Religion and Society
Study the anthropological and sociological aspects of religion.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
This course looks at religion from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Durham has particular strengths in the study of Mormonism, death, dying and disposal, religion and emotion, religion/faith and globalisation, religion and politics, contemporary evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism, and religion and generational change. It also boasts the Centre for Death and Life Studies and the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health.
Optional modules in previous years have included 2-3 choices from:
Plus up to 1 choice from:
Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology and Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly, it aims to develop you as independent researchers, able to pursue and explore your own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA course. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.
Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject matter that will enable you to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve your own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on completed work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing knowledge and writing skills.
The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces you to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps you to develop your own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom you will meet throughout the academic year.
The standard entry requirement is a BA (Honours) degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent, for example, a GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale) in Theology, Religious Studies or a related discipline.
The three principal exceptions to this rule are as follows:
The University will contact the referees named in your application directly. Please ensure that your referees are able to provide a reference in a timely fashion. If you are also applying for a Durham MA bursary, please ensure that your referees understand that their references will be used both for admission and for a very competitive funding process.
|Home students||£10,800 per year|
|EU students||£22,900 per year|
|Island students||£10,800 per year|
|International students||£22,900 per year|
|Home students||£5,940 per year|
|EU students||£12,595 per year|
|Island students||£5,940 per year|
|International students||£12,595 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
Our graduates are highly valued by employers. They enter into or continue in, a wide range of career areas, including law, teaching, government, marketing, business and finance, industry, charity work, media, the clergy, theological education and journalism. The MA is also a possible jumping off point for doctoral studies in Theology and an academic career.
The Department of Theology and Religion is where ‘belief’ and ‘beliefs’ are taken seriously, respected and studied, whether those beliefs are atheistic, humanistic or religious. Our home, Abbey House (pictured right), is next door to Durham Cathedral, and is a beautiful and inspiring place to pursue research in theology and religion.
For more information see our department pages.
Library facilities for Theology and Religion in Durham are extensive, and the holdings at the Bill Bryson Library are only the beginning. Our next-door neighbour, Durham Cathedral, houses another theological library: The Sharp Library, which focuses on modern and pastoral theology. Additionally, the Meissen Library, located on level 3 of the Bill Bryson Library, is the largest collection of German-language theological materials in Britain. Some of the College libraries (notably St. Chad's College and St. John's College) hold extensive theological collections and the Department has some library resources of its own, in particular in Hebrew and Jewish studies.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!