Undergraduate
MA Religion – Contemporary Religions

University College Cork

Course Overview


The MA in Contemporary Religions offers an innovative and distinctive programme unique in Ireland. The Study of Religions Department at UCC follows a non-confessional, academic approach to the study of religions, welcoming students interested in questions of cultural diversity, politics, gender and religions in the contemporary world.

Teaching staff are leading experts in Indian religions and cultures, contemporary Islam, indigenous and minority religions, neo-paganisms and new religious movements, gender and religions, and anthropology of religion. As part of the course you’ll conduct original fieldwork-based research in Ireland. The Dissertation in Contemporary Religions gives you the opportunity to research an area of your own choice in the wide field of contemporary religions. The MA in Contemporary Religions is suitable whether you’ve already studied religions to primary degree level or have a BA/BSc in another area and are simply interested in studying religions. The course can be taken as research preparation, for MPhil or PhD, or simply to further your knowledge and understanding of contemporary religions.

What you need to know

Where is the course located?

Cork City

What is the length of the course?

12 Months Full-time (1 Year)


When can I apply?

You can apply today

When does the course start?

September

Placement options

There is no requirement to study abroad as part of the MA. However, both the fieldwork project and Dissertation may involve research abroad if you wish, possibly in co-operation with one of UCC’s partner academic institutions overseas, and the department will encourage study abroad wherever possible.


Application Closing Date

Open for applications

Number of Places

Fees and Funding

Non-EU Tuition Fees

€ 13,000

Living Costs per year

€ 10,000

Application Fee

€ 60

Features and Benefits


  • This mind-opening MA course is unique in Ireland, where religions worldwide have traditionally been studied through theological filters.
  • Globalisation is changing religious landscapes throughout the world, including of course in Ireland.
  • The international, cross-cultural, academic study of religions is an open-ended academic discipline that looks beyond any particular religion’s limited view to study religions as they actually exist, develop and change across the world.
  • Likewise, the methods we use to study religions and the concepts we employ to construct knowledge about ‘religion traditions’ or ‘spiritualities’ need to be questioned if we are to understand the complexity of ‘contemporary religions’.

Entry requirements

How to Apply

Once you are ready to start your application, please click on APPLY NOW

As part of your application, you will be required to submit:

  • Your academic history and transcripts (Actual and/or Predicted Grades)
  • Proof of English proficiency (typically IELTS or TOEFL scores)
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • A copy of your passport
  • Personal Statement
  • CV/Resume
  • Extra requests for certain courses

Minimum entry requirements

Minimum 2H1 honours degree. Applications from candidates with other qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

English Requirements

  • DET Minimum Requirements (Duolingo)
    College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences: All Programmes: DET 110-115 + Skills Check, DET 120 or more eligible for full offer.
  • IELTS Minimum Requirements
    College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences: All Programmes: 6.5 Minimum individual sections 5.5.
  • TOEFL Minimum Requirements
    College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences: All Programmes: TOEFL 90 Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing 17
  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam
    College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences: All Programmes: 176 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam
    College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences: All Programmes: 176 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test
  • Pearson PTE
    College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences: All Programmes: Minimum Score of 63 with no section score below 51

Special Entry Requirements

Career Prospects


This MA offers an ideal preparation for PhD or MPhil research in the Study of Religions. More generally, as societies worldwide become increasingly globalised, understanding people’s very different religious beliefs and practices offers an advantage both in careers overseas (e.g. Asia), and closer to home in teaching, the public sector, NGOs, the media, business, healthcare and human resources. As well as the valuable transferable skills acquired through any Arts/Social Sciences Masters course, the MA in Contemporary Religions provides deep insights into religions and cultures which enhance any career involving people.

Notes