Master of Social Science (Religion and Society)


Delivery ModeOn campus
LocationParramatta City
Duration 2F / 4P
Apply Direct Code1770.1
UAC Code950846
Intake InformationSemester 1 (Autumn); Semester 2 (Spring)
Fee Information

Local Course Fees (opens in a new window)

Key :  FFull time study,  P = Part time study,  A =  Accelerated full time study

Part-time refers to study load, not to timetabling of evening classes.


Delivery ModeOn campus
LocationParramatta City
Course Code1770.1 [CRICOS CODE 059409K] 
Intake InformationSemester 1 (Autumn); Semester 2 (Spring)
Fee Information

International Course Fees (opens in a new window)

Key :  FFull time study,  P = Part time study,  A =  Accelerated full time study

Part-time refers to study load, not to timetabling of evening classes.


The specialisation in Religion and Society trains students in the social scientific (especially the anthropological and sociological) study of religion. It develops skills in social theory and research methods when dealing with contemporary and sociocultural aspects of religion and spirituality. It also exposes students to current social and cultural issues with regards to religion in Australia and in the world.

Who is this course for?

Students interested in social sciences and religion will find this course of high relevance. It will attract social scientists who want to research deeper questions on religion in society, or theologian or religious studies trainees wanting to develop their social scientific skills when dealing with the religious field. It can be appealing for, among many professionals, theologians from any faith trained locally and/or internationally who want to develop their skills in social scientific theories and research methods as part of a Masters by coursework; a training that is not currently available in Australia. The Masters is also a pathway for our students majoring in Islamic studies to continue their studies.

Educational and personal outcomes

Students will not only gain stronger qualifications in the social scientific study of society and religion, but will also gain new skills in social theory and research methodologies. They will also gain a stronger grasp on how to live in multifaith society and continue to make Australia a successful country. Religious students will gain a stronger understanding of their own faith and their community, as well as the faith of others, while non-religious students will gain stronger insights on the religious phenomenon through a sociocultural point of view.

What makes this course unique at Western Sydney University?

Western Sydney University has a strong focus on the social scientific study of religion. While other degrees tend to focus on the comparative study and history of religions, or on theology and religious education, this degree gives a strong grounding and new skills in the social theory and social research methods when studying religion. This degree is unique in NSW in the sense that it provides lay people with new aptitudes in studying religion in a social world and religious professionals who want to understand the sociocultural aspects of their community.

Advantage of studying this course at Western Sydney University?

Western Sydney University is at the heart of one of the most multifaith locality in the world, and the greater western Sydney is a success story in religious and social cohesion. Further, Western Sydney University was ranked 'at world standards' in both the study of religion and of society and has staff with strong expertise in anthropology, psychology, sociology, and social geography. This specialisation is housed in the leading Religion and Society Research Centre which invites throughout the year international renowned scholars to speak at its various series of public lectures, conferences and symposia.


Access information about the units (subjects) you will complete as well as important admission information:

Admission information and course structureReligion and Society Specialisation

Career opportunities for the Master of Social Science (Religion and Society)

Graduate opportunities

While this specialisation is not tailored to a specific profession or religion, it equips students with strong social scientific skills in the study and understanding of religion.

This is an ideal degree for anyone wanting to work as a social scientists

  doing research for:

  • local, state and federal governmental agencies
  • non-government organisations
  • research marketing companies
  • religious organisations

Academic Profile

Professor Adam Possamai

Adam Possamai is Professor in Sociology. He is the author of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach(Pearson, 2010 with James Henslin and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy),Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y(Equinox, 2009),Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament(Peter Lang, 2007) andIn Search of New Age Spiritualities(Ashgate, 2005). He is the editor ofThe handbook of Hyper-Real Religion(Brill, 2012) and, with Jack Bar…

Read academic profile

How to apply

If you're an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident, you can apply online directly to Western (opens in a new window) for postgraduate coursework in Arts and Humanities, Business, Creative Industries, Engineering and Built Environment, Health Sciences, Law, Computing and Information Technology, Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Psychology, Sciences, Social Sciences, TESOL, Interpreting and Translation or Therapeutic Studies and Counselling. Applications can also be made through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) (opens in a new window).

Applications made directly to Western do not have an application fee.

You can manage your existing direct applications via the Western application portal (opens in a new window) or via UAC.(opens in a new window)

Step by step instructions are available on the How to Apply pages.

If you are an international student, you need to apply through Western Sydney University International. Step by step instructions are available on the International Admissions pages.