Religion MA

Year of entry

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

Translation studies students

Religion continues to shape our world and our understanding of the world. Deepening our knowledge of religious beliefs and practices is essential to tackling some of the greatest ethical and political challenges that we face.

On this course you will explore how religious traditions facilitate, disrupt, or otherwise influence political and social life. You will learn about the relevance of theology, sacred scripture, religious ritual, and faith-based organisations to contemporary issues such as climate change, terrorism, global development, gender, sexuality and race discrimination, migration and diaspora.

You will also critically interrogate the concept of ‘religion’ in the context of different theories of politics, policy and social change, engaging with hotly debated and contested topics such secularisation, religious identity and representation, religion and the public sphere. You will have the option of choosing a specialised pathway in one of three areas – theology, development, or gender.

Our Religion course draws on academic expertise from across the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, including theological, philosophical, sociological and anthropological approaches to the topic. Our academic staff approach religion from a variety of angles, but they share a commitment to studying and teaching religion critically and emphatically as a relevant factor in understanding our contemporary world. We have active links with charitable, activist, community and faith organisations in the city.

As a postgraduate student, you will be able to participate in our Centre for Religion and Public Life, and Centre for Philosophy of Religion. You will be encouraged to join in with our fortnightly seminars and occasional research days, showcasing the work of our very own researchers at Leeds as well as external scholars.

This course can be used for preparing for further research or to develop within any sector where religion or theology is relevant (for example the voluntary, advocacy, NGO, or policy sectors), or simply to further your interest in this fascinating area.

You can study full-time or part-time, and we also offer postgraduate certificate (PGCert) and postgraduate diploma (PGDip) versions of the course.

Course details

Modules on this course introduce you to key theories and methods of study and also enable you to focus on specific issues, geographical and historical contexts, or disciplinary approaches.

Depending on your choice of pathway through the course, you have the opportunity to take some modules in different Schools:

  • The development and gender pathways will include studying modules from the Schools of Politics and International Studies, and Sociology and Social Policy. This means that you will gain more in-depth knowledge on a particular context of justice, equality, and other facets of ‘social change’.

  • The theology pathway enables you to study extra theology modules from the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science.

You can also choose not to take a specified pathway and follow your own interests, allowing you greater flexibility. If you choose to take the placement module, you’ll undertake a piece of research for a local charity or organisation.

Our wide range of optional modules includes the study of research methods in the study of religion, which will give you the skills to undertake fieldwork as part of your research.

At the end of your course, you will submit a dissertation, which is an independently researched piece of work on a topic of your choice, supervised by one of our resident experts in theology or religious studies.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Religion MA Full Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Religion, Politics and Society 30

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30
Global Politics of Health 30
Gender, Globalisation and Development 30
Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions 30
Sin and Contemporary Public Discourse 30
Religions and Global Development 30
Religion, Gender and Sexuality 30
Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30
Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods 30
Religion, Politics and the Future: From Apocalypse to Utopia 30
Theology and Public Life 30
Research Project (Theology and Religious Studies) 30
Dissertation 60
Special Options in Theology and Religious Studies 30
Theology & Religious Studies: Extended Dissertation 90

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of different teaching methods such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, work-based learning, fieldwork and workshops. Independent study is also vital to this course, allowing you to develop your skills and prepare for taught sessions and assessments.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment methods emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including exams, group projects, written assignments and essays, in-course assessment, group and individual presentations and reports.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline, such as religious studies, theology, sociology or politics.
Relevant professional experience will also be considered/taken into consideration.

Our admissions team are experienced in considering a wide range of international qualifications. If you wish to discuss whether your qualifications will meet the necessary entry criteria, contact the School’s admissions team. You can also check the accepted qualifications for your country or region.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • Copies of your degree certificate and full transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

  • A sample of your written work (2,000-3,000 words) on a topic relevant to the course. All samples must be typed and in English.

  • A personal statement of around 500 words, in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Contact us

Postgraduate Administration Office



UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Find out more about funding and scholarship opportunities in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science.

Career opportunities

This course will equip you with a range of in-depth subject knowledge, but it will allow you to develop high-level skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication.

All of these qualities are valuable to a range of employers across sectors and industries, and we’re proud of our record in preparing postgraduates for their careers after graduation. They’ve gone into roles such as teaching, consultancy, business management, administration, accountancy, law, journalism and the civil service among others.

Many of our graduates also progress to further study, and ultimately pursue academic careers.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.