an analysis of established organisations (eg Jehovah’s Witnesses) and contemporary developments (eg Paganism and UFO religions), they will be introduced to a number of theoretical perspectives and issues, such as violence, millennialism, gender, and charismatic leadership.
This is an enjoyable course, in which students will be encouraged to incorporate case study research in their work.
This module examines the Buddhist scriptures in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions and offers an opportunity for students to understand some of the key concepts and ideas by reading select extracts of the Buddhist texts in English from both schools and traditions. It also allows them to understand the changes in doctrinal emphasis as well as variations in interpretation in the historical development of Buddhism. This module will be a stand-alone module for third year students but will also be accessible to students who are new to the subject.
Religions may take on partly distinctive forms due to the history and traditions of particular regions or modern nation states. Islam is no exception. This module will examine varieties of Islam in a range of modern areas and countries such as Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Britain. It illustrates the socio-political contexts which have contributed to these variations both historically and in today’s world.
There are claims that religion is little more than a perverse and irrational scar on the modern world, one that invariably causes violence, while others claim that religion is good and that violence only occurs when religion has been hijacked by other forces. Others still claim that religious violence is a myth constructed for political purposes, and that one should not therefore speak of religion in such terms.
In disentangling such claims, the relationship between religion and violence is examined, asking whether one can draw such associations between the two and whether one can develop broader theoretical understandings about their relationship that enhances our understanding of religion in the modern world. The module continually refers to empirical data and case studies in which religious movements and individuals have been involved in violent activities, as well as examining cases where acts of immense violence have occurred in what appear to be political contexts, but where religious rhetoric may have been used by the perpetrators of violence.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
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.
This degree enables graduates to be theoretically, linguistically and culturally ready to undertake a range of careers that relate to China in different ways.Many of our religious studies graduates use their skills in research, analysis and communication to follow careers in law, consultancy and journalism. Their ability to remain open-minded while carefully weighing up arguments makes them highly employable. A Religious Studies degree also helps you develop communications skills that transfer well to the workplace. Adding a level of proficiency in Chinese language and cultural awareness will add a competitive edge to students who are interested in developing international careers, as China is a growth area for most governments, educators, businesses and NGOs.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2019/20 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2018 were:
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For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
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Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework