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BA Religion

  • UCAS
    L350
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    BTEC: DDM
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Anthropology, Sociology, Politics and International Relations

Course overview

In an increasingly globalised, more religious world, we need to understand religion as one of the most important social forces shaping contemporary society.

Now is the time to make a real difference in the world. Shifts towards more religious, neoliberal and conservative societies are driving changes in domestic and international relations.

This degree explores critically the relationships between religion and other aspects of society as diverse as culture, communication, politics, economy, nation, education, gender, law and ethnicities. It will give you the knowledge and expertise urgently needed in International Relations, local government, NGOs, charities, politics, media, corporate social responsibility, education and the arts.

Throughout your studies you’ll learn about how and why meaning, cohesion and conflicts are often driven by and derived from complex religious-social identities, claims and aspirations. The rise of the Far Right in the UK and Europe, civil wars in the Middle East and Africa, terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, sectarian violence in Ireland, and mass shootings in the United States are often linked to religion.

You’ll learn how the securitisation of nations, borders and digital media in response to this violence is creating deep divisions and misunderstandings in societies worldwide. You’ll also consider the increasing and complex social role religious groups and individuals play in increasingly diverse communities, particularly in the wake of the diminishing role of governments in health, education and social welfare.

These situations raise difficult and urgent questions which demand sophisticated analysis, informed by both classical theories and contemporary research. This is exactly what the BA Religion offers, bringing together academic expertise from across the Departments of Sociology, Anthropology, Media and Communications, and Politics and International Relations.

The programme is not based in a Religious Studies department or curriculum. Instead, it's a chance for you to put your theoretical knowledge into practice, testing it through your own research to explore questions that interest you about the role of religion in today’s world.

Work placements

Students will be encouraged to take a work placement module, likely with organisations such as: think tanks, pressure groups, media, NGOs.

While work placements are encouraged, they are not compulsory and no guarantee can be given that sufficient and convenient placements will be available for all students.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Abby Day

Modules & structure

You will learn through weekly lectures, smaller seminars and individual tutorials.

A fortnightly two-hour workshop, led by the Course Convenor, is an opportunity for you to discuss in more detail the theories and case studies presented in the lectures. We will map the key debates and the impact through and on ‘religion’.

There will also be field trips to, for example, places of worship and of politics (House of Commons/Lords) to see both small-scale religious practice and relgion's intersection with the wider public sphere.

Level 4

You will study the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Culture and Society 30 credits
  Believing and Belonging in London and the World 30 credits
  The Politics of Other Cultures 30 credits

Level 5

You will study the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 or 30 credits
  Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences 15 credits
  Sociology of Religion in the Modern World 15 credits.
  The Making of the Modern World 15 credits

You will then be encouraged to take two optional modules from Sociology and two from Politics and International Relations. The options offered may be different each year, but current options include:

  • Africa in the Global Political Economy
  • Politics, Ideology and Culture
  • Migration, Globalisation and Citizenship
Module title Credits
  Life: A User's Manual 15 credits
  The Body: Social Theory and Social Practice 15 credits
  Crimes Against Humanity 15 credits
  An(other) Japan: Politics, Ideology and Culture 15 credits

Level 6

You will write a dissertation, which should be an empirically based extended case study on a key religious issue/place/person/problem. This may include, for example, study of a particular ethnic group, advocacy for refugee or disability rights, or work in the field of visual cultures.

You will also study the following compulsory module:

Module title Credits
  Contemporary Social Theory and Society 30 credits

You will then choose 4 option modules. Examples include:

Module title Credits
  Sociology of Visuality 15 credits
  Movements and Conflict in the Middle East: from the Arab Spring to ISIS 15 credits
  Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought 15 credits
  Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Africa 15 credits

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 1st in the UK for effective teaching* 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 30th in the world for this subject area***

Anthropology

Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

 


Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
1st in London* 6th in the UK and 37th in the world**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research**

Sociology

The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings


Voted one of the top political universities in the UK by students* and ranked in the world's elite**

Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths doesn’t just examine parliaments, voting systems and the formal arenas of political power. We explore ‘the politics behind politics’ – the major economic, social and cultural conflicts that are hidden by the formal veneer of institutions, but are central to everyday life.

We study politics and international relations for the 21st century, in which anarchism may be as important as liberalism, and in which Asia and Africa are as economically and geopolitically important as Europe and North America. 

Find out more about the Department of Politics and International Relations

*Which? University 2016
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Skills & careers

Skills

The BA Religion will help you develop the following skills:

  • An understanding of the role of religion in contemporary global society
  • The ability to design and carry out preliminary research
  • The ability to approach and investigate a subject from multiple perspectives
  • The ability to investigate, assess and communicate empirical information
  • An awareness and appreciation of social and cultural differences
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills including public speaking, developing and presenting an argument, note taking and report writing

Careers

This programme’s breadth ideally suits students who want to undertake further academic study in the fields of religion, sociology, anthropology and politics.

Fees & funding

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University statistics for this course