At Stirling we are committed to approaching ‘religion’ in a critical manner, in two broad senses:
Just as the term ‘critical’ has a wide range of meaning, so too does the concept of religion continue to develop beyond traditional and conventional boundaries. As a result we find engagement with the idea of ‘religion’ in the contexts of religious institutions, but also within the fields of literature, history, gender studies, hermeneutics, visual art, anthropology, politics, philosophy, marketing and business studies, and so on. In coming to Stirling to study Critical Religion, every student is thus exposed to a broad and interdisciplinary vision that can be life-changing in many rich and unexpected ways.
Religion at Stirling is distinguished by its critical approach.
It is critical because it questions the fundamental category of ‘religion’. It is sometimes assumed to be a ‘thing’ that simply exists, and this is where, in part, the idea that we can study ‘religions’ as entities in any society or context comes from. This, of course, implies that what ‘religion’ actually is, is common knowledge and applies to all contexts, geographic and ideational (in Scotland, the Middle East, Asia, or in power and gender structures etc.). It assumes that ‘we will know it when we see it’. Arguably, however, it is a much less innocent concept, encompassing some very culturally specific notions of value and power.
It is critical because we aim to understand the problem behind the very idea of religion, and we engage in our work with a view to showing how we might reconsider the term ‘religion’ in light of other social and cultural spheres. So not only do we find engagement with the idea of ‘religion’ in the contexts of religious institutions, and conventional educational spaces such as ‘Religion’ classes and lectures, we also aim to engage with it in the fields of literature, history, gender studies, hermeneutics, visual art, anthropology, politics, philosophy, business studies and so on.
We expect a lot from our students, since our critical approach demands a grasp of many different subjects, methods and discourses. The programme is therefore rigorous and intellectually challenging. But it is also deeply rewarding on numerous levels.
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
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If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
More information on our English language requirements
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.
We are keen to accept all interested students, including those who have already spent a few – or many – years away from school. For Alternative Routes to degree course entry onto the Religion course, please consult the prospectus or website for information on the subject you intend to study alongside Religion.
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£ 11,555.00|
|Scottish and EU students||TBC|
|Students from the rest of the UK||£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years|
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£ 11,275.00|
|Scottish and EU students||£ 1,820.00|
|Students from the rest of the UK||£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years|
Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.
Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more informationScholarship finder
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
Find information on paying fees by instalments
Please note that Religion is studied as a Combined degree. You will take Religion plus two other subjects in Years 1 and 2.
You are required to take the following core modules:
You will take core advanced (Level 10) modules: Religion and Postcolonialism, Religion and Theory and, in most cases, Dissertation Preparation. You may also choose advanced modules such as:
Honours students in their final semester will write a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with an individual supervisor.
Most teaching takes place through a mixture of formal lectures and smaller, more informal, seminar groups. When writing your dissertation you will meet your supervisor on a one-to-one basis regularly throughout the final semester. A variety of assessment methods are used, including essays, reports, class tests, reviews and oral presentations.
|Film and Media||VP63|
|Professional Education/English Studies||QXJ1|
(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
Teaching provision in Religion has been assessed by the Scottish Funding Council and rated as ‘excellent’.
Students of Religion can apply to spend a year of their studies abroad at a university in the United States. Modules taken during this time will constitute part of your final degree.
The Religion course is delivered by a dedicated research team committed to widening interests through teaching, academic research and other forms of knowledge exchange.
Critical Religion at Stirling
Our staff are the organisers of the Critical Religion Association, in collaboration with Ekklesia, an independent, not-for-profit think tank.
Academic Staff in Religion regularly publish books and academic papers and are involved in a range of academic- related projects such as:
…the degree in Religion brought me to critically examine my many cultural presumptions. The balance between modules on theory and method, and topical foci opened up great opportunities to engage my learning from religious studies classes with my other subjects from the very start. Both academic and administrative staff responsible for Religion are fabulous: approachable, motivating and above all, concerned for your well-being as a student, individually as much as in your peer groups.
Kat Neumann Religion and English Studies, graduated 2009.
The breadth of the undergraduate course ensures that you are never bored, with everything from Political Islam to Reading the Bible being covered in such a way that it is both relevant and understandable in the contemporary world. What makes the course even more intellectually stimulating is the ethos within the department that encourages you to ask questions of the material, others and yourself … when you do stumble across something puzzling the lecturers are always willing to answer any questions you may have.
Gemma Carroll Religion and Education, graduated 2010
My four years as a Religious Studies student at the University of Stirling have impacted on me greatly. I have fond memories of exceptionally interesting courses that, to this day, are providing a strong foundation for my academic interests. Upon graduating, I carried on with my studies, taking Anthropology (MSc) at Edinburgh University, and continued developing my research ideas. I was able to get involved with a higher education fellowship, on behalf of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, and I was sent to Malawi to teach and learn at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. These wonderful opportunities, were made possible with the help and support of my academic mentors in Religion (School of Arts and Humanities). I have now returned as a PhD hopeful and I am looking forward to expanding reflections on these wonderful experiences in order to provide my own epistemological contribution.’
Shani Zour BA Religious Studies, graduated 2006.
Dr Timothy Fitzgerald: teaches undergraduate courses on India, Japan, colonial history, anthropology, and history of theory and supervises postgraduates. His latest book is Religion and Politics in International Relations: the Modern Myth (2011).
Dr Andrew Hass: teaches undergraduate modules in religion’s intersection with literature, philosophy and critical theory, and postgraduate degrees in Hermeneutics, among other interdisciplinary approaches. He is currently writing a book on negation and the German philosopher Hegel.
Dr Alison Jasper: teaches undergraduate modules related to Christianity, gender and theory and supervises postgraduates in these areas. Her latest book is Because of Beauvoir: Christianity and the Cultivation of Female Genius (2012) and she is working on Schooling In/difference: Socio-material Practice and the Construction of 'Religion' in (Gendered) Educational Spaces (2013).
Dr Michael Marten: teaches undergraduate modules in colonialism, Middle East, gender and missionary studies, and supervises postgraduate students working in these fields. He has published on Scottish missions and postcolonial theory, and has recently co-edited two books, one on missions and healthcare, and one on saints.
A degree in Religion develops key transferable skills, for example, the ability to:
The skills above make graduates in Religion an invaluable resource in whatever career route they choose; recent graduates have gone on to work in: the civil service, social work, hospital and prison management, banking and insurance, music production, commerce including commercial research, the police, armed services, publishing and the media, as well as the perhaps more traditional career pathway of teaching and academic research.
As you progress through your Critical Religion degree, you will have the opportunity to develop the following practical skills and attributes that are much sought after by prospective employers:
Critical Religion students have the opportunity to participate in workshops, research visits to local organisations, and guest lectures from high profile speakers.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in the civil service, social work, hospital and prison management, banking and insurance, music production, commerce including commercial research, the police, armed services, publishing and the media, as well as the perhaps more traditional career pathway of teaching and academic research.