Religion and Ritual (L6072)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module is concerned with the explanation of religious and ritual phenomena. It explores the key theoretical issues by examining ethnographic material that deals with – among other things – initiation, myth, witchcraft, symbolism and religious experience. There is also some treatment of more 'secular' rituals such as carnival and Christmas.

The focus is as much on how people believe as on what they believe; on why they perform rituals as much as what these rituals look like.

The module explores both classic texts and more recent accounts, to give you a sense of where particular arguments have come from and where they are going.


55%: Lecture
45%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: