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Student and tutor module reviews

Why is religion controversial?

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A332
  • Level: 3

Student reviews

I found this module fascinating and was lucky to have a very enthusiastic tutor.

Like a previous reviewer, I found the ART tool difficult to use and I did not enjoy making the presentation. However, although this did not apply to me, I appreciate that many people may have to do this sort of thing in their professional lives, so it would be useful for them.

I made sure I fully understood the guidelines for the EMA and kept referring to them as I wrote it. In particular, the number of independent sources to use, and what qualified as an independent source can be confusing.

I think knowing exactly what was required for the EMA was the reason why I scored a high mark. I was very pleased with my module result.

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: September 2016

A332 is a topical and thought-provoking module and I am so pleased that I selected it as the final module towards my BA (Hons) History.

I was keen to learn more about religion and its place in society, both now and in the past, and this module does just that by providing a greater insight into the main official religions alongside atheism and non-official religious beliefs such as animism. Most importantly, the module reveals how religion and religious beliefs are intertwined with other controversial factors, and demonstrates how a historical, sociological and ethnographic approach is taken to study 'religious controversies'.

The module books are: Controversial Figures; Controversial Practices; Controversial Ideas, and Controversial Futures. I found the books to be fascinating in their own right as well as when considering them together alongside the three module themes of continuity and change, diverse and contested perspectives, and religion as a category of scholarly enquiry. The module is highly engaging and I felt that I learned so much through working through the materials, further reading, and from considering the TMA questions from the outset. I had never considered, for example, the links between yoga and Indian nationalism. Nor, how atheist and cognitive approaches to religious belief can be challenged by considering broader concepts of religion and belief systems. I attended all the tutorials and, as usual with the OU, had a great tutor who went the extra mile to provide further insight into religion in its historical context.

I would thoroughly recommend A332 to any student even if they haven't studied religious studies at level 2 - I hadn't. I did, however, read the some of the 'Short Introduction' booklets as suggested and found them useful pre-module reading.


Kim Hetherington

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: August 2016

I took a gamble when I chose this module because it was very different from anything else I have studied, however I quite enjoyed it. We seemed to start off gently, learning about four different religious characters, and advanced quite quickly to more complex material. The content was varied and, as usual, the OU offered a range of learning material (books, films, audio etc). I thought the content was a bit dry and stuffy in places and in one or two of the TMAs I got quite low marks and I didn't really understand why (despite detailed feedback from my tutor). I learned a lot but I could have enjoyed it more.

Jane Elizabeth England

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: February 2016

This was one of the best courses I've done with the OU - the focus was less on knowing stuff and more on understanding stuff which compared with some courses was delightful.

The use of up-to-date online sources was excellent, and a clear contrast with some of the other OU courses which rely on students buying significant amounts of additional set books (often written by the tutors).

The ART tool is a pain, and requires some IT skills but isn't a terrible thing to do.

The EMA gives you the ability to genuinely apply your understanding and knowledge with your abilities to look at the topics in the context of the real world issues we discuss.

Tutorial support was excellent - wholeheartedly recommended

Paul Willgoss

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: October 2015

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.


Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the October 2016 presentation of A332. The survey was carried out in 2017.

103 students (a response rate of 40.6%) responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module.

Please note that if the percentage of students who responded to this module survey is below 30% and/or the number of responses is below 23 it means that only a small proportion of students provided feedback and their views as shown here may not be fully representative of all students who studied the module.

See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

% Count
Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 90.3 93
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 90.3 93
The module provided good value for money 80 76
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 91.1 92
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 90.3 93
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 95.1 98
I would recommend this module to other students 84.2 85
The module met my expectations 84.5 87
I enjoyed studying this module 88.3 91
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 87.4 90
Faculty comment: "The module team is very pleased that over 90% of respondents were satisfied with the quality of the module, study experience, quality of teaching materials and quality of assessment. Student satisfaction scores for value for money, workload and enjoyment also improved significantly. In response to student request, the module team will be providing three Adobe Connect Lectures with chapter authors. In response to the External Examiner's suggestion, we are improving the range of marking criteria for the end-of-module assessment to give students more useful feedback in October 2017. The module team is committed to continuing to improve the student experience. "
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