All societies are familiar with the concept of religion. In some societies, religion was and is simply an expression of a shared culture. In other cultures, religion mainly manifests itself at certain critical times. It is only the believer, however, who is allowed the privilege of meeting the gods, which means that the study of religion can seem somewhat vague. It is nevertheless a fact that there are people who are believers and for whom religion influences who they marry and vote for, what they buy, who they wage war against and much more – and they can be studied.
At the Department of the Study of Religion, you learn about religions and religious phenomena, both past and present. You study the main religions in the world, past and new religions, as well as religious trends.
As a student at the Department of the Study of Religion, you gain insight into the importance of individual religions and religious phenomena to mankind and society in general. You examine the way different religions have changed throughout history, and analyse their current form and role in society. Through the study of basic religious phenomena such as cults, sacrifices, rituals, myths and perceptions of God, you acquire in-depth knowledge of the characteristics common to all religions.
The study of religion is a comprehensive, humanistic degree programme. The aim is to provide you with insight into individual religions and religious phenomena, general knowledge of the humanistic, societal and philosophical aspects of religion, and general competence in academic and independent work with humanistic topics. The theoretical and methodological basis is historical, philosophical, sociological, anthropological, psychological and philological. As a result, you become able to work in interdisciplinary contexts and are qualified to describe and analyse issues such as the meeting between different religions and cultures.
The study of religion is primarily based on the reading of texts, but many students also carry out projects in the form of sociological surveys and fieldwork or undertake periods of practical training.
You qualify for admission to the Master’s degree programme in the study of religion if you have completed a relevant Bachelor’s degree. If your Bachelor’s degree does not include the study of religion as a core subject or optional subject, you can be admitted on the basis of an individual application to the Board of Studies, stating the grounds for your application.
Admission to the Master’s degree programme, Program Line A, requires a Bachelor’s degree with the Study of Religion as its central subject.
Admission to the Master’s degree programme, Program Line B, requires a Bachelor’s degree with the Study of Religion as its central subject and an elective being a different field of study covered in the curriculum subjects of Upper Secondary Schools.
Admission to the Master’s degree programme, Program Line C, requires a Bachelor’s degree with a different field of study as its central subject and an elective being Part 1 of the Subsidiary Subject in the Study of Religion.
Admission to the Master’s degree programme, Program Line D, requires a Bachelor’s degree with a different field of study as its central subject and an elective being the subsidiary subject: Religion, Politics and Society.
Admission to Program Lines A and C is possible upon approval by the Board of Studies in exceptional cases where a student’s Bachelor’s degree does not meet the requirements mentioned provided that it contains significant qualifications and skills in at least one of the following fields: history, cultural studies, social studies or philosophy. Students whose Bachelor’s degree programme does not include the Study of Religion as its central subject or elective must make individual application for admission through the Board of Studies, stating reasons. Students enrolled on this basis are required to make an individual study plan in consultation with the Director of Studies; the study plan must be approved by the Board of Studies.
Students of the Bachelor's degree programme in Study of Religion at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Study of Religion on the condition that application is made with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor's degree programme to the Master's degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.
As the Master’s degree programme in Study of Religion (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.
In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.
The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.
Candidates from abroad are required to pass a Danish language test.
As a student it is important to know the regulations for the chosen supplementary subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you. You can find this information in the academic regulations.
In the following graphical presentation of the subject you can see the different modules and courses that, in addition, link to the course catalogue where you can read the course descriptions.
The study of religion is taught at the Faculty of Theology, which buzzes with activity throughout the day. Lectures are held and keen discussions take place in the reading groups that meet in the lounge area or the many workplaces in the library, and students and teachers meet over a cup of coffee between lectures.
New ideas are discussed over lunch in the Stakladen canteen, which is also the venue for the Faculty of Theology’s annual celebration and the Christmas revue. Groups of students active in student politics also meet here, as do the editors of the students' own newsletter – Figenbladet (the Fig Leaf), and the Totem newsletter.
In the evening, you can attend debates and guest lectures organised by the faculty's lecture associations to get inspiration for your studies, and nobody goes home early on Fridays – Theo’s Bar is always well-attended, including guests from other departments.
In addition to its large collection of literature about theology and the study of religion, parts of the library – which is open around the clock – also function as an open student environment with group work areas, IT workstations and a classroom. The library is a meeting point for the students and a lively workplace. If you write a thesis at the Faculty of Theology, you can apply for a work area in one of the faculty’s offices allocated to students for this purpose.
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This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.
With a Master’s degree in the study of religion, you are qualified to teach at upper secondary schools, folk high schools, training colleges and universities.
A degree in the study of religion also provides you with specific knowledge and understanding of the interaction between religion, culture and society, and you can describe and analyse topics such as the meeting between different religions and cultures. You can use these skills in jobs in humanitarian organisations, public administration, within staff development, communication and research, as well as in jobs dealing with culture in a broad sense.
Also see our graduate profiles.
With a degree in the study of religion, you have the ability to:describe and analyse issues such as the meeting of cultures and religious conflicts
Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.
You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.