The department has a thriving research culture with postgraduate students researching a variety of topics. We encourage applications for PhD by research.  Departmental staff are willing to consider research proposals in a range of areas. For staff specialisms see staff profiles: People

Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, major considerations being the candidate’s proven academic ability and the viability of the proposed research project.  Candidates for PhD should be able to provide appropriate evidence of previous academic achievement, normally a good MA in the study of religions or a cognate area.

Admission is normally to PhD track in the first instance; i.e. the student’s progress is reviewed after one year f/t equivalent of study before upgrade to full PhD candidate status.  

Prospective candidates should contact any member of staff for an informal discussion prior to application.

For details of the (on-line) application procedure via PAC click on: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

For details of the Graduate School in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences click on: http://www.ucc.ie/en/cacsss/grads//

Please note: Teaching Period 1=Autumn Semester; Teaching Period 2= Spring Semester; Teaching Periods 1+2=Full Year

2nd and 3rd Level courses are available in alternate years. See below for details of when courses are available. Contact Olive O'Flaherty to confirm availability:

Olive O'Flaherty: Office 2.22 O'Rahilly Building, Tel: +353 (0)21 4902359, Email: o.scharbrodt[at]ucc.ie

1st Level Courses

RG1001 Introduction to the Study of Religions (15 credit module; Teaching Periods 1 and 2)

The course will offer an introductory overview of a range of religions, linked to an introductory exploration of key theories, approaches and methodological issues in the study of religions such as the 'insider/outsider' problem, the meaning of 'religion', the sociology, psychology, anthropology and phenomenology of religion and topics such as religion and : modernity/postmodernity, power and globalisation.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an introductory understanding of important issues and debates arising in the academic study of religions.
  • demonstrate an introductory knowledge and understanding of a range of religious traditions in their contemporary contexts.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking, arguement, reflection, oral communication and ability to work independently and in groups.

Assessment: Total Marks 300: Continuous Assessment 300 Marks (1 x 1,500 word (max) essay: 45 Marks; 1 x 2,500 word essay: 120 Marks; 1 x weekly learning journal: 75 Marks; 1 x team presentation: 60 Marks).

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RG1001F  Introduction to the Study of  Religions (7.5 credit module; Teaching Period 1)

The course will offer an introductory overview of a range of religions, linked to an introductory exploration of key theories, approaches and methodological issues in the study of religions such as the 'insider/outsider' problem, the meaning of 'religion', the sociology, psychology, anthropology and phenomenology of religion and topics such as religion and: modernity/postmodernity, power and globalisation.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an introductory understanding of important issues and debates arising in the academic study of religions.
  • demonstrate an introductory knowledge and understanding of a range of religious traditions in their contemporary contexts.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking, arguement, reflection, oral communication and ability to work indpendently and in groups.

Assessment Total Marks 150: Continuous Assessment 150 marks (1 x 1,500 word (max) essay: 50 marks; 1 weekly learning journal: 50 marks; 1 x team presentation: 50 marks).

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RG1001S Introduction to the Study of Religions (7.5 credit modue; Teaching Period 2)

 The course will offer an introductory overview of a range of religions, linked to an introductory exploration of key theories, approaches and methodological issues in the study of religions such as the 'insider/outsider' problem, the meaning of 'religion', the sociology, psychology, anthropology and phenomenology of religion and topics such as religion and: modernity/postmodernity, power and globalisation.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an introductory understanding of important issues and debates arising in the academic study of religions.
  • demonstrate an introductory knowledge and understanding of a range of religious traditions in their contemporary contexts.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking, arguement, reflection, oral communication and ability to work indpendently and in groups.

Assessment Total Marks 150: Continuous Assessment 150 marks (1 x 1,500 word (max) essay: 50 marks; 1 weekly learning journal: 50 marks; 1 x team presentation: 50 marks).

 

2nd Level Courses and 3rd Level Courses

 

RG2303 Sufism: Charisma and Devotion in Islam (10 credit module, Teaching Period 1)

This course introduces students to types of charismatic authority as they exist within Middle Eastern and South Asian religious traditions.  Particular emphasis will be given to examples in Islam and Hinduism.  Within the Hindu tradition, the 'guru' is presented as holder of charismatic authority, examples of which will be examined.  Within Islam, Sufism has developed a strong orientation towards charistmatic authority as embodied by the notion of 'friends of god' or Sufi saints.  Various examples of Sufi charismatic authority will be examined and possible convergences with Hinduism explored.  Particular focus will be given to manifestations of charistmatic authority within these traditions in the contemporary global context.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the types of charismatic authority and their role and place in religious traditions characteristic of South Asia and the Middle East.
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between personal charisma and religious authority in general and in Hinduism and Islam in particular
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and arguement, necessary for the academic Study of Religions.

