Undergraduate Study in Religion

Study image
Read about some current students and recent graduates in Religion at Otago.

Studying religion at Otago

There are several ways to include papers on religion in your degree. Many students simply take one or more papers alongside their other major subjects. It is also possible to specialise in the study of religion by taking it as the major subject of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons). We also offer minors in Religious Studies and in Buddhist Studies which may be taken with one or more other subjects. Graduates in other disciplines who are planning research in the study of religion may be admitted to the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad). The regulations for all of these qualifications are listed below.

Papers currently on offer are listed below. Most papers above 100 level are taught in alternate years.

Studying by distance

You don't need to be on campus to take our classes. We teach many of papers by distance as well. It is even possible to complete an entire degree by distance. See the "Distance" column below for a list. Helpful information about enrolling in distance teaching can be found here and further useful information for distance students is available here.

Resources

A webpage containing essential information for both campus and distance students can be found here. We strongly encourage you to read it carefully at the beginning of your course, and to refer to it whenever you need guidance in your study.

Papers offered in 2017

Click on the paper code for further information about the paper, including prescriptions and timetables.

Summer School
100
200
300
400
Distance
The Religion of Islam
New Religious Movements
First semester
100
200
300
400
Distance
Hinduism & Buddhism
Introductory Sanskrit I
Zen Buddhism
Paganism
Psychology of Religion
Religion and Identity
Life of the Buddha
Second semester
Judaism, Christianity & Islam
Introductory Sanskrit II
World Christianity
Science, Religion and Knowledge
Mahayana Buddhism
Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Full year
Research Essay

A full list of Religion papers (including those not currently offered) is also available.

Religious Studies imageProgramme requirements

Major subject requirements: BA in Religious Studies

The papers that have to be included in a BA in order to major in Religious Studies are as follows:

100-level: RELS 101 and RELS 102
200-level: Three 200-level RELS papers (54 points)
300-level: Four 300-level RELS papers (72 points)

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Religious Studies

The papers that have to be included in a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies are as follows:

RELS 415, RELS 490 and two further 400-level RELS papers.
An approved paper may be substituted for one 400-level RELS paper (20 points).

Minor subject requirements: Religious Studies

The papers that have to be taken in order to include a minor in Religious Studies in your degree are as follows:

100-level: RELS 101 and RELS 102
Plus at least 54 points of RELS papers (three papers), including at least 18 points (one paper) above 200-level.

Minor subject requirements: Buddhist Studies

The papers that have to be taken in order to include a minor in Buddhist Studies in your degree are as follows:

RELS 102 and 72 further points (four papers) from ANTH 105, ASIA 101, CHIN 131, CHIN 132, JAPA 131, JAPA 132, SANS 111, SANS 112, RELS 202, RELS 209, RELS 216, RELS 226, RELS 227, RELS 309, RELS 316, RELS 326, and RELS 327, RELS 328, RELS 336.
At least 54 points (three papers) must be above 100-level, including at least 18 points above 200 level.

Regulations

Regulations for the following programmes are available elsewhere on the University website.

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Study and Style Guide

Download the Study and Style Guide for Theology and Religious Studies (PDF format)

University of Otago Religious Studies Programme