University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Studies in Religion

About the major

Students take part in a vibrant scholarly community in Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney. Through a wide variety of research-based projects, community-engaged investigations, online tasks, tutorial presentations and discussions, and social opportunities, students are encouraged to delve deeply and creatively into both the academic study of religion, and the encounter with religion in practical and real-life contexts, in ways that develop the student’s confidence and competence in this field.

The chief outcome of this major is the ability of students to use their acquired knowledge and skills in a variety of academic and non-academic situations. These include the understanding of important methodological themes behind the teaching of the discipline at primary and high school level, contributing to public policy, and being able to critically analyse the role religion plays in other fields of study, and in the diversity of religions and ultimate goals that add to both the diverse nature and the cohesion of the modern multi-ethnic, multi-faith world.

The Department also offers Open Learning Environment units (OLET2142 Sacred Feasts: Ritual Food and Drink) available from Table O of the Interdisciplinary Handbook.

Requirements for completion

The Studies in Religion major and minor requirements are listed in the Studies in Religion unit of study table.

Learning outcomes

No. Learning outcome
1 Demonstrate an understanding of how scholars and public commentators, including politicians, journalists, and religious professionals shape present and future national perceptions and international conversations about religion and religious issues.
2 Exhibit cultural competency, particularly in the comparison of religious worldviews in a scholarly manner, including how to participate in sophisticated collaborative work, and community-based learning experiences that focus on religious institutions and other social groups that employ modes of sacred discourse.
3 Examine the place and use of 'religion' in scholarly discourse through research using historical and sociological evidenced-based arguments, and be able to self-reflect on personal and social biases that may impact on that research.
4 Develop an informed and open-minded perspective as regards the social, cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity in Australia and around the world through a variety of media, digital sources and the management of primary and secondary sources from a range of scholarly disciplines.
5 Deploy creative agility in the application of a range of appropriate methodologies to particular areas of the field of the study of religion.
6 Construct persuasive evidence-based arguments or narratives about historical and/or contemporary religious issues using a variety of media and an awareness of the biases inherent in the use of such sources.

Honours is a stimulating and prestigious way to cap off your undergraduate studies, and involves a methodology seminar, an honours seminar and the writing of a thesis in which you personally devise and research a project under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Honours admission requirements

Admission into honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Studies in Religion with an average of 70 percent or above and completion of a second major.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units, prior to commencing honours.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Studies in Religion honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information

Contact details can be found on these websites:
Department of Studies in Religion website:

School of Literature, Art and Media website: