module specification

SS6063 - Religion and the State (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Religion and the State
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
90 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Case study essay 3,000 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module will provide students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary debates on the relationship between religion and the state and sources of religious intolerance. Students will be required to critically examine the ideas of the classic and contemporary social scientists on religion and explore the application of their ideas to an ever-changing world. Overall, the aim of the module is to develop the students’ capacity to utilise social scientific concepts and perspectives in their analyses of religion in contemporary society. The disciplinary focus of the module will, initially, be the sociology of religion. The application of a range of social scientific approach will also be introduced - historical, political, economic and social psychological approaches.

Prior learning requirements

None. Available for Study Abroad? YES


This module will focus on the following key subjects:

  • Defining Religion: Social Science Approach
  • The Enlightenment Legacy
  • Secularisation?
  • Religious Identity
  • Religion and Social Divisions
  • Protest and Control
  • Sects, Cults and New Religious Movements
  • Religious Fundamentalism
  • Atheism

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery of this module is through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies and workshops allowing students to be actively involved in the learning process and develop their own learning style. The lecture programme provides the underpinning theoretical foundation in the subject area and thinking skills are developed through complementary activities including case studies, workshops, seminars and tutorials. Students are expected to complement formal teaching with self-directed reading and completion of specified assignments. The module will also promote the student’s self-management and a reflective approach to their learning.

This module will be supported with relevant WebLearn pages where all lecture and workshop notes, relevant literature, and other sources will be available. All sessions will be recorded with Panopto and will be available to students.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • LO1 – describe a range of classic and contemporary sociological perspectives on religion.
  • LO2 – Apply a range of criticism to contemporary sociological conceptions and analyses of religion - thereby reflecting their ability to think critically.
  • LO3 – produce and effectively communicate an application of a sociological perspective on religion in society today.
  • LO4 – Appraise social scientific perspectives on religion in relation to their application to ‘real world’ contexts.