Study of Religions

A short answer is that many religions worldwide are, for good or ill, powerful forces in today’s global society. As with politics, society, economics, literature, music and art, we need a reliable understanding of religions – in all their various manifestations - in order to make sense of our changing world and prepare for a future career.

Religions influence almost every aspect of society, from the arts to politics.  Few days pass without reports in the media on the impact of religions upon both local and global events, and on the lives of individuals and communities.

Religions directly or indirectly influence social and foreign policies, laws, gender roles, diet, dress and ethical and moral beliefs.  Religions affect the ways in which people interact and communicate and can be a powerful resource for both cooperation and antagonism.  Freedom of expression, equality and tolerance and justifications for violence and war, very often have strong religious dimensions.

Contrary to the widespread belief that religions are about timeless truths, forms and expressions of religion are constantly changing, as society changes. Some people reject religion altogether, others are turning to 'alternative' spiritualities in search of personal and spiritual fulfilment while others want to reinforce 'traditional' religious values in a changing world.

If you are interested in understaning the diverse ways in which people live their lives, and in learning more about yourself and the changing world of which you are part, this subject may be for you...

Career Opportunities

UCC's Religions and Global Diversity programme is recognised by The Teaching Council for intending teachers of post-primary RE in Ireland. As society in Ireland and throughout the world becomes more culturally diverse, understanding different religious beliefs and practices becomes increasingly important in the workplace, for teachers, government, development agencies, international business, those in the media, in healthcare and in human resources. In addition to helping you to develop the blend of specific and transferable skills common to all Arts subjects, Religions and Global Diversity will give you insights into religion and culture, which should help you in the workplace and when seeking employment.

The department is located with other Arts & Social Sciences departments in the O’Rahilly Building (ORB), at the Southeast corner of the main UCC campus, close to the Boole (main) Library and the Devere student centre.

How to get here

By taxi

The journey from the airport takes 20-30 minutes. Ask to be dropped off on the corner of Donovans Road and College Road for the O’Rahilly Building at UCC. A pedestrian gate in the stone wall in College Road leads into the O’Rahilly Building courtyard. (See map )

On foot

The O’Rahilly Building is about 15 minutes walk from Cork town centre (Grand Parade). Go along Washington Street, past Jury’s Hotel on the left, until you come to traffic lights and the UCC main campus entrance. Instead of going through the UCC gate, turn left up Donovan’s road beside the campus. At the top, turn right into College Road. After a few metres, enter the ORahilly Building courtyard via the pedestrian gate in the stone wall on the right hand side of College Road. (See map)

By car

By car, you need to approach the campus from the Cork city (one-way system) and then turn left up Donovans Road. The nearest visitors’ car park is a few metres South of the O’Rahilly Building, across College Road (see maps )

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