University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Religious Studies

Undergraduate Course: Global Religions A: Judaism, Buddhism, Islam (REST08015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn overview of three significant and globally present religions. It begins with a foundational introduction to the study of religions and then moves to a study of Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. The relationships between the historical and contemporary studies of these religions are noted in the lectures.

*Please note that in the event that this course becomes full, a waiting list will be opened in the Divinity School office. Please contact to join this list before the end of Week 2.
Course description Academic Description:
This course aims to introduce students to the study of religions through an overview of three significant and globally present religious traditions. Students will engage with key aspects of the methods of studying religions and apply these to Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim examples. The course seeks to move beyond the notion of 'World Religions' and emphasise the contextually situated nature of religious studies. To do so, students will be introduced to historical, textual and contemporary examples of Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim lived religion.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course begins with an introduction to methods relevant to the study of religion. This includes an introduction to academic study and research skills. Then the course moves on to an overview of the three religious traditions of Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. It is a team taught course and each segment will be taught by a specialist in the study of the particular religious tradition. The traditions may be taught in any order and form self-contained units. Students will explore the relationships between the historical and contemporary study of the religious traditions in lectures and tutorials. Lectures will also problematize the understanding of 'religion' and the 'World Religions Paradigm'. Weekly tutorials provide the opportunity to deepen the learning by engaging with case studies of important primary and secondary sources.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course consists of a weekly suite of lectures and a tutorial. The three weekly lectures give students the opportunity to gain an initial overview of a wealth of material. Lectures will provide subject specific knowledge about the religious traditions and introduce students to the methods for studying Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim religious lives and cultures. Participation in the weekly tutorial hour gives students the opportunity to debate the issues raised in lectures and apply relevant methods to carefully selected source texts and case studies. Students are expected to read specific texts for the tutorials and evidence their understanding of the texts and tutorial tasks in writing weekly tutorial sheets and preparing one class presentation. In order to successfully complete the course, students are expected to engage with the materials presented in lectures by following up questions arising through the use of reference works and further reading as indicated on the course syllabus and beyond in the library. Learning outcomes are tested in researching and writing a course essay for which guidance will be given, and in a final exam.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  5
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Tutorial work counts for 15% of course grade based on 2 x 500 word mini-essays (10%) plus one oral presentation given to class.
1. 2 x 500 word mini-essays (2 x 5%): at the first tutorial (week 2), students will be required to commit to offering one oral presentation (on a first come basis) and two mini-essays for each of the three sections of the course, subject to the agreement of the tutor and confirmation of the course co-ordinator.
2. Tutorial presentation (5%): Each student will prepare one presentation of approximately 10 minutes, on a date and topic to be agreed with the tutor. It should be based on close analysis of issues in the tutorial reading for that week. The student will also be responsible for leading the ensuing class discussion.

Essay (25%): 2,000 words on a topic to be chosen.

Degree Examination: 60%.

Feedback Weekly feedback and grading of tutorial sheets.

Written feedback on the mini-essays will be provided within one working week and counts as the course¿s formative feedback / feed-forward event.

Written feedback on the coursework essay will be available in time to aid preparation for the exam.

Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Outline the main beliefs and practices of the religions studied.
  2. Make historical connections amongst the religions and relate these to contemporary situations.
  3. Identify themes that emerge from the study of the traditions considered in lectures and tutorials.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Collect and synthesise evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources applicable to the study of religion;
- Evaluate and critique the work of scholars who have studied religions, both in the contemporary period and in the history of the discipline;
- Formulate questions emerging from the study of religions and structure an argument to express resolutions to the questions critically and analytically.
- Read and interpret a range of different sources for the study of religions within their historical, social and theoretical contexts and be able to differentiate primary from secondary sources.
- Formulate, investigate and discuss questions informed by Religious Studies methodologies (these include anthropology, cognitive studies, cultural history, ethnography, post-colonial studies and sociology);
- Engage and draw on an understanding of religious traditions and cultures to inform the approach taken when dealing with views different from one's own;
- Analyse and explain how cultural assumptions impact on the interpretation of religions;
- Express clearly ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing and in electronic media;
- Develop oral presentation and participation skills during seminars and group-work, and in written form through essays.
- Collaborate efficiently and productively with others in the process of learning and presenting conclusions - this includes those with a range of backgrounds and knowledge bases about religion, such as fellow-students, tutors and supervisors;
- Organise their own learning, manage workload and work to a timetable;
- Effectively plan, and possess the confidence to undertake and to present scholarly work that demonstrates an understanding of the aims, methods and theoretical considerations relevant to Religious Studies; and
- Work independently on the creation of essays using the standards current in the academic field of Religious Studies.

Additional Class Delivery Information 3 lectures and a weekly tutorial
Course organiserDr Hannah Holtschneider
Tel: (0131 6)50 8933
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information