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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Religious Studies

Undergraduate Course: Studying Religions (REST08016)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to contemporary Religious Studies and invites them to rethink their preconceptions about studying the complex topic of 'religion'.
Course description Academic Description:
This course invites students to rethink their preconceptions about studying the complex modern topic of religion by introducing them to key approaches and debates in Religious Studies, including historical, sociological and anthropological approaches. It uses these to examine through a comparative and theoretically informed perspective empirical examples and case studies of how religion/s are articulated by diverse people in multiple settings. The course will give prominence to people's everyday ideas and practices about religion, while also indicating the broader disciplinary shape of the Study of Religion/s.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The complexity and richness of the course is illustrated through three interrelated approaches - historical, anthropological and sociological. It begins by evaluating the problem of defining 'religion' and exploring how Religious Studies has renewed its focus on the role of religion in everyday life: in "lived" beliefs and practices. Literature from key texts in Religious studies will be considered alongside international case studies, including material from Europe and South Asia.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of three one-hour weekly lectures and video, and one-hour tutorial discussions. The meetings will be interactive and will allow students to engage with the topic through lecture/video and tutorial discussions. Each student will do a presentation based on the assigned reading and will be responsible for leading class discussion during the tutorial hour. Through their participation in lectures, tutorials, written work, final examination, and feedback offered, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
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:  80
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The tutorial assessment (15%) comprises two parts: one mini-essay of 500 words, and one
tutorial presentation, each counting for 7.5%.

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

Degree Examination (60%).
Feedback The mini-essay, and the main course essay, will be given written feedback. Students will receive oral feedback on their presentation.
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. Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of a range of interconnected and interdisciplinary approaches to defining and interpreting ¿religion¿.
  2. Identify the historical and cultural contexts in which these approaches emerged, and are continuing to develop.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of specific case studies of religion in everyday life: in 'lived' beliefs and practices.
  4. Locate these approaches/case studies within the modern development of Religious Studies as an academic field.
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 Steven Sutcliffe
Tel: (0131 6)50 8947
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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