SOAS University of London

Department of Religions and Philosophies

BA Study of Religions

duration:
3 years

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£9,250
Overseas fees:
£16,575


Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Applicants are not required to have studied Religions at A-Level.
  • Subjects Preferred: No
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications usually invited
A Levels:
ABB-BBB
IB:
33 (555 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements

BTEC: DDM

Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: AABBB

Scottish Advanced Highers: ABB

Irish LC: 320 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0

Euro Bacc: 80%

French Bacc: 14/20

German Abitur: 2.0

Italy DES: 80/100

Austria Mat: 2.0

Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Programme Code: V627 BA/SR

There is a wide range of approaches in SOAS to the study of religions. If your major interest lies in the study of religious ideas and practices, then the BA in the Study of Religions is the right degree for you. Students on this degree may pursue a special interest in one tradition, but they are also expected to select from a broad range of other options (with or without some language study), and to learn about theories and methods in the study of religions.

Our teaching is research driven and interdisciplinary. This means that our courses offer:

  • Study of a wider range of religious traditions and in more depth than any other programme in the field, anywhere in the world: Buddhism in nearly all its doctrinal and regional varieties, Asian, African and Middle Eastern Christianities, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism as well as the local religious cultures of Asia and Africa.
  • Strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, and intellectually rigorous approaches, ensuring advanced and comprehensive learning in theoretical approaches to religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions.
  • A unique opportunity to access cutting-edge academic expertise and unrivalled resources on Asian and African religions as part of a spirited, cosmopolitan student community and within the vibrant religious and cultural scene of London. Visits to centres of worship form an integral part of many of our courses.

 

Students may either take a BA degree dedicated to the study of religions, with options in the individual religious traditions, gender, method and theory, or combine the religion component with a vast array other subjects taught at SOAS, including languages.

Convenors

Key Information Set Data

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

General Information

  • You must register for 4 full course units or equivalent each year.
  • At least 9 of your 12 units over the 3 years of your degree must be from the approved Study of Religions units. 
  • To be eligible for an Honours degree a student must have passed a minimum of eleven courses, those passing only ten being awarded a Pass degree.
  • Only the grades of courses taken after the first year is completed count towards your final degree result. In your first year, all you need to do is pass the courses to continue. The pass mark is 40%.

Programme Structure

Year One

Your study programme in year one consists of the following components:

  1. The core course Introduction to the Study of Religions - 158000096 (1 unit)
  2. A selection of four of the half-unit foundation courses (2 units total), see course list I (below)
  3. The remainin 1 course unit drawn from any of the following options:
Years Two and Three

In years two and three, you will largely design your own study programme by choosing from the intermediate and advanced courses available each year. The only compulsory course is the Independent Study Project in the Study of Religions - 157400023 (1 unit).

For the remaining units – four in year two and three in year three – you can choose your courses from the following list of options:

  • Languages in the Department of Religions and Philosophies, see course list II (below).
  • Comparative and theory courses, see course list III (below)
  • Courses pertaining to specific religious traditions, see course list IV (below)
  • Courses partaining to a geographical region, see course list V (below)
  • ‘Open options’ from other departments, including language options (no more than 3 units total over the three years of your study, including languages).

Course Lists

Courses are sorted into lists of options (as defined in the programme structure) and may appear more than once.

Note: In order to provide a broad offer, many second and third year courses run in alternating years. Courses not running in a given year, therefore normally run in the next. Students may also contact the course conveners for details on when a course will run again.

I) First Year Foundation Courses
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Buddhism: Foundation 158000110 0.5 Unit Term 1
Hinduism: Foundation 158000118 0.5 Unit Term 2
Islam: Foundations 158000189 0.5 Unit Term 1
Judaism: Foundation 158000148 0.5 Unit Term 2
Religions of Africa: Foundation 158000119 0.5 Unit Term 2
Religions of East and Central Asia 158000100 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
World Christianities Foundation 158000117 0.5 Unit Term 2
Zoroastrianism: Foundation 158000187 0.5 Unit Term 2
II) Languages offered by the Department

(Language courses from other departments at SOAS can also be taken as part of a Study of Religions Degree.)

