Religion and faith are major influences on social, cultural and political life around the world. This interdisciplinary MA draws on a range of perspectives to study the public roles of religious communities and individuals.
You'll think about theological and philosophical responses to issues in the public sphere, the place of religion in public policy on issues such as discrimination and multiculturalism, and the bonds that tie individuals to their communities. Using approaches from sociology, religious studies, theology, history, anthropology and philosophy among others, you'll also learn about the research process.
Core modules will introduce you to key issues and approaches, and you'll choose from optional modules to explore topics that suit your interests such as religion and gender, Muslims and multiculturalism, or remembering the Holocaust. Guided by experts in an active research environment, you'll gain an insight into the significance of religion in the public sphere.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.
In your first semester you'll take a core module that develops your understanding of the research process, equipping you with a range of skills from different disciplines. You'll learn about interviewing and other forms of fieldwork as well as working with legal and historical documents, the use of theory and ethics among others.
A second core module in the following semester will build your knowledge of the role of religion in public life, focusing on issues such as the meaning of secular and post-secular society, tolerance and religious freedom, multiculturalism and globalisation. By the end of the year, you'll be able to showcase the knowledge and skills you've gained with your dissertation - an independently researched project on a topic of your choice - and you can even choose to extend your dissertation to go into greater depth.
You'll also have the chance to select from a range of optional modules. These will allow you to specialise in topics that suit your interests, from religion and global development to Islam in the modern world. You'll take two optional modules if you do the standard dissertation, or you can swap one for the extended dissertation.
If you choose to study part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
There are three compulsory modules throughout the year including the Dissertation (60 credits). You'll then choose two optional modules, or just one if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits).
- Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods 30 credits
- Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits
- Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
- Modernity and the Jews 30 credits
- Science and Religion Historically Considered 30 credits
- Sin, Public Discourse and Public Life 30 credits
- Religions and Global Development 30 credits
- Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
- Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30 credits
- Religion, Politics and the Future: From Apocalypse to Utopia 30 credits
- Theology and Public Life 30 credits
- Research Project (Theology and Religious Studies) 30 credits
- Special Options in Theology and Religious Studies 30 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Religion and Public Life MA Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information on typical modules, read Religion and Public Life MA Part Time in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures and seminars, which allow you to discuss the issues arising from your lectures and reading. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, as it allows you to develop your skills and gives you space to form your own ideas.
We also use a range of assessment methods. These usually include essays, but some modules may involve project reports and presentations. Modules taught by other Schools within the University may also use different methods.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in theology, religious studies or another humanities or social science subject.
Other subjects will only be considered if you can show you have relevant experience, background or private study in the field of religion and public life.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science postgraduate admissions team.
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
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).
How to apply
There's no final deadline for applications to this programme, but we recommend that UK/EU candidates apply at least two weeks before the start of the course. International candidates should try to allow at least a month.
We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, especially if you're hoping to apply for scholarships or need to allow time for obtaining a visa or moving to Leeds.
- Apply (Full time)
- Apply (Part time)
This link 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
- Two academic references
- Sample of written work: an essay on a related subject of your choice of around 2,000-3,000 words. All samples must be typed and in English.
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.
University of Leeds Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy
UK/EU: £7,250 (total)
International: £17,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Part-time fees 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 about additional costs
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.
This programme will equip you with diverse and in-depth subject knowledge, as well as strong political and cultural awareness. These are all valuable in a wide range of careers - and you'll also have advanced skills in areas such as analysis and interpretation, oral and written communication, and different types of research.
Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors including the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.
We offer plenty of support to boost your employability, including an impressive array of research training offered by the School, the University Library and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. The School also has a dedicated postgraduate employment advisor who can offer tailored careers advice.
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 at the Careers website.
Related coursesPhilosophy of Religion and Ethics MA
Religious Studies and Global Development MA
Theology and Religious Studies MA