For students

This page provides a list of courses for prospective students (single modules, degrees, or short-courses) in the area of atheism, non-religion and secularity. For details of academics supervising postgraduate work in this area, see also our directory of postgraduate researchers. These supervisors may be interested in supervising new projects in this field or able to provide suggestions and recommendations for potential postgraduates to pursue. Information on new courses and degrees should be addressed to the resource editor Jesper Aagaard Petersen.


One-time opportunities such as academic grants, PhD offers and post-doctoral fellowships with short deadlines will be announced on the news page and in out twitter feed.

Pitzer College, part of the Californian Claremont Colleges, offers the Secular Studies program (links to pdf course catalog), administered by Prof. Phil Zuckerman, Dr. Andre Wakefield and others. Secular Studies is “an interdisciplinary program focusing on the manifestations of the secular in societies and cultures, past and present”, and is a combination of courses in sociology, history, psychology, philosophy and STS. Contrary to news reports, it is not a major; nevertheless, the program can be developed into a special major in consultation with Prof. Zuckerman. Details on admission here.

Single modules and short-courses

University of Aberdeen, UK. ‘RS 3005 Atheism‘ (Level three, 30 credits), Dr. des. Anja Finger. The course “provides an overview of the phenomenon of atheism past and present”, and is offered as part of the undergraduate in Religious Studies. Details on admission here. Syllabus can be downloaded in pdf here.

Boston University, US. ‘STH TT816 Atheisms and Theologies’. Dr. Wesley J. Wildman. “The general aim of this course is learn about varieties of atheism – older “classic atheism,” so-called “new atheism” of recent years, and theologically inspired forms of atheism – and to understand the various theological responses to atheism.” The class is intended for advanced masters students and doctoral candidates. Functions in various contexts within the Division of Religious and Theological Studies. You can find the course syllabus here. See also STH TT956 and the PhD specialization in religion and science.

Heythrop College, University of London, UK. ‘AR308 Belief and Unbelief’ (Level 5, 15 credits), Dr. Jonathan Gorsky. The course centers on belief and unbelief in the modern and postmodern world as part of the undergraduate in the Study of Religion. Details on admission here. Syllabus forthcoming.

Lancaster University, UK. ‘PPR351 Modern Religious and Atheistic Thought’ (Level 3, 15 credits), Dr. Gavin Hyman. The course “examines and evaluates some of the most central issues in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Western religious and atheistic philosophical debates”, and is a part of the undergraduate degree in Religious Studies with details here. Syllabus forthcoming.

McMaster University, Canada. Religious Studies 3CC3 ‘Sovereignty and Secularization’, Dr. Dana Hollander. Offered in the Fall of 2011 as part of the undergraduate program in Religious Studies (Western Religious Thought). The course offers an “exploration of key modern Western texts concerning the nature of leadership and authority in both religious and secular contexts” through readings and case studies of important modern or contemporary dilemmas regarding the place of religion in public life.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. ‘RVI2115 Religion, Politics and Science in Global Society‘ (15 ECTS), Dr. Ulrika Mårtensson. Although the course “focuses on the activities of trans-national actors and international organisations, and the conceptions of religion, nation, ethnicity and science which guide them”, and the focus is mainly (but not exclusively) on the Middle East, the course does cover democracy, human rights, and science in the light of secularity. It is part of the 2-year international master’s programme Master of Science in Globalization, but can also be taken as a part of the undergraduate degree in Religious Studies. Curriculum can be found here (in Norwegian).

Pitzer College, US. ‘SOC 165 Secularism, Skepticism and Critiques of Religion’ (links to pdf course catalog), Prof. Phil Zuckerman. The course “examines secular people, atheist ideologies and skeptical criticisms of religion.” Details on admission here. Syllabus forthcoming.

St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, UK. ‘RT251 Atheism and Nonreligion’ (Level 2) is offered as a part of the Theology and Religious Studies degree as discussed by Dr. Stephen Bullivant in ‘Teaching Atheism and Nonreligion: Challenges and Opportunities’. Contact details here. Syllabus forthcoming.

Trinity College, Hartford Conn., US. ‘PBPL 342 Secularism and the Problem of Authority‘. Part of the course catalogue in Public Policy and Law. No details or syllabus. Details on admission here.

Trinity College, Hartford Conn., US. ‘RELG 278 Atheism and the Eclipse of Religion‘. Part of the course catalogue in Religion. No details or syllabus. Details on admission here.

University of Warwick, UK. ‘PO383 The Politics of Religion’ (Level 3), Dr. Steven Kettell. Although the focus is wider than atheism and secularity, a large part is dedicated to these subjects. The course is part of the undergraduate degree in Politics and International Studies with details on admission here. Course syllabus and material provided on the course website.

In the past, Elon University in North Carolina and Santa Clara University in California have offered courses on modern atheism, probably in their Sociology, Anthropology or Religious Studies departments, but no information is avaliable from their websites.