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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Aberdeen University has long been known for its focus on the sociology of religion and is currently the only University in Britain where one can study sociology of religion at the postgraduate level in a sociology department.  This course is required for students on the MSc in Religion and Society, and essential for any other students who wish to develop a sophisticated sociological understanding of religion, including postgraduates with other primary research interests (religion having implications for many other topics), and would also benefit postgraduate students of religion coming from other disciplines.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Steve Bruce

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course explores patterns of belief and unā€belief in modern religion. It focuses, in particular, on the secularization paradigm and those who have dissented from it, and evidence of both decline and growth in religious belief and practice. It explores the dynamics of belief across the different world religions, and examines the particular threat to the future of the Christian churches as a result of declining participation and practice in mainstream Christian churches. The course also addresses the alternative forms of spirituality that are evidenced in the West, such as new forms of religious movements, New Age spirituality, the mutation of religion into memory and cultural tradition, as well as the growth of other world religions in the modern West.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 25 - 35

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Two essays: first essay (40%) and second essay (60%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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