Religious Studies and Global Development, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • English (schedule IELTS)
University rank #101 (ARWU) ,
The political and social dimensions of religions are at the heart of this innovative programme, which explores the role of religions and theology in global development. The Religious Studies and Global Development is offered by the University of Leeds.


You’ll develop your understanding of both development and religious studies, as core modules introduce you to theories and issues in development and how they relate to developing countries across the Global South. In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules in each area, allowing you to specialise in topics such as the links between conflict or gender and development, or the role of religion in public life.

Drawing on sociological, historical, anthropological and political approaches, this diverse degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge to research the relationship between religions and development in a stimulating environment.

The Religious Studies and Global Development programme from the University of Leeds is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with diverse and in-depth subject knowledge, as well as strong political and cultural awareness. These are all valuable in a wide range of careers – and you’ll also have advanced skills in areas such as analysis and interpretation, oral and written communication, and different types of research.

Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors where they can use their knowledge of development and religion, as well as a variety of other fields. These include the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.

We offer plenty of support to boost your employability, including an impressive array of research training offered by the School, the University Library and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. The School also has a dedicated postgraduate employment advisor who can offer tailored careers advice.

Programme Structure

Course content

This course is taught jointly by Theology and Religious Studies and the Centre for Global Development.
Across the year you’ll study a core module introducing you to theories and approaches in development studies, and how social, economic and political inequalities lay at the heart of development. In Semester Two another core module will focus on the complex relationships between religions and global development – the views of different religious traditions towards issues such as poverty, gender and welfare, and the roles they can play in development.

At the same time you’ll be thinking about your dissertation: an independent research project on a topic of your choice which allows you to demonstrate the skills and subject knowledge that you gain. You can choose to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even greater depth. You’ll submit the finished dissertation by the end of the programme in August.

You’ll also have other opportunities to specialise, as you choose from optional modules to focus on topics that suit your interests or career plans. In development studies, you’ll select from modules on topics such as democracy and development, or Africa in the modern world. If you opt for the standard dissertation, you’ll choose another module from religious studies.

If you decide to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures and seminars, which allow you to discuss the issues arising from your lectures and reading. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, as it allows you to develop your skills and gives you space to form your own ideas.


We also use a range of assessment methods. These usually include essays, but some modules may involve project reports and presentations. Modules taught by other Schools within the University may also use different methods.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 12 months
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    180 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

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English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

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Academic Requirements

Entry requirements
  • Bachelor degree with 2:1 (Hons) in religious studies, development studies or another humanities or social science subject.
  • Other subjects will only be considered if you can show you have relevant experience, background or private study in the field of religion and/or development.
International qualifications
  • We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Leeds

  • 637 - 1110 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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