UCC Postgraduate courses

Religion - Study of Religions

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Religion - Study of Religions

  • Code

    CKA27 Full-time; CKA28 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    HDip in Arts

  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    The Higher Diploma in Arts is intended for those who already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply section for full details

  • Start Date

    10 September 2018

Course Outline

The HDip Arts: Study of Religions gives you an intensive course in the study of religions. The course will appeal to those who have a degree, but have not previously studied religions to degree level.

You’ll select modules drawn from the undergraduate course ‘Religions and Global Diversity’. Through this programme, you’ll have access to research-informed teaching in a variety of religious traditions such Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and East Asian religions and in methods and theories in the academic, cross-cultural study of religions.

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma in Arts English is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of a teaching subject at post primary level.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Please note that the Higher Diploma in Arts programme is NOT the teacher training programme.  Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a secondary school teacher.  Please see www.ucc.ie/en/pec01 for further details.

The Higher Diploma in Arts shall consist of modules to the value of 60 credits taken from a range of existing 2nd and 3rd Arts modules in the relevant subject.

Over the year, you will study a range of religious traditions and approaches to the study of religions through the following modules: (modules are 10 credits unless otherwise indicated).

  • Authority and Community in Contemporary Christianities
  • Christianities in a Global Age
  • Hinduism and Indian Religions
  • Indigenous Religions
  • Islam: historical and contemporary perspectives
  • Korea's Religious and Philosophical Traditions
  • Sufism: charisma and devotion in Islam
  • Contemporary Religions in Ireland
  • Western Esotericism and New Religious Movements
  • Religions of East Asia
  • Buddhism in Practice
  • Religions and Gender

Dissertation in the Study of Religions: offers supervised research in any area you’re specially interested, whether or not it’s been covered in the HDip programme.

As a HDip student you can take, with the permission of the department, up to 10 credits of religion-related modules in other departments: e.g. Asian studies, folklore, sociology, history, philosophy, classics, history of art. You can study a language such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

Further details on the modules are available in  the:  Book of Modules

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for teacher subject registration.   In general, if you wish to qualify with Religion as a teaching subject, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field.  Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.  

Students wishing to satisfy Teaching Council requirements will take 60 credits of RG courses (selected in consultation with the Programme Coordinator) plus ED6319.

Many subjects have discipline-specific requirements and you are advised to check the requirements for the subject area by consulting the following:

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 year

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

Course Practicalities

The Higher Diploma in Arts shall consist of modules to the value of 60 credits (30 credits each year for the two year part-time option) taken from a range of existing 2nd and 3rd Arts modules in the relevant subject.


You will be assessed by a variety of methods including essays, presentations, in-class tests, learning journals, fieldwork research reports and (in a small number of cases) exams.

Who teaches this course

Amanullah De Sondy
Lidia Guzy
James Kapalo
Jenny Butler

Staff profiles can be found on the department’s web pages

Why Choose This Course

UCC’s HDip in the Study of Religions is the only course in Ireland to offer research-informed teaching across traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and East Asian religions.

Our academic, non-theological approach to religions makes the course suitable for students of all beliefs, unlike traditional theology departments which promote one religion rather than studying all equally.

The calibre of the staff in the department is unequalled in Ireland, making the HDip a popular choice for graduates seeking an intensive encounter with the study of diverse religious traditions.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

HDip students prepared to travel during their HDip year can avail of study-abroad options available through Erasmus (for Europe) and other exchange programmes with UCC’s partner universities in e.g. USA, China and Japan.

Skills and Careers Information

As societies worldwide become increasingly closely interlinked whilst remaining culturally diverse, understanding people’s very different religious beliefs and practices becomes essential for teachers, public sector workers, professionals in NGOs, the media, business, healthcare, human resources, etc.. As well as the enhanced general transferable skills acquired through an Arts/Social Sciences postgraduate programme, the Study of Religions course provides particularly deep insights into different religions and cultures which will help you in any kind of employment involving people. Students successful in the HDip may also apply to enter the department’s MA Contemporary Religions, which offers a pathway to research at MPhil/PhD level.


The Higher Diploma in Arts is intended for those who already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences

This is a conversion programme and applicants to the Higher Diploma in Arts would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

Important Note: The Higher Diploma in Arts programme is not a teacher training programme. Graduates must apply for the Professional Master of Education teacher training programme to qualify as a secondary school teacher, please see www.ucc.ie/en/pec01

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates 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 requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €6,000.

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, the fee for part time courses is half the full time fee.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Postgraduate Fees Schedule is available here

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these supplementary question are available to view here: CKA27AdditonalQuestions (50kB) and CKA28AdditionalQuestions (50kB)

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here

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