Religion in the Public Sphere - Home Track
(Master of Arts)

Two visually very different people are standing in front of a bus with the inscription "There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life". © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Girl with a one-track mind
© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Girl with a one-track mind


Course type
Postgraduate studies (Master)
Standard Course Duration
4 semesters
Course Start
Winter semester
Language of Instruction
Language Requirements

English B2
Find out more

Restricted admission

Stay abroad possible, but not obligatory.

Short Description

This master’s programme focuses on the current debate concerning “religion” in various areas of the public sphere. Geographically, the emphasis is initially on Europe, leading to subsequent international comparisons. This concerns the discourse on “religion” (e.g. exemptions for “religion” in social spheres) as well as discourses on individual religions (e.g. Christianity as “cultural heritage”, Islam as a “challenge”, and Buddhism as a “modern philosophy of life”). As such, this M.A. in Religion in the Public Sphere differs from many traditional Religious Studies programmes, which tend to focus on religious practice in religious communities.

Students will be prepared to work in a professional environment that addresses these processes and the fruits of multicultural, democratic societies. They learn to analyse different conflict constellations, to address these constellations confidently and constructively, and to develop sustainable, solution-focused strategies.

The degree programme is offered by the Institute for the Study of Religion in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology. A special feature of the programme is that it gives students the option of gaining a double degree instead of just the master’s degree in Hannover. This is made possible through cooperation with the universities of Södertörn (Sweden) and Roma Tre (Italy).

Course Content

  • Debate concerning “religion” in society and culture
  • Debate concerning “religion” in educational contexts, politics and law
  • “Religion” and “secularity”
  • Discursive research into religion
  • European perspective and international comparison
Course Structure

The degree programme can be studied as a home track or double degree track. Both tracks focus on the debate concerning “religion” in a variety of social spheres. The debate is exemplified by the three topic modules “Education and Research”, “Politics and Law” and “Society and Culture”, which mark different arenas of the public sphere. The underlying theoretical perspective on the thematic area is generated together in the “Introductory Module” and expanded on in the “Research and Debates” module. Students practice using the methodological tools required to empirically research the object of investigation in the “Methods” module.

Students from both tracks take the same modules in the first, second and fourth semesters. Students on the double degree track spend their third semester at one of our two partner universities. Students on the home track use this semester to conduct their own research project under supervision or to complete a study-relevant internship.

Preparation of the master’s thesis in the fourth semester is accompanied by an examination colloquium.

Semester 1 2 3 4
Compulsory modules

Introductory Module (10 LP)
Thematic Module I: Education and Research (10 LP)
Thematic Module II: Politics and Law (10 LP)

Module "Research and Debates (10 LP)
Methods (10 LP)
Thematic Module III: Society and Culture (10 LP)
Field Module (Home Track) (30 LP) Internship or Reseach Project Master Thesis (30 LP)
Recommended Abilities
  • An interest in current social and political development processes
  • Enjoyment of interdisciplinary discourse and international exchange
  • A basic knowledge of the theories and methods of religious studies and social sciences
  • The ability to persevere with exploring an object of research intensively and to thoroughly read specialised texts
  • A good command of English
  • Scientific work, creativity, a structured and critical mind-set
Career Opportunities
  • Universities, higher education institutions and non-university research institutes
  • Science policy and management
  • Adult education, trade unions
  • Media, journalism, publishing
  • Cultural management, cultural mediation, marketing, public relations
  • Political consulting
  • International government institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Foundations with an international orientation
  • Archives, libraries and museums
Admission requirements and application

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate degree in a related field of study, such as

OR a Bachelor''s degree or equivalent degree in a religious studies or sociology programme or subject. Alternatively, a Bachelor''s degree or equivalent degree in a cultural or social science field of study (primarily anthropology, ethnology, history, cultural studies, Jewish studies, Islamic studies, political science, a regional science as well as comparable courses of study abroad with a corresponding foreign language designation) with proof of in-depth knowledge of content relevant to the study of religions.

For master's degree programmes with restricted admission, places shall be allocated according to the university’s own selection procedure, if there are more applicants fulfilling the admission requirements than there are places available. The exact admission requirements can be found in the admission regulations:

Application Deadlines

First-year students from Germany and the EU

  • June 1st – July 15th of the year for the winter semester

First-year students from non-EU countries (VPD from uni-assist is required)

  • April 15th – May 31st of the year for the winter semester

Students resuming their studies and transfer students from Germany and the EU (application in a higher semester)

  • June 1st – July 15th of the year for the winter semester
  • December 1st – January 15th of the year for the summer semester

Students resuming their studies and transfer students from non-EU countries (application in a higher semester)

  • April 15th – May 31st of the year for the winter semester
  • October 15th – November 30th of the previous year for the summer semester

What is it like to study Religion in the Public Sphere?

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Zentrale Studienberatung
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover
Zentrale Studienberatung
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover