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MA Religions and Education by distance learning (X31V)

"This course is unique in that it draws on the research and curriculum development expertise of the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU). WRERU has conducted major research projects for the European Commission, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and many others. Dr Judith Everington, Course Leader


Suitable for

This flexible distance learning course is aimed at teachers of religious education and related subjects within different education systems, and those working with young people in a faith or belief context. The Warwick MA course aims to meet the needs of those working in different education systems, and reflects the varied approaches to religious diversity and education utilised by Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU). Some previous experience of religious studies at higher education level is preferred but not required. Each application is looked at on its own merits.

Course aims and benefits

Called by various names in different countries - such as religious education, education about religions and beliefs, religious and moral education - the subject is internationally recognised as an urgent need of more specialist expertise at both primary and secondary levels. In Europe and beyond there is an increasing interest in the study of religious diversity in societies, as part of religious education, intercultural education or citizenship education.

This course will give you an opportunity to engage with the work of WRERU, which has an international reputation for its curriculum development work and its qualitative and quantitative research in the field of religions and education, conducted in the UK, Europe and in wider international research groups. The course reflects approaches and issues arising from the Council of Europe's ministerial recommendation on teaching about religions and beliefs and members of WRERU have contributed to the Council of Europe's work in this field, especially using the interpretive approach and dialogical approach. In the UK, the course is endorsed by the National Association of Teachers of RE and is supported by equivalent associations in Europe including the European Forum for Teachers of Religious Education and the Coordinating Group of Religious Education in Europe.

You will have the opportunity to debate with your peers on a host of important education issues, such as:

  • What is and should be the relationship between religions and education, and what issues are raised by governments’ views of this?
  • There are many possible approaches to teaching and learning about religious and non-religious worldviews: what can be gained from an understanding of past, current and emerging approaches?
  • What contribution should religious education make to community cohesion, citizenship education and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children and young people?
  • How should religious and non-religious worldviews be represented, how can they be interpreted by children and young people from diverse backgrounds, and how can all gain from a process of interpretation and reflection?
  • Why is dialogue between children and young people with differing religious and non-religious worldviews important and how can effective dialogue be facilitated?

Former participants have found that the MA has enhanced their practice and supported the advancement of their careers: for some it has been the starting point for further involvement in academic research and higher education.

Course structure

You will take four modules (each weighted at 30 CATS) and write a dissertation of 20,000 words (60 CATS). A research methods module, taken as one of the four MA modules, is designed to prepare students for the dissertation.

Those wishing to do a shorter Master's level course may opt for a Postgraduate Certificate (two modules) in Religions and Education. The Postgraduate Certificate is a subset of the MA and consists of two modules from the MA course.

It is usual for participants to complete the MA over three years and to take two modules in year 1 and two more in year 2. The third year is devoted to the dissertation.

Modules

The below modules are indicative of those that are available on the MA Religions and Education

Interpreting Religious World Views (30 CATS)

Participants are enabled to discuss the issues involved in attempting to understand religious world views: to critically review methodologies derived from religious studies and anthropology for interpreting religious world views; to consider issues in the representation and interpretation of religious world views in relation to published curriculum materials for religious education; and to apply ideas developed in the module to teaching methods, content selection and pupil activity in religious education in schools.

Introduction to Research Methods in RE (30 CATS)
This module is designed for people who have had no previous experience of carrying out research and will also extend their knowledge of the relevant methods for those who already have some research experience. The module provides the necessary training for completing the dissertation.

Current Issues in Religious Education (30 CATS)
Participants are helped to acquire competence in discussing current issues in the theory and practice of religious education (and cognate fields such as spiritual, moral and cultural development, intercultural education and citizenship education). Participants also apply reflections and judgements from the module to school practice and school policy in religious education. This module is updated annually to take account of emerging issues internationally and within the UK.

Inter Faith Dialogue for Young People (30 CATS)
This module applies WRERU research and other research on inter faith dialogue with and for young people. It includes inter-religious dialogue and dialogue between religious positions and secular positions. The aim of the module is to introduce a number of models of inter religious dialogue with children and young people; to encourage reflection on the principles and understandings that underpin these models, and to help educationalists and youth workers to develop the skills and sensitivities needed for the promotion of inter religious understanding in their own professional contexts.

Critical Study (30 CATS)
For those who have completed the research methods module and have already undertaken a professional development project in school, there is a second year option to undertake a critical study of this project, under the guidance of a tutor with expertise in the field.

Course delivery

The course is delivered entirely online, through a dedicated distance learning portal. Students will use a mixture of online text extracts and journals, and will undertake regular tasks alongside their end of module assignments. Support will be given via email with your subject tutor.

Got a question? Ask the Course Leader.....

Email: J.Everington@warwick.ac.uk 

All PGT students in the Centre for Education Studies are required to complete 180 credits at M Level; part-time students may be considered for Accredited Prior Learning (approved at the time of application).

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Key Facts

Course Duration: 
- 2-5 years part-time, depending on circumstances

Study Programme:
- 4 modules
- Dissertation

Assessment:
- 4 assignments of 5,000 words each - Dissertation of 20,000 words

Entry Requirements:
Find out more about our entry requirments

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