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Avestan 158000182 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Basic Pali 158000200 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Middle Persian 158000183 1 unit Unit
Syriac Texts on Christians and Muslims 158000034 1 Unit Full Year
Vedic Sanskrit 158000128 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
III) Comparative and Theory Courses (second & third year)
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Anglo-European Philosophies and Critical Dialogue: Hermeneutics and Beyond 158000135 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Comparative Ethics 158000199 0.5 Unit Term 2
Death and the Meaning of Life 158000172 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Metaphysics in Comparative Perspective 158000198 0.5 Unit Term 2
Mysticism in the Great Traditions 158000022 1 Unit Full Year
The Holocaust and the Problem of Evil 158000156 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
'The Margins of Philosophy': Postcolonial, Gender, and Queer Epistemologies 158000116 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Theories of the Self 158000202 0.5 Unit Term 2
IV) Courses by Religious Tradition (second & third year)
African Religions

Limited offer in 2016/17 due to research leave.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Islamic Reform Movements in Modern Africa 158000190 0.5 Unit Term 1
Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in Africa: Past and Present 158000185 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Religion, Power and Society in Modern Africa 158000005 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhism

Limited offer in 2016/17 due to research leave.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Buddhism in Central Asia 158000121 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhism in Pre-Modern China 158000201 0.5 Unit Term 2
Buddhist Monasticism 158000097 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Buddhist Philosophy 158000195 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhas in South Asia (1) 154900182 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhas in South Asia (2) 158000191 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Japanese Religion: A Historical Overview 158000044 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Representing Religion in Japanese Films 158000184 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Themes in Japanese Religions 158000043 0.5 Unit Term 1
Tibetan Buddhism 158000050 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Christianity
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Eastern Christianity 158000132 0.5 Unit Term 1
Martyrs & Monks in Eastern Christian Writings 158000130 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Minority Religions in the Contemporary Middle East 158000163 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Orthodox Christianity 158000131 0.5 Unit Term 2
Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in Africa: Past and Present 158000185 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Religion, Power and Society in Modern Africa 158000005 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Hinduism
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Religious Philosophies of Ancient and Medieval India 158000123 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Textual Sources of Classical Hinduism 158000023 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Islam
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Developments in Muslim Religious Thought 158000188 0.5 Unit Term 1
Islam in Britain 158000169 1 Unit Full Year
Islamic Reform Movements in Modern Africa 158000190 0.5 Unit Term 1
Messianic Movements in Muslim History 158000149 0.5 Unit Term 1
Minority Religions in the Contemporary Middle East 158000163 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Religion, Power and Society in Modern Africa 158000005 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Shi'a Islam: Religious Authority and Community Identity 158000147 1 Unit Full Year
Jainism
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Introduction to Jainism 158000053 1 Unit Full Year
Non-Violence in Jain Literature, Philosophy and Law 158000054 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Japanese Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Japanese Religion: A Historical Overview 158000044 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Representing Religion in Japanese Films 158000184 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Themes in Japanese Religions 158000043 0.5 Unit Term 1
Judaism
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Daily Life of Jews in Antiquity 158000155 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Jewish Identity 15800O168 0.5 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
Modern Jewish Thought 158000178 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism 158000151 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
The Bible and its Interpretation in Ancient Judaism 158000160 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
The Holocaust and the Problem of Evil 158000156 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
The Representation of Jews and Judaism in Film 158000186 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
The Role and Representation of Women in Judaism 158000154 0.5 Unit Term 2
Taoism
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Taoism and Chinese Religions 158000150 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Taoism: the Great Tradition 158000181 0.5 Unit Term 1
Zoroastrianism

