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UoA 33 Theology and Religious Studies

From appreciating the importance of Muslim chaplaincy in institutions such as prisons and hospitals to a new translation of a sacred Buddhist text, the impact of our research has helped earn us a GPA of 3.06 and a UK ranking of 10th. A distinctive feature of this unit is that it performs above the sector average for ‘very considerable’ impact, internationally excellent outputs and environment.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 33.0% 43.0% 21.0% 3.0% 0.0%
Outputs 35.0% 40.0% 20.0% 5.0% 0.0%
Impact 20.0% 50.0% 30.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 40.0% 50.0% 10.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

Theology and Religious Studies at Cardiff University combines historical and textual-linguistic study of religious traditions and theologies with social-scientific approaches to religion in contemporary societies.

Three research groups explore religion in late antiquity, Asian religions and religion in contemporary societies. Research interests include the study of Christianity, Buddhism and Manichaeism in Central and East Asia, Islamic studies and Tibetan longevity practices.

During the REF period:

  • research income increased by 16.5% to £1.58 million, including 5 AHRC grants in each of the three key research areas
  • staffing has increased by 10%, with 7 new staff to assure sustainability or invigorate new research areas
  • two new research centres have been developed: the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia and Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies
  • the postgraduate research community grew, with 7 students funded by AHRC BGP or project grants; 1 by an AHRC collaborative award; 3 by overseas government grants; and 5 by a Jameel Foundation grant
  • the total number of research outputs grew significantly, including 17 single-authored and 16 edited volumes, 61 peer-reviewed journal articles, 77 chapters in edited volumes and more than 90 encyclopedias and hand-book entries reflecting increased and increasingly recognised research activity.

Case studies

Muslim Chaplaincy Conference

Improving pastoral care for Muslims

The positive effect of involving Muslim religious professionals in providing religious and pastoral care in public institutions.

Buddhist prayer book

Translation research shapes Buddhist practice in Germany

Our pioneering research into the translation of a sacred Buddhist text has influenced contemporary Buddhist practice in Germany.

Centres and groups

Centre For Late Antique Religion & Culture (CLARC)Promotes and supports the study of late antique religion and culture from the late Hellenistic Period to the early Middle Ages.
Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA)Includes the study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, and of texts and literatures related to these traditions in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese (Brodbeck, Deeg, Hegarty, Johnson, Samuel)
Religion in Contemporary SocietiesFocuses on the study of Islam in contemporary Britain, Chaplaincy Studies, Body, Health and Religion, and Film Studies (Ali, Child, Gilliat-Ray, Malik, Samuel, Todd).

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1 University of Durham 3.34
2 University of Birmingham 3.26
3 University of Lancaster 3.15
3 University of Leeds 3.15
3 University College London 3.15
6 University of Cambridge 3.12
7 University of Kent 3.11
8 University of Edinburgh 3.09
9 King's College London 3.08
10 Cardiff University 3.06

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