This programme aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts and issues relating to religion in a variety of intellectual traditions and historical and contemporary contexts. Our intention is that you will gain an understanding of a range of debates and discussions raised by past and present religious belief and practice. In addition, throughout this programme we enable you to gain the skills required to evaluate, analyse and interpret both academic and practitioner approaches to religion.
In addition to the core module of Studying Religion you will choose two optional modules from the range available in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in a relevant background.
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email email@example.com
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
This module aims to provide skills training for postgraduate students in religious studies from induction to completion of the master's dissertation. It seeks to support existing taught modules by introducing a variety of research methods from other disciplines and theoretical issues within religious studies. It also introduces cross-cultural and cross-religious examination of research topics in religious studies. The module will provide you with the opportunity to develop generic skills in library research, essay writing, and dissertation planning.
Topics covered may include:
- Induction in the study of religions: resources, essay planning and writing, seminar preparation and presentations
- Research methodologies: examples selected from philosophical, anthropological, sociological, psychological, and phenomenological approaches
- Theoretical approaches to the study of religion: examples selected from the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences
- Dissertation workshop: finding a topic and supervisor, completion plan, case studies.
This module examines the Buddhist scriptures in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions and offers an opportunity for you 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 you to understand the changes in doctrinal emphasis as well as variations in interpretation in the historical development of Buddhism.
Religion and Conflict (distance learning)
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to advance the knowledge and skills needed to 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.
- When does religious encounter become conflict; when and why does religious conflict turn violent?
- Are some religions more prone to conflict and violence than others?
- Is global terrorism a religious matter?
- Are religious groups necessarily in tension with the secular state and secularism?
- Is conflict a necessary condition of religious and ethnic diversity?
- What resources do religions draw on for the resolution of conflict and peace-building?
- Do diplomacy and international relations have a role to play in resolving regional and cross-border religious disputes and violence?
The module is designed to introduce you 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. We also aim to explore the importance of context – historical, social, geographical and political. Analysis and debate about religion and conflict will be situated in particular cases and may include, the UK and Europe, the US, the Indian sub-continent and sub-Saharan Africa.
Sources of Indian Religion and Philosophy
In this module we aim to explore some of the most foundational religious and philosophical texts of the Hindu and Buddhists traditions. Texts will vary from year to year, but may include: the ?g Veda, Upani?ads, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, or the Yoga Sutra from the Brahmanical/Hindu tradition, and the Nikayas, Vinaya, Jatakas, Lotus Sutra, and The Bodhicaryavatara from the Buddhist tradition.
Through close readings, we provide the opportunity for you to examine some of the core religio-philosophical ideas of early Indian thought whilst also paying close attention to the composition, style, and structure of the texts themselves. We will also attempt to situate Hindu and Buddhist textual material within a social and historical context, paying close attention to who participates in the religio-philosophical world of ancient India and in what types of social circumstances religio-philosophical ideas are discussed. Alongside reading the primary sources, we will also seek to situate our engagements within scholarly debates about methods of interpretation such as text-historical criticism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, orientalism, and post-colonial theory.
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. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Fees and Funding
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Scholarships and bursaries
At Lancaster, we believe that funding concerns should not stop any student with the talent to thrive.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover the cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2022, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2023 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Fees in subsequent years
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.
The information on this site relates primarily to 2022/2023 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.