Assessment: Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 Marks; Continuous Assessment 100 Marks (1 x 3,000 word (max) essay).

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RG2305 Community and Authority in Christianities  (10 credits; Teaching Period 1)

The course comprises three case studies that examine the dynamics of the relationship between church and laity with regard to a variety of Christian traditions within the contemporary world.  The case studies will have a regional focus exploring Christianity in context in e.g. Ireland, Western and Eastern Europe, Africa and South America.

 The course offers students the opportunity to engage in in-depth contextual studies of Christianity that will encompass key debates including church-state relations, secularization and globalization, religion in post-socialist societies, Christian responses to modernity, and religion in socially and economically marginalized communities.  Students will explore, in parallel with the emperical case studies of the communities and churches, a range of theoretical topics such as the categories of 'folk' and'popular' religion in the academic study of religion, the anthropology of Christianity and sociological approaches to 'institutions', 'power' and 'agency'.  The theoretical studies will inform an assessed field research project to focus on the relationship between religious communities and institutions.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of issues of authority and community in different forms of Christianity active in the contemporary world.
  • demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of theoretical debates in the sociological and anthropological study of Christianity.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and fieldwork research for the academic study of religions.

For International students departing from UCC at the end of Teaching Period 1, assessment is by Continuous Assessment 200 marks comprising 1 x 2,500 word (max) essay (100 marks) plus 1 x 2,000 word (max) Field Research Report (100 marks).  Otherwise Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 70 Marks; Continuous Assessment 130 marks comprising 1 x 2,500 word (max) essay (70 marks) plus 1 x 2,000 word (max) Field Research Report (60 marks).

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RG2300 Islam: Historical and Contemporary Perpsectives (10 credit module; Not available 2012-13)

This is an introductory course for students who have little or no previous knowledge of Islam.  It will cover the life and career of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Qur'an and Sunna as the main sources of Islamic teachings, as well as some Islamic institutions, selected issues of Islamic law and current issues in Muslim society.  The course will indicate the internal diversity of Islam and the various expressions of Muslim religiosity with particular reference to contemporary issues.  Problems and debates in the academic study of Islam will also be introduced.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a foundation-level knowledge and understanding of Islam, its history, practices, doctrines and contemporary situation.
  • demonstrate foundation-level understanding of important issues and debates arising in the academic study of Islam.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and arguement, necessary for the study of Islam in the context of the academic Study of Religions

Assessment: For International Students departing from UCC at the end of Teaching Period 1, assessment is by Continuous Assessment 200 marks (2 x 2,500 word (max) essays, 100 marks each.  Otherwise, total marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 marks; Continuous Assessment 100 marks(1x 2,500 word (max) essay.)

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RG2301 Buddhism in Practice (10 credit module; Not available 2012-13)

This is an introductory course for students who have little or no previous knowledge of Buddhism.  It covers some of the main historical, doctrinal, literary, artistic and social features of Buddhism.  Following an overview of the history and geographical spread of Buddhism and the development of Buddhist teachings and practices, the module will focus on aspects of Buddhism in the modern period (19th - 21st centuries) including the globalisation of Buddhism.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate  foundation-level knowledge and understanding of Buddhism its history, practices, doctrines and contemporary situation.
  • demonstrate foundation-level understanding of issues and debates arising in the academic study of Buddhism.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in wrting, crtical thinking and arguement, necessary for the study of religions.

Assessment: Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 Marks; Continuous Assessment 100 Marks(1 x 2,500 word (max) essay).

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RG2302 Christianities: Historical Origins and Contemporary Expressions  (10 credit module; Not available 2012-13)

This is an introductory course for students who are presumed to have some knowledge of at least one form of Christianity but little knowledge of the great variety of forms and interpretations of Christianity past and present.   The course will explore diverse Christianities with particular reference to contemporary issues.  Problems and debates in the academic study of Christianity will also be introduced.

On successful completion of this module, student should be able to:

  • demonstrate a foundation-level knowledge and understanding of a range of influencial forms of Christianity, including their history, practices, doctrines and the contemporary context.
  • demonstrate foundation-level understanding of important issues and debates within and about different forms of Christianity, especially in the contemporary world.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and arguement, necessary for the study of Christianity in the context of the academic Study of  Religions.

Assessment Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 marks; Continuous Assessment 100 marks (1 x 2,500 word (max) essay).

