UCC Postgraduate courses

Religion - Contemporary Religions

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Religion - Contemporary Religions

  • Code

    CKE06 Full-time, CKE07 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 Year Full-time; 2 years Part-time; 3 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

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

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • 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 See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Now closed for 2018 applications

  • Start Date

    10 September 2018

Course Outline

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.

You’ll take four taught modules over terms one and two and complete the Dissertation in Contemporary Religions over the summer (EU students can also take the course part-time over two or three years).

Modules (15 credits each):

RG6010: Contemporary Approaches in the Study of Religions
This course deals with three main bodies of critical theory (poststructuralist, postcolonial and gender theory), plotting the intersections and points of departure between them and tracing the implications that their insights offer to the academic study of religions.

RG6020: Contemporary Islam
You’ll study various trends and issues in modern and contemporary Islam through movements and individuals, from pre-modernist reform movements such as the Wahhabiyya and the recent Islamic 'resurgence' up to contemporary forms of globalised Islam.

RG6061:  Indigenous Worldviews and Minority Religions

This module examines the contemporary dynamics of the relationship between globalization, neo-liberalism and indigenous and minority populations. We approach this complex relationship through the lens of indigenous worldviews, knowledge systems and religious revival movements.

RG6070:  Death, Dying and the Afterlife

This module broadly examines how death and dying is conceptualised in different religious traditions and cultural contexts.

RG6080 Religions in Contemporary Ireland

The course examines the contemporary religious landscape in Ireland, covering diverse religious groups, communities and traditions and spans a range of topics, including current issues and debates within the wider social, cultural and political context of Ireland.

Further Details of the programme content are in the:  Postgraduate College Calendar 

Fuller details for each module can be found in the Book of Modules (note for technical reasons the listing is under RG - ‘Religions and Global Diversity’)

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during evening hours.

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

All modules on the programme are taught in the evening (6-9pm).


All assessment is by coursework, including essays, presentations, fieldwork reports and journals, and the Dissertation.

Who teaches this course

Dr. Lidia Guzy

Dr. Amanullah De Sondy

Dr. James Kapalo 

Dr. Jenny Butler 

Why Choose This Course

This mind-opening MA course is unique in Ireland, where religions worldwide have traditionally been studied through theological filters. 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. Globalisation is changing religious landscapes throughout the world, including of course in Ireland. 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’.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

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.

Skills and Careers Information

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.


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

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, normally the fee for part time course is half the full time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


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 for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 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 for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

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 additional/supplementary questions are available to view here:CKE06AdditionalQuestions (12kB)

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