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Master of Studies in Study of Religions

  • 1. Each candidate will be required to follow a course of instruction for three terms and present themselves for examination in three subjects as set out in the syllabus.

  • 2. A 10,000-15,000 word dissertation must be offered. The dissertation must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by Friday of 8th week in Trinity Term in the year of examination.

    Each essay must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by the Friday of 0th week of Trinity Term in the year in which the examination is taken. 

  • 3. Each candidate should be prepared to present themselves for an oral (viva voce) examination. This may include discussions both of the examination papers and pre-submitted work.  

  • 4. A candidate who fails the examination will be permitted to retake it on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt. Such a candidate whose 10,000-15,000 word essay has been of satisfactory standard may resubmit the same piece of work, while a candidate who had reached a satisfactory standard on the written papers will not be required to retake that part of the examination.


Candidates must offer the paper on the Nature of Religion, which is comprised of the following two elements: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion and Themes in the Interaction between Religions, and two papers selected from papers on the major texts and doctrines of (a) Buddhism, (b) Christianity, (c) Islam, (d) Judaism, or (e) Hinduism, or (f) any other paper that may from time to time be approved by the Board of the Faculty of Theology and Religion.

The candidate’s two chosen religions will be examined by two papers, of which one will consist of two essays of up to 5,000 words and one will consist of a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words. Between them, essays and dissertations must deal with the two chosen religions only. Essays and dissertations on the interactions, relations or comparisons between the two religions, or approaches taken from one view towards others, are also encouraged, with the proviso that there is no overlap between essays and dissertation. 

Candidates will not normally be allowed to substitute a long essay or two short essays for the paper on The Nature of Religion (Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion and Themes in the Interaction between Religions). Any candidate who believes that they have special grounds for seeking a dispensation must present a case to the Graduate Studies Committee, with the supervisor's approval, before the fifth week of Hilary Term.