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MSc Religion in the Contemporary World

About the MSc programme

This one-year MSc degree programme offers you the opportunity to investigate the increasing prevalence of religious and secular dynamics across the globe and how concepts of religion interweave with aspects of today’s society, in theory and practice. Unique in its interdisciplinary, social-scientific perspective, it tackles topics of key importance, from policy-relevant connections between religion and public life, and religion and politics, to more theoretical debates about the nature of belief, ritual, and questions of being. To talk about religion is to talk about politics, economy, kinship, law, art. The MSc allows you to explore the role of religion in the developing world, and illuminates Western models of religion and secularisation through comparison with those emerging in the global south.

When to Apply

We recommend that students apply as early as possible in order to ensure that they receive full consideration both for places on the MSc and for financial assistance from the School.

The Programme

The twelve-month programme consists of one compulsory course, optional courses to the value of two units, and an essay (dissertation).

  • The first compulsory course is Understanding Religion in the Contemporary World.
  • Students then select courses to the value of one unit from a list that includes subjects such as the anthropology of a religion, culture or specific geographical area, or international politics in both Eastern and Western arenas.
  • Further courses to the value of one unit are chosen from a list featuring topics including kinship, gender, economics, race, ethnicity, cognition and culture.
  • After examinations in May/June in the courses above, students write an essay (dissertation) of not more than 10,000 words on an approved topic of their own choice which is submitted in early-September.

Please bear in mind that each year we are only able to offer a selection from our range of optional courses. Owing to the introduction of new courses and possible academic staff changes, information about optional courses available next year is not necessarily final. The following courses are offered by the Anthropology Department every year: Anthropology: Theory & Ethnography (AN404); Anthropology of Religion (AN402); Kinship, Sex & Gender (AN405); The Anthropology of Learning & Cognition (AN437); Anthropology of Politics (AN451); Anthropology of Economy (1): production and exchange (AN456); Anthropology of Economy (2): development, transformation and globalisation (AN457).

Please click here for the home page of the online Graduate Prospectus|, which contains further information and an application form. Follow this link for the prospectus page on the MSc Religion in the Contemporary World|.


            MSc Religion in the Contemporary World