Taught course

Religion, Politics and Society

University of Birmingham · Department of Theology and Religion

Entry requirements

2.1 (Hons) or higher in a related subject

Months of entry


Course content

Since the 1990s, religious issues have assumed a growing importance in national and international political affairs. This was dramatically highlighted by the September 11, 2001 attacks and the events that have followed since. This situation has obliged scholars of politics to take religion seriously while scholars of religion have to address theological topics that intersect with political issues.

Whether it is a ‘theological’ topic within political sciences or a ‘political’ topic within theology and the study of religion, both disciplines are being challenged: theologians often lack an adequate grounding in political science, and scholars of political science have not received formal training in religious studies.

The main goal of the masters is to provide students an advanced level understanding of the conceptual debates about the role of religion in contemporary global politics at a time when religion plays more than ever a major role in the politics of nation-states and the development of the international system.

The programme addresses major themes around the role of religion in politics and international relations in the contemporary world and allows students to research the role of religion in society and politics. It explores the theoretical and methodological approaches to the subject by focusing on the relationship between organised religions and the nation-state, as well as the global processes that promote religious conflict and conflict resolution. It also examines the public roles of religious communities and individuals and how political topics of secularism, tolerance, governance, intersect with religious groups and tradition.

This masters offers a unique bi-disciplinary approach that has been developed by internationally recognized scholars in the field of religion and politics such as Jocelyne Cesari. Tapping into the interdisciplinary expertise of the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, it operates with a groundbreaking method which mobilizes the scholarship of social sciences and religious studies to offer analysis on major issues such as: political violence, security, democracy, Human Rights and religious freedom.

This degree is ideal for building the theoretical and methodological skills of students of religion interested in interdisciplinary doctoral programs. It is also tailored to current and aspiring policymakers and analysts in international, national and regional governmental and non- governmental organizations engaged in management of conflict, diversity, inter-religious relations and community development.

MA and Diploma students will study two core modules and four optional modules before completing their dissertation.

Certificate students will study two core modules and one optional module.

Our Theology graduates develop a range of skills including, critical and analytical ability, textual analysis, and the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines, which be used in a variety of occupations.

Fees and funding

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Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Diploma
    full time
    8 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Cert
    full time
    4 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005