Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £5,500 *
International Fees £7,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 2 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Globalisation and immigration have transformed the religious and cultural landscape in 21st century multicultural societies, leading to many challenges and complexities posed by religion in modern democracies.

This new course, which is the first of its kind in the UK, addresses those challenges and complexities and will provide you with a framework to engage with issues relating to the place of religion in public life.

The course is hosted by Westminster Law School and shares modules with the rest of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities as well as Westminster School of Media Art and Design. The course is not affiliated to any particular faith but takes a broad approach to religion including non-religious beliefs. It will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the place of religion in society and the role of law.

You can choose whether you want to study for the MA or LLM. For the MA you will need to have obtained a minimum of 180 credits at Level 7. You will have to take the three compulsory core modules which are: Law and Religion: Theory and Practice; Law and Religion in Context and Sociology of Law and Religion. In addition, you will have to write a dissertation and take an additional three optional modules of your choice.

Students who wish to obtain the award of LLM will need to write a dissertation with a substantial law element and are expected to take at least one law option in addition to the core modules.

MA

  • Law and Religion Theory and Practice (20 credits)
  • Law and Religion in Context (20 credits)
  • Sociology of Religion (20 credits)
  • MA Dissertation (60 credits)    
  • 3 options of your choice (from the proposed list)

LLM

  • Law and Religion Theory and Practice (20 credits)
  • Law and Religion in Context (20 credits)
  • Sociology of Religion (20 credits)    
  • LLM Dissertation in Law (60 credits)    
  • 3 options, one of which must be from Law

The course will equip you with key skills such as the ability to carry out independent research and to deal with sensitive topics. You will develop an awareness of world challenges posed by religion, a thorough knowledge of equality and non-discrimination legislation, debating and mooting skills, the ability to be non-judgmental, and to work in a multicultural environment.

Students will also benefit significantly from the Law and Religion Research Cluster which launched in February 2017. The research cluster will hold regular events on topical issues and provide an opportunity for students to network with academics and professionals associated with the field of religion, law and society. 

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Please note that option modules are subject to student demand and staffing availability, therefore not all modules will be offered in the same academic year.

Core modules

This module provides the foundation for the degree by introducing the discipline of law and religion and the research frameworks associated with the discipline. It looks at the interaction of law with religion and as such it focuses on religion law at the international, regional and national levels. This module takes a historical, theoretical and legal perspective. It focuses on human rights and non-discrimination law and looks at various models of state/religion relations in the context of freedom of and from religion. Relevant case law is introduced in order to engage with judicial approaches to religious manifestation.

This module directly follows from Law and Religion Theory and Practice and gives you an opportunity to focus on specific issues within Law and Religion. These include religious symbols at schools, religion in the workplace, religion and urbanism, non-religious movements, the tension between freedom of expression and hate speech, freedom from discrimination and religious freedom as well as medical law and religion.

This module questions if and why people need religion and their lived experience of it and how religion operates as a source of conflict and/or integration within and beyond local, national and global communities. It examines the role of religion in society sociologically, starting with what is religion and how it can be studied empirically in relation to themes such as gender, politics, the death of religion and revivalism, migration, place, media and education.

This module allows and supports extended student research into a topic of their choice within the broad field of religion, law and society. The topic is to be agreed between the student and the module leader and must not replicate material covered in other coursework submitted for the award of the degree. The dissertation must have a substantial law element and be supervised in the Law School.

OR:

This module allows and supports extended student research into a topic of their choice within the broad field of religion, law and society. The topic is to be agreed between the student and the module leader and must not replicate material covered in other coursework submitted for the award of the degree. The dissertation can be supervised across faculties with previous agreement from the course leader.

Option modules

Option modules from Westminster School of Law:

This module introduces postgraduate students to the protection of human rights in international law. The module aims to: 1) provide an overview of the historical and philosophical background of human rights; 2) introduce the protection of human rights at the international level, to the United Nations system of protection as well as to regional systems of protection (i.e., Europe, the Americas and Africa); 3) introduce students to contemporary issues in international human rights law, such as businesses, refugees, humanitarian intervention, responsibility to protect, and terrorism, detention and torture.

This module provides an introduction to Islamic finance; corporate governance in Islamic finance institutions; derivatives under Islamic law; Islamic insurance; Islamic finance modes and securitization structures and Islamic finance prudential regulations. The aims of the module are to: offer students a comprehensive understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of Islamic finance and banking, provide comprehensive coverage of the essential principles underlying Islamic finance, review and critically assess the modes and legal structures of major financial transactions as followed by Islamic finance institutions, provide in-depth legal and financial analysis of securitization structures in Islamic finance and assess and critically review the corporate governance structure in Islamic finance institutions.

The module examines the complex relationships between terrorism, specifically counter terrorism measures, law and the state. In particular we examine the role of the state in responding to terrorism, preventing terrorism and as an agent of terrorism; while unpicking the role of law.

By the end of the module, you will have demonstrated: the ability to identify a topic for research which could lead to the production of a Dissertation; a critical awareness of existing work in the chosen field and an awareness of available research methodologies; an ability to explain the reasons for the selection of research methods; the ability to undertake extended primary research; an introduction to research in law; quantitative and qualitative methodologies: their assumptions, tools and techniques; research design; conduct of research.

This is a learning placement module associated with employment with a suitable organisation, institution or company. This could be with the media, non-governmental organisation sector, government departments, research centres or private companies. Students will be responsible for finding their own placement with advice and guidance from the course team.

