MA in Religious Studies
Please note that this qualification is only available until 31 December 2015. In order to claim your qualification you must have completed the required 180 credits by this time. This qualification is not available to new students. If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Qualification and Ceremonies Centre on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email .
This MA course will equip you for higher level study of religion by building on your existing knowledge of, and interest in religion. Using a variety of texts and other materials the course discusses theoretical and methodological issues, utilises case studies of religions in modern Britain and elsewhere, and provides you with appropriate research training. It gives you the opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of independent research on a topic of your choice and to write this up as a dissertation.
Planning your studies
You must hold an honours degree to study for our MA in Religious Studies course. Your degree need not be in religious studies, but you must have the basic skills expected of a graduate in that area. The first module brings you up to date with the latest ideas and approaches in religious studies but does not offer remedial undergraduate training for those who have an inappropriate bachelors degree or inadequate experience. Before you enter the degree you must be able to:
write clear, concise, grammatically correct and accurately spelt prose
read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically
classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability
argue logically, consistently and sceptically
marshal various sorts of evidence to support a logical argument.
If you are in any doubt about whether you possess these skills, you should consider taking one or two of our higher level undergraduate modules first. If you would like help to assess your preparedness you can contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service for advice.
You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.
Career relevance and employability
You will develop and enhance knowledge and skills that will be valuable for PhD study and in careers such as teaching, working in the health service, local and national government, social services and social policy.
The skills that you would gain from this subject would encompass attributes that many employers are looking for, so a wide variety of careers will be open to you.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
For this masters degree you require:
180 credits from the following compulsory modules:
and 120 credits from the discontinued A880
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded the Master of Arts in Religious Studies entitling you to use the letters MA (RS) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.
If you leave the programme before you qualify for a degree you can qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma in Humanities (D35) after completing 120 credits.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.
How to register
If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of
our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the
module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module.
During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.
See a full list of modules available for this qualification