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RG2304 Religions of East Asia (Japanese Religions) (10 credit module; Teaching Period 2)

This is  potentially a vast area, and although the course will begin with an overview of the field, the approach will be selective in order to achieve the depth of coverage appropriate to a year 3 course.  In 2010 the course will focus on Japan . Topics to be covered may include e.g. religion, ancestors and the family, pilgrimage, new and minority religious movements, religion politics and the state, religion and modernisation, and the contemporary globalisation of East Asian religions.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key features of modern and East Asian religions.
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of selected topics in East Asian religions.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and arguement necessary for the academic study of religions.

Assessment: For International Students departing from UCC at the end of Teaching Period 1, assessment is by Continuous Assessment 200 marks (2 x 3,000 word (max) essays, 100 marks each).  Otherwise Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 Marks, Continuous Assessment 100 Marks (1 x 3,000 word (max) essay).

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RG2306 Texts, Theories, Approaches (10 credits, Teaching period 2)

This course introduces students to a range of approaches to the study of religions through critical readings of primary texts. Students will explore, amongst others, anthropological, phenomenological, sociological and discourse theoretical approaches to the field with particular focus on key theorists and contemporary critiques of their work. This course is structured around student reading, requiring students to read one complete core text and several chapters and articles.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key theoretical approaches to the study of religions
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of key theoretical texts from various disciplines that have contributed to the academic study of religions
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and argument, necessary for the academic Study of Religions.

Assessment: Total Marks 200: Continuous Assessment 200 marks (1 x 3,000 word (max) essay): 75 marks; 1 weekly learning journal: 75 marks, 1 x presentation: 50 marks).

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RG2307 Indigenous Religions (15 credits, Not available 2012-13)

This is a course about indigenous religions and local worldviews. No previous knowledge of indigenous religions is required. The course introduces the history of anthropology of religions and key issues. It offers an introductory overview of indigenous societies and their worldviews based on diverse ethnographies and critically analyses historical and contemporary academic categories such as fetishism, animism, magic, shamanism, taboo, witchcraft and possession. It aims to approach pre-industrial, ethnic or minority categories and worldviews from their particular culture-specific perspectives.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an empathic understanding of a range of culturally specific indigenous religious worldviews.
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key themes and topics in the study of indigenous religions.
  • demonstrate an understanding of important issues and debates arising in the academic study of indigenous religions.
  • demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and argument, necessary for the study of indigenous religions in the context of the academic Study of Religions.

Assessment: Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 marks (Final Written Exam); Continuous Assessment 100 marks (1 x 3,000 word (max) essay).

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RG2308 Hinduism and Indian Religions (15 credits, Teaching period 1)

This module assumes little or no previous study of Hinduism and Indian religions. It introduces 1) the dominant historic and contemporary narratives of Hinduism and 2) the diversity of religious traditions and practices in contemporary South Asia. The module approaches Hinduism from a perspective of diversity, focusing on facets of popular Hinduism, popular asceticism, goddess worship and indigenous Indian religions.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • awareness of the history of the study of Hinduism; its academic ¿discovery¿ and its construction and reconstruction by scholars, religious reformers and contemporary religious specialists.
  • knowledge and understanding of key issues, themes and topics in the study of Hinduism and Indian religions.
  • understanding of diversity as a crucial feature in Hinduism and Indian religions.
  • undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and argument, necessary for the study of indigenous religions in the context of the academic Study of Religions.
  • undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and argument necessary for the study of Hinduism and Indian religions in the context of the academic Study of Religions.

Assessment: For International students departing from UCC at the end of Teaching Period 1, assessment is by Continuous Assessment 200 marks comprising 2 x 2,500 word (max) essay (100 marks each). Otherwise Total Marks 200: End of Year Written Examination 100 marks (Final Written Exam); Continuous Assessment 100 marks (1 x 3,000 word (max) essay).

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RG2050 Topics in Christian Theology (5 credits, Teaching Period 2)

The module focuses on aspects of Christian Theology. The module opens with a discussion of the nature of Christian theology, followed by the systematic exploration of representative topics including Christology, Trinitarian Theology, Biblical Studies, Moral Theology and Ethics, contextual theologies and ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of topics in Christian theology.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of selected issues in Christian theology
  • Demonstrate undergraduate skills in writing, critical thinking and argument necessary for the academic study of religions.Assessment: Total Marks 100: Continuous

Assessment: Total 100 marks (1 x 2000 word learning journal, 50 marks & 1 2,000 word essay, 50 marks.).

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