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MA Religious Studies and Global Development

Key facts

Start date September 2018

Duration/mode 12 months full time, 24 months part time

UK/EU fees £7,250 (total)

International fees £17,500 (total)

Entry requirements A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.

Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.
Language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components


The political and social dimensions of religions are at the heart of this innovative programme, which explores the role of religions and theology in global development. You’ll consider religion as a resource, obstacle and participant in development, exploring the relationships between religions, aid agencies and local communities.

You’ll develop your understanding of both development and religious studies, as core modules introduce you to theories and issues in development and how they relate to developing countries across the Global South. In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules in each area, allowing you to specialise in topics such as the links between conflict or gender and development, or the role of religion in public life.

Drawing on sociological, historical, anthropological and political approaches, this diverse degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge to research the relationship between religions and development in a stimulating environment.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

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Course content

This course is taught jointly by Theology and Religious Studies and the Centre for Global Development.
Across the year you’ll study a core module introducing you to theories and approaches in development studies, and how social, economic and political inequalities lay at the heart of development. In Semester Two another core module will focus on the complex relationships between religions and global development – the views of different religious traditions towards issues such as poverty, gender and welfare, and the roles they can play in development.

At the same time you’ll be thinking about your dissertation: an independent research project on a topic of your choice which allows you to demonstrate the skills and subject knowledge that you gain. You can choose to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even greater depth. You’ll submit the finished dissertation by the end of the programme in August.

You’ll also have other opportunities to specialise, as you choose from optional modules to focus on topics that suit your interests or career plans. In development studies, you’ll select from modules on topics such as democracy and development, or Africa in the modern world. If you opt for the standard dissertation, you’ll choose another module from religious studies.

If you decide to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information on typical modules, read Religious Studies and Global Development MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Religious Studies and Global Development MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures and seminars, which allow you to discuss the issues arising from your lectures and reading. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, as it allows you to develop your skills and gives you space to form your own ideas.


We also use a range of assessment methods. These usually include essays, but some modules may involve project reports and presentations. Modules taught by other Schools within the University may also use different methods.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

Bachelor degree with 2:1 (Hons) in religious studies, development studies or another humanities or social science subject.

Other subjects will only be considered if you can show you have relevant experience, background or private study in the field of religion and/or development.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science postgraduate admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

There’s no final deadline for applications to this programme, but we recommend that UK/EU candidates apply at least two weeks before the start of the course. International candidates should try to allow at least a month.

We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, especially if you’re hoping to apply for scholarships or need to allow time for obtaining a visa or moving to Leeds.

Apply (Full time)
Apply (Part time)

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

Copies of your degree certificate and full transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

Two academic references.

Sample of written work: an essay on a related subject of your choice of around 2,000-3,000 words. All samples must be typed and in English.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


UK/EU fees: £7,250 (total)
International fees: £17,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

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Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with diverse and in-depth subject knowledge, as well as strong political and cultural awareness. These are all valuable in a wide range of careers – and you’ll also have advanced skills in areas such as analysis and interpretation, oral and written communication, and different types of research.

Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors where they can use their knowledge of development and religion, as well as a variety of other fields. These include the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.

We offer plenty of support to boost your employability, including an impressive array of research training offered by the School, the University Library and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. The School also has a dedicated postgraduate employment advisor who can offer tailored careers advice.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336