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UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Religions and Global Diversity

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitleReligions and Global Diversity
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO PointsRefer to CK101, CK108

Course Outline

This course explores a wide variety of religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and various forms of Christianity, and as well as offering students the unique opportunity to study indigenous religions, western esotericisim, new religious movements, Japanese religions, anthropology of religions, sexuality and Islam with specialists in these fields.

Religions matter. Every world-news bulletin has stories about the impact of religions on individuals and communities. Whether in India, Ireland or Iran, forms and expressions of religion are constantly changing. Some people turn to "alternative" spiritualities in quest of personal fulfilment, while others seek to strengthen "traditional" religious values in a fast-changing world.

Religions and Global Diversity is a course that reflects on the critical study of religions and cultures around the world aligning with UCC's tradition of independent thinking.  Unlike traditional theology courses; Religions and Global Diversity does not assume you are a believer and is not about promoting religion. It’s a fascinating subject for anyone with an interest in the power of religion, whether or not you follow a religion. 


Year 1 Modules:

RG1001 Religions in the Contemporary: An Introduction to the Study of Religions (15 credits)

Years 2 Modules:

Islam: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives; Christianities in a Global Age;  Authority and Community in Contemporary Christianity;  Contemporary Religions in Ireland; Indigenous Religions; Western Esotericism and New Religious Movements; Hinduism and Indian Religions; Korean Religions and Philosophical Traditions;  Religions of East Asia;  Buddhism in Practice; Religions, Gender and Sexuality;  Islam - Film, Media and Music;  Asian Languages

Year 3*/4 Modules:

Islam: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives; Christianities in a Global Age;  Contemporary Religions in Ireland; Western Esotericism and New Religious Movements; Authority and Community in Contemporary Christianity; Indigenous Religions; Hinduism and Indian Religions; Korean Religious and Philosophical Traditions; Dissertation in the Study of Religions; Religions of East Asia;  Buddhism in Practice; Religions, Gender and Sexuality;  Islam - Film, Media and Music;  Asian Languages

*BA International students spend third year studying in an approved foreign university in a country of the student's major language or subject.  They will return to complete their final year in UCC in year 4.

Other details

To qualify as a teacher of RE in Ireland, you must take at least half of your degree in Religions and Global Diversity, including the following compulsory modules:  Authority & Community in Contemporary Christianities; Christianities in a Global Age; Islam: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. This is a requirement of the Teaching Council.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities


There are no written exams.  All our modules use other forms of assessment.

In Year 1, assessment is by coursework only (two essays, a learning journal and an independent team presentation project). There is no unseen exam.

In Years 2 and 3, assessment of modules is by varied methods including essays, presentations, in-class tests, learning journals and fieldwork research reports. 

Why Choose This Course

It helps to develop the students’ appreciation of the different religions and cultures which is ever more important in a more multi-cultural society.”

Patrick O'Brien

Find Out More Find Out More
We do the objective academic study of different religions in the modern world, and the program attracts students of all religions, and none.

Prof. Brian Bocking

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This is the only course in the study of religions in Ireland that enables you to explore such a wide variety of religions with experts in these traditions from a critival, academic, non-confessional standpoint.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad: If you are studying Religions and Global Diversity through the BA International, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities abroad. We currently have links with universities in: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden Mexico, and the US.

Placement: If you study Religions and Global Diversity through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

Religions and Global Diversity is recognised by the Teaching Council as a qualification for intending teachers of post-primary RE in Ireland.

As Ireland and societies worldwide remain culturally diverse yet increasingly closely interlinked, understanding different religious beliefs and practices becomes essential for teachers, public sector workers and professionals in NGOs, the media, business, healthcare, human resources, etc.

As well as the valuable transferable skills acquired through any arts/social sciences subject, this course provides particularly deep insights into different religions and cultures, which will help you in the workplace and in any kind of employment involving people.


Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact