Faculty of Education and Business Studies
Akademin för utbildning och ekonomi


Master Programme in Religious Studies 120 credits

Masterprogram i religionsvetenskap 120 högskolepoäng

Finalized by: Utbildnings- och forskningsnämnden, 2013-08-28

Valid from: 2015-01-01




120 credits

Entry level

Second cycle

Programmespecific objectives

  • account for central theories in Religious Studies and in Cultural Science, their scope and limitations, methods and actors /venues

  • demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge, especially within the chosen specialization, as well as good knowledge of issues relating to current religious studies and cultural research

  • describe in the depth empirical knowledge in the field of religion

Skills and Abilities

  • independently identify and formulate religion scientifically relevant problems and issues

  • independently define, design and carry out a research task with relevance in the orientation and the chosen problem

  • synthesize Religious Studies and Cultural Science knowledge from different areas and show how this knowledge can be relevant from a societal perspective

Evaluation ability and approach

  • the ability to make judgments with regard to religious studies and cultural studies in relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects of research and development

  • demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society and people's responsibility for how it is used

  • the ability to take responsibility for developing their knowledge and their role in community development


A Degree of Master (120 cr) is awarded after the student has completed the courses required to gain 120 credits with a defined specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, of which at least 60 credits are for specialised study in the principal field (main field of study) of the study programme. In addition the prior award of a Degree of Bachelor’s degree, Degree of Bachelor’s degree in fine arts, professional or vocational qualification of at least 180 credits or a corresponding qualification from abroad is required.

The requirement of the prior award of a qualification may be waived for a student admitted to the programme without the basic entry requirement in the form of a qualification. This does not, however, apply if a waiver was granted during admission pursuant to the second paragraph of Section 28 of the Chapter 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100) on the grounds that the qualification had not yet been issued.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (120 cr) the student shall

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge of the field and a considerable degree of specialised knowledge in certain areas of the field as well as insight into current research and development work, and

  • demonstrate specialised methodological knowledge in the main field of study.

Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (120 cr) the student shall

  • demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information

  • demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues critically, autonomously and creatively as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake advanced tasks within predetermined time frames and so contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as the ability to evaluate this work

  • demonstrate the ability in speech and writing both nationally and internationally to report clearly and discuss his or her conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences, and

  • demonstrate the skills required for participation in research and development work or autonomous employment in some other qualified capacity.

Judgement and attitudes
For a Degree of Master (120 cr) the student shall

  • demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work

  • demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and

  • demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.


The program comprises 120 credits and leads to a master's degree in Religious Studies. The program is a two years distance program. It includes courses that provide knowledge on the interaction between the individual, society, culture and religion on the basis of cultural science and religion scientific theories. The program adopts various methodological perspectives on culture and religion: quantitative methods, statistical, data collection, induction and deduction as well as qualitative methods such as phenomenography, hermeneutics, ethnography and action research. After the first semester the students are able through selective courses to deepen their knowledge of central themes. The program ends with an independent degree project. The program's main objective is to study the relationship between culture and religion as they are reflected in history and in the present.

The master program aims to provide increased ability to independently, critically and professionally work with religion- and culture-oriented professional sectors in society, e.g. in schools and education, culture and media, aid organizations and in areas relating to integration and cultural meetings, as well as within health- and social-care. The program's goal is to give students a deeper understanding of how religion and culture interact with each other and how cultural and/or religious understanding affect communities and individuals' self-interpretation. The program is designed to strengthen and increase understanding of the interpretative frameworks which influence people's understanding of religion, culture, values, faiths and philosophies of life. The student is expected after studies to understand, evaluate and analyze central issues and phenomena in Religious Studies and in Cultural Sciences in such a way that it contributes to the development of sustainable society. The final master thesis is written individually in the main field, it is preparatory both for further research studies and for future working life.

The first academic year of the programme will give the interdisciplinary broadening of the knowledge that is necessary to manage scientific issues in religion and in culture. Several methodological approaches are introduced and applied to cultural and religious phenomena (courses 1-4 courses). During the second semester, students choose two advanced courses within the specialization (courses 5-6). During the third semester, students choose the third course within the specialization (course 7). The third semester is completed with the course in Didactics of Religion, which focuses on the contemporary didactic perspective applied to cultural and religious phenomena (course 8). During the first year the students' ability to integrate, extend and use their skills from the basic level education to the master level is developed. The continued progression means greater development of the ability to analyze, assess and deal with complex issues in Religious Studies and in Cultural Sciences. During the second year, higher demands on the students to independently obtain knowledge, to take greater responsibility for planning and carrying out different tasks and show a critical and reflective approach when reporting data and research. The program ends with a master thesis of 30 credits (Course 9).

The program is given in English.

Other degree

Independent project (degree project)
A requirement for the award of a Degree of Master (120 cr) is completion by the student of an independent project (degree project) for at least 30 credits in the main field of study. The degree project may comprise less than 30 credits, however no less than 15 credits, if the student has already completed an independent project in the second cycle for at least 15 credits in the main field of study or the equivalent from a programme of study outside Sweden.

Degree title

Degree of Master (120 cr)

Entry requirements

A completed Bachelor's degree, corresponding to a Swedish Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS), or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognised university.

Religion as Major (90 ects) or equivalent

English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6.

Overview of courses

Year 1
1:1 100% RVA000 Contemporary religious studies 7.5 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:1 100% RVA001 Perspectives on religion in cultural studies 7.5 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:2 100% RVA003 Historical and anthropological perspectives on religion* 7.5 cr* A1N Religious Studies
1:2 100% RVA002 Perspective on behavioural science of religion 7.5 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:3 100% RVA006 Postsecularity, religion and cultural change 15 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:3 100% RVA007 Religion, power and violence 15 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:3 100% RVA004 Existential Dimensions of Health 15 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:3 100% RVA009 Leadership - individual, society, culture and religion 15 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:4 100% RVA005 Supportive environments: outer and inner *spaces 15 cr *A1N Religious Studies
1:4 100% RVA010 Leadership, Public Environment and Religion 15 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:4 100% RVA008 Religion and spirituality in contemporary society 15 cr A1N Religious Studies
1:4 100% RVA011 The religion, society and language of the Viking Age 15 cr A1N Religious Studies

Year 2
2:1 100% RVA015 Religion and folk beliefs in African and European traditions 15 cr A1F Religious Studies
2:1 100% RVA013 *Leadership in International Context 15 cr *A1F Religious Studies
2:1 100% RVA012 Future Environment, Health and Work 15 cr A1F Religious Studies
2:1 100% RVA014 Atheism in history and contemporary society 15 cr A1F Religious Studies
2:2 100% RVA016 Didactical perspectives on religion and culture 15 cr A1F Religious Studies
2:3 100% RVA800 Masterthesis in Scientific Studies of Religion 30 cr A2E Religious Studies