Religious Studies

Religious Studies students develop a critical and analytical understanding of human beliefs and the ways they interact with all aspects of human existence.

Religious Studies students take a multi-disciplinary and impartial approach to the study of religions across the globe and develop a range of transferable skills including problem solving, critical thinking and research. Students examine the many influences religion continues to have on culture, society, politics and geography and how this impacts on popular culture and contemporary issues such as international relations, community development, education, health, law, justice, or policy.

Roles and career pathways

Religious studies graduates work in a wide range of roles that utilise their creative and unbiased approach, strong communication skills and analytical and conceptual thinking. These skills alongside an understanding of the relationships, belief systems, influences, and behaviours of people make graduates valuable across many industries. Government ministries employ Religious Studies graduates in policy, stakeholder relations, communications and research analyst or advisory roles. First roles for those with undergraduate degrees may be in an administration or coordination. Religious Studies graduates may also work as community advocates, communications coordinators, web content writers, journalists, recruitment advisers, marketing assistants, programme coordinators, customer service managers or university faculty administrators.

Postgraduate study in Religious Studies or another subject such as an Honours or Master’s degree is helpful for a number of policy and research roles where specialised, in-depth analysis is important.

Adding another social science, humanities or commerce subject or also studying Law can help broaden your employment options.

Where Religious Studies graduates work

Religious Studies graduates work across the private and public sectors in a variety of organisations such as local and global non-profit organisations, church organisations, government departments, professional services firms, universities, small or medium-size businesses or in self employment.

Recent Religious Studies graduates have worked in organisations, including:

Build relevant skills and experience

Part-time work and volunteering during study all help to increase your job prospects when you graduate. The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences helps develop practical work place experience. Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience.

Make career connections

Making connections with individuals and groups during your degree can help you learn more about career and networking opportunities. The Religious Studies Department and the School of Social and Cultural Studies offer various educational seminars throughout the year that allow for opportunities to network with lecturers and fellow students. The Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Wellington Young Professionals offer various events and opportunities for networking. The Alumni as Mentors programme for final-year students also helps enhance your connections and employability while studying.