Options from Politics and International Relations:

The module focuses on current debates on Middle Eastern politics from a number of perspectives, with a focus on the role of Islam. You will be introduced to a variety of theoretical approaches to studying the modern Middle East, to relevant perspectives in International Relations, to selected case studies and various contributions to the debate from inside and outside the Arab world.

A multidisciplinary approach will be adopted, where you will be steered through the fields of comparative politics, Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, and social and political theory so that at the end you will have achieved, in addition to familiarity with key issues in modern Middle Eastern politics, an appreciation of the theoretical perspectives being covered. In the process, you will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of the workings of the region and challenged to assess the explanations given and provide your own explanations.

Option modules from Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design:

This module is designed to offer a comprehensive introduction at postgraduate level to the way in which social and cultural diversity and attitudes towards it informs media systems, institutions, practices and texts. It looks at strategies and practices of stakeholding, representation, visibility and voice in diverse social contexts.

The module introduces students to the issues surrounding the reporting of faith and faith communities in their societies. It utilizes lectures, classroom discussion, journalistic field assignments and student presentations to explore the impact of the media and journalism in public discourse about religion.

Course Leaders

Sylvie Bacquet

Sylvie's research focuses on Law and Religion and she is particularly interested in the role of religion in 21st century modern pluralist states.

Sylvie Bacquet

Course Leader

Sylvie Bacquet joined the Westminster Law School in 2004 having completed a Masters degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at the American University of Paris and an LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex. She works at Westminster Law School as a Senior Lecturer.

Sylvie is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teaches Public Law, Human Rights Law, Research Methods and Law and Religion. Her research focuses on Law and Religion and she is particularly interested in the role of religion in 21st century modern pluralist states.

She is the Director of the Law and Religion Research Cluster which launched in February 2017.

See full profile

Michael Holdsworth

Deputy Course Leader

Michael Holdsworth originally studied theology at Oxford University and then law at Birmingham University.  From 2005, he taught at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice and then at Oxford Brookes University where he led the LLM in Legal Practice.  Here, his research investigated the viability of faith based supplementary jurisdictions in England and Wales. 

Before joining the University of Westminster in 2015, Michael was a Research Fellow at Birmingham University working on a project investigating character and values in the legal profession.  This culminated with the publication of the research report ‘Virtuous Character for the Practice of Law’,  launched by Lord Neuberger at the Supreme Court in November 2014.

See full profile
Michael Holdswort

Michael’s research focuses on law and religion, political philosophy and ethics.  He is currently finishing a PhD at Manchester University where he is investigating religion-state relations in three Western European countries. 

Michael lectures and teaches on the Law and Religion final year LLB module.

Entry Requirements

Typical offer

You should have a good honours degree from a recognised institution prior to admission onto the programme.

For the MA you will need to have obtained a minimum of 180 credits at Level 7.

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other elements.

There are standard minimum entry requirements for all postgraduate courses. Students are advised to check the standard requirements for the most up-to-date information.

For most courses a decision will be made on the basis of your application form alone. However, for some courses the selection process may include an interview to demonstrate your strengths in addition to any formal entry requirements.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

Typical offer

You should have a good honours degree from a recognised institution prior to admission onto the programme.

For the MA you will need to have obtained a minimum of 180 credits at Level 7.

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other elements.

There are standard minimum entry requirements for all postgraduate courses. Students are advised to check the standard requirements for the most up-to-date information.

For most courses a decision will be made on the basis of your application form alone. However, for some courses the selection process may include an interview to demonstrate your strengths in addition to any formal entry requirements.

More information

Careers

Destinations for graduates will include - for example - academia, government departments, local councils, politics, education, human resources, the legal profession, marketing and journalism.

Westminster law students benefit from the following:

  • Dedicated 1-2-1 appointments with careers advisors.
  • Feedback and advice on CVs, applications and interview preparation.
  • Employer panel events and talks.
  • Law vacancy jobs bulletin.
  • Annual Law Fair Consortium.
  • Mock Assessment Centres and Interviews.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

What our students say

Adam Tanner

Adam Tanner

The law and religion course at Westminster was the foundation of me moving on to further academic research on religion and the law. It has started my career in a field which is more relevant than ever.

Aishah Khokhar

Aishah Khokhar

Law and Religion is magnificently interdisciplinary encompassing legal, political and theological topics. The subject lends itself to interesting class discussions as well as varied academic debate. Sylvie Bacquet teaches controversial topics with such skill that everybody is comfortable to voice their opinions. Overall, the course was thought-provoking, relevant and stretched me academically.

Photo: Freedom of religion drawing by Aishah Khokhar – Winner of the Amnesty International 2013 ‘What does Freedom Mean to You?’ competition.

Mason Taylor

Mason Taylor

I found Law and Religion at Westminster to be intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. It has helped me to develop a greater understanding of the discipline and also furthered my interest in the area. As a result I am now pursuing a PhD in the field of Law and Religion.

Find out more

Why study the Religion, Law and Society MA/LLM?

Postgraduate Law Courses at Westminster Law School

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £5,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £7,000 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

Westminster Law School resides at Little Titchfield Street, part of our Regent Campus. Alongside a full mock courtroom, hi-tech learning spaces and a pro-bono clinic, it also houses our state-of-the-art, 382-seat lecture theatre. For more details, visit our Little Titchfield Street page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

More information

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