Limited offer in 2016/17 due to research leave. Students interested in Zoroastrianism are advised to select Middle Persian, which also has a cultural component and introduces students to the religion as well as the language.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Middle Persian 158000183 1 unit Unit
Minority Religions in the Contemporary Middle East 158000163 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Zoroastrian Literature in Translation 158000095 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds 158000029 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
V) Courses by Geographical Region (second & third year)
Africa
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Islamic Reform Movements in Modern Africa 158000190 0.5 Unit Term 1
Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in Africa: Past and Present 158000185 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Religion, Power and Society in Modern Africa 158000005 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
East and Inner Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Buddhism in Pre-Modern China 158000201 0.5 Unit Term 2
Buddhist Monasticism 158000097 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Japanese Religion: A Historical Overview 158000044 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Religions of East and Central Asia 158000100 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Representing Religion in Japanese Films 158000184 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Taoism and Chinese Religions 158000150 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Taoism: the Great Tradition 158000181 0.5 Unit Term 1
Themes in Japanese Religions 158000043 0.5 Unit Term 1
Tibetan Buddhism 158000050 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Iran and Central Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Buddhism in Central Asia 158000121 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Eastern Christianity 158000132 0.5 Unit Term 1
Religions of East and Central Asia 158000100 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Shi'a Islam: Religious Authority and Community Identity 158000147 1 Unit Full Year
Zoroastrian Literature in Translation 158000095 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds 158000029 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Near and Middle East
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Daily Life of Jews in Antiquity 158000155 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Eastern Christianity 158000132 0.5 Unit Term 1
Jewish Identity 15800O168 0.5 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
Martyrs & Monks in Eastern Christian Writings 158000130 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Minority Religions in the Contemporary Middle East 158000163 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism 158000151 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Shi'a Islam: Religious Authority and Community Identity 158000147 1 Unit Full Year
The Bible and its Interpretation in Ancient Judaism 158000160 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
South Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Buddhist Monasticism 158000097 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Eastern Christianity 158000132 0.5 Unit Term 1
Imag(in)ing Buddhas in South Asia (1) 154900182 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Imag(in)ing Buddhas in South Asia (2) 158000191 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Introduction to Jainism 158000053 1 Unit Full Year
Non-Violence in Jain Literature, Philosophy and Law 158000054 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Religious Philosophies of Ancient and Medieval India 158000123 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Textual Sources of Classical Hinduism 158000023 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Most courses involve a 50- 100-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes. The course is examined through written and oral examinations and coursework.

SOAS Library
The SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

ProgrammeFull-Time
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,575
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,387.50 £8,288

Employment

A degree in the Study of Religions from SOAS equips students to follow many different careers. Graduates are provided with important knowledge and understanding of peoples’ different culture, history and beliefs concerning fundamental issues which they can develop in the field of research or utilise in a professional
career. Students also develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many
professional and management careers in business, public and charity sectors. These include: the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources - often both in the original or other relevant languages; analytical skills to assess critically the materials relevant to a specific issue; written and oral communication skills to present, discuss and debate opinions and conclusions; and problem solving skills.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Refugee Action
Crown Prosecution Service
European Union
Inside India
Lapido Media
Islamic Centre of England
Politics First
Pricewatrehouse Coopers
Whitbread Plc
Piper Smith Watton LLP
Jainpedia
The British Museum
Iskcon
BBC
Bodleian Library

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Accountant
Associate  Consultant
Case manager
Ceramic Artist
Company Director
Deputy to Special Representative for Afghanistan
Editorial Director
Educational Officer
Features Assistant
Forests and ecosystems associate
International Reporting Manager
PhD Student
Procurement & Social Responsibility Administrator
Project Manager
Religious Education Teacher
Research Manager
Senior Advisor
Tibetan Subject Consultant Librarian
Writer/Researcher

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

The courses at SOAS are highly specialised which makes it a unique institution in the world and it’s a privilege to be studying here. SOAS has been an experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

Carl Eoghain Cooper

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  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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