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Research degrees
Research areas
Religious studies
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Religious Studies

Religious Studies at the OU is committed to the non-confessional study of religion, and the analysis of historical and contemporary religions through the application of critical, historical and sociological methods. Our 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) result placed us high among religious studies departments nationally and recognised the international significance of our research. Our expertise in a wide range of research methods and approaches to religions provides an invaluable context for postgraduate research about contemporary religion in historical perspective and vice versa. Our leadership in important scholarly associations, conferences and publications places us at the forefront of the discipline internationally and greatly benefits our research students.

Key facts

  • 54 per cent of our research output was rated 3* and 4* (2014 Research Excellence Framework).
  • Our research environment was awarded 3* (2014 REF).
  • We currently have nine full- and part-time research students.
  • Staff and students attend regular research events.
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council Consortium of the Humanities and the Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) offers studentships for doctoral research in the discipline.



Research topics

Explore specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, available supervisors and contact details for advice.

Contemporary religion in historical perspective

Global uncertainties and religious change

Place, locality, pilgrimage, culture and performance

The state, citizenships and identities


Related topics

Consider linked topics from other research areas.

Early modern Britain and Europe