Religious Experience (MRes)
The MRes is an exciting new study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of religious experience. It consists of 60 credits of taught modules and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total.
The programme has a unique focus on anthropology of religion, encouraging students to explore in depth a range of topics relating to religious experience in contemporary and historical, theoretical and methodological perspectives. The study of religious experience is a long-standing area of research at the university, and our academic team have contributed to the field through publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences.
The programme is linked to the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre located on the Lampeter campus. It enables further co-operation, and collaboration, with the Alister Hardy Society for the Study of Spiritual Experience. Students will be encouraged to make use of the Alister Hardy Archive with its unique collection of personal accounts of religious experience. The database is available via an online access gate on the website of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, where the Alister Hardy Archive of recorded religious experiences is held.
The programme is delivered as a full-time and part-time programme of study as distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums.
All students will be supported through their studies particular during the Research phase of their programme which amounts to 120 credits overall. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.
Students have to do three modules in part 1.
Study Skills is designed to prepare students with the necessary skills and methodologies with which to undertake study at postgraduate level and to undertake a longer research project.
The module on Theory and Methodology in Study of Religions enhances the student’s familiarity with various concepts and methods, and sharpens skills of data collection, management and critical appraisal of the material. It enables students to engage with debates and competing views on how best to study it. This module also introduces students to different disciplinary approaches to the study of religion, ranging from anthropology and sociology to psychology and history.
The module Religious Experience Today takes students into the heart of studying religious experience from different perspectives. The module engages with different theoretical approaches to religious experience as a distinct dimension of religion, and develops students’ skills in engaging analytically and critically with accounts of religious experience.
The programme is based upon an established pool of expertise in anthropology of religion and related areas in the Faculty. The staff expertise represents a considerable bank of knowledge and skills that will underpin this programme and will ensure student experience a high quality educational experience.
In addition students will benefit from the vibrant research culture of the Faculty and in particular the Religious Experience Research Centre.
Students will also benefit from the unique opportunity to work with the Alister Hardy archive housed in the research centre.
A range of assessment methods are used from essays and short written evaluation, and reflective pieces. The Dissertation is between 25,000 and 30,000 words.
Normally the entry requirement for this programme is a first class or upper second class undergraduate degree. In addition, the Faculty encourages students with an equivalent and appropriate professional qualification or significant and relevant professional experience to apply.
A non-graduate may also be admitted to candidature provided that she/he has gained a minimum of three years professional experience relevant and appropriate to the programme and they can demonstrate a satisfactory level of writing /analytical skills.
The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education and other areas as well as research.
The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.