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Department of the Study of Religions

Dissertation in Religion and Global Politics

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Year of study:

The dissertation in Religion and Global Politics (10,000 words) is a compulsory component of the MA Religion and Global Politics, running in parallel to the compulsory course ‘Religion in Global Politics: Theories and Themes’.. The dissertation is intended both to extend and consolidate a student’s theoretical and regional understanding and knowledge applied to prominent themes and debates in the field of religion and politics. Students will be assigned dissertation supervisors early in the academic year with whom the dissertation topics will be agreed. They will meet regularly with their supervisors (at least once a month during term time) to produce a systematic review of the secondary and regional literature which forms a core, if preliminary, aspect of their dissertation.
The dissertation should demonstrate a critical understanding of the relevant literature, develop a focused and clear argument, supported by the relevant use of theoretical material and evidence. It should include:

  • A review of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature;
  • An outline of the specific questions to be addressed, methods to be employed, and the expected contribution of the study to debates in the interdisciplinary field of religion and politics;
  • An informed and comprehensive assessment of published surveys, data sets or other tabulated material that relate directly to their research interest;
  • A discussion of the practical, political and ethical issues likely to affect the research.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of the Dissertation in Buddhist Studies the student will have:

  • A comprehensive mastery of appropriate theoretical and regionally focused literature;
  • The ability to develop research questions, design a research project, and explain methodological, epistemological and ethical issues related to a proposed research project;
  • The capacity to apply and combine theoretical and empirical knowledge to the topic in question;
  • The skills to pursue independent research from secondary and in some cases primary sources in a chosen topic;
  • An ability to organise data and articulate arguments coherently and clearly.

Method of assessment

10,000 word Dissertation.