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Religious Studies (M.A.)

Programme name: Religious Studies
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Standard period of study: 4 semesters
Start: Summer and Winter semester
Degree programme options: Joint Honours MA in Religious Studies (42 C); module packages: Religious Studies as MA minor subjects (36 C/18 C)
Admission requirements for Joint Honours MA: B.A. degree or equivalent degree
Verification required for at least knowledge in historical, empirical and systematical subject areas of Religious Studies or also directly related religious subject disciplines such as Indology, Islamic Studies, Iranian Studies, Theology, Jewish Studies, Ethnology, (Religious) Sociology, Egyptian Studies (or similar.) comprising at least 50 credits, including above all academic performance with clearly recognizable content (historical, emprical or systematical) references to religious topics comprising at least 36 credits (convincing in applications from such neighbouring subjects would be, for example, corresponding term papers or a Bachelor's thesis with clear reference to religion through the choice of topic and realisation).
Language requirements: There are no formal requirements, however, source competencies in religious-related philologies are desirable.
Entrance requirements for module packages: Overview
Note for international applicants: For the enrolment at the Faculty of Humanities certified proficiency in German language is required!
Application: application procedure (application to the faculty of humanities)

Language of the programme: German

Subject description:
The programme builds upon the basic knowledge and skills acquired in the B.A. programme and enables a scientific in-depth education in the subject of Religious Studies. In addition to in-depth knowledge, special systematic and historical-empirical skills are conveyed and practiced that enable students to conduct independent research and convincingly present their own scientifically controlled findings. Personal concentrations and interests of the students are also expanded and fostered.

Religious Studies in Göttingen
The University of Göttingen has a long-standing tradition in Religious Studies that goes back to the end of 18th century. Although it is institutionally settled in the Faculty of Theology, it is understood to be a cultural-scientific discipline with an inherent interdisciplinary reference to the topic of religion and its study programme is therefore anchored in the Faculty of Humanities where it cooperations with other subjects that are related to religion. - The research concentrations currently focus on current religious contexts (above all alternative spirituality discourse and new religious movements), Buddhism, Iran and systematic-analytical approaches to the world of religion (fundamentalism, millennialism, syncretism, reincarnation; history of religious research, etc.), as well as cooperation to Mesoamerican topics. Current teaching assignments supplement the profile of the permanent teachers in order to offer additional specialisation possibilities and ensure a multifaceted education.

Language requirements:
Maintenance of the basic competencies in religion-related philologies is supported and fostered. Due to the diversity of subjects in the cultural sciences in Göttingen, many specialisations or corresponding additional key competencies can be acquired.

Programme structure:
Students will acquire 42 credits in scientific subject knowledge. - In the first phase, the existing knowledge is deepened and supplemented (according to initial academic advising): Any gaps in knowledge are to be closed, and special interest is to be promoted. Three modules of six credits each form the actual heart of the M.A. programme: (a) in an empirical exploration, abilities to perceive and analyse lived religion (in context) are trained, while (b) in a so-called religious-scientific exploration the historical or systematical analysis is practiced in an extensive term paper at the end of a corresponding seminar. The (c) module independent studies mainly promotes the student's individual research interests and forms his/her profile, but also aims to practice the written presentation of the research results. The Master's thesis then follows: Students individually select the thesis topic in consent with the lecturers in which they are to demonstrate the scientific and methodical competencies they successfully acquired. The thesis is accompanied by a concluding module.

Occupational fields:
The Master's programme in Religious Studies prepares students for occupations as specialists for issues regarding the systematic development of religious aspects of life and the competent analysis of religious contemporary culture, therefore also forming the entry requirements for doctoral studies. Possible areas of occupation are, for example, departments for integration/migration and intercultural issues, the field of adult education, public reviews for the analysis and observation of new religious movements and ideologies, religion-related lectures in the field of youth and social work, as well as analog concentrations in publishing houses and presentations at museums or also scientific work at an institute of higher education. The occupational preferences depend upon the concentration selected (through one or two module packets) as well as the selected key competencies /area of professionalisation (=> selection to be made carefully).