My experience of the Religion MA so far has been very enjoyable and rewarding, and the best way of conveying this is by giving you an idea of what I get up to on an average day at university. It goes without saying that each day in the life of a Religion student varies; after all, this is what makes the course so exciting! Despite this, here I will aim to give you a good idea of what you can expect from an average weekday during term time.
Each weekday I aim to get up at around 7.30am, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day ahead! After preparing for the day, I leave my flat in London Bridge and head over to the university campus along the Strand. If the weather is pleasant I try my best to walk to my lectures, but if it’s raining (which it usually is!) I will cheat and take the bus or underground.
My first class of the day starts at 9am, and the module is called ‘What is Religion: The Critical Debates’. In this lecture we examine the discipline of religious studies – from the history of the term religion to whether the concept of religion can be considered a Christian invention. This lecture really gave the opportunity for discussion with my fellow students and I particularly enjoyed learning about the various perceptions of religion that my peers had, because everyone contributed different insights and opinions regarding the topic.
After two hours in this class it is time for a coffee break! A group of us walk over to the Kingsway, located 5 minutes from the Strand campus, and we collect some snacks in preparation for the next class of the day. My second lecture starts at 11.30am, and it is called ‘Theology in Practice’. This class is definitely my favourite! We have a different guest lecturer each week, who comes to discuss and present for two hours on a variety of topics relating to practical theology, from interfaith initiatives within the Church of England to the issues faced within the Anglican Communion, and how these problems are being resolved.
Once the class is over I stay and socialise with some of my course mates; we discuss everything from readings to weekend plans, and it’s always enjoyable and reassuring to talk with other students who are in the same boat as you.
The next activity of the day is a field trip to a Hare Krishna temple on Oxford Street.
I meet with my lecturer and fellow students and we walk over to the temple together. Once we have arrived, we have a presentation about the core beliefs of the religion, and then we are lucky enough to be invited to meditate and chant with the Hare Krishna’s. The many field trips to different religious centres and temples all over London is definitely a highlight of the course.
After the trip it’s time to meet up with some friends for dinner. There are so many delicious restaurants and cafes all across London, but one of my favourites has to be Pizza Pilgrims in Covent Garden – delicious!
Following a great dinner, I head back over to the Virginia Woolf Building along the Kingsway, as it’s time for a King’s Religion Society event. The department society is, in my opinion, one of the best at King’s, because of the debate style events that are held on a regular basis. The society chooses topics which are relevant to current news stories and religion, and having the opportunity to debate with one another about interesting (and occasionally controversial) topics is always a highlight of the day! There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with societies at King’s, and my own experience as MA Representative for the TRS Society has given me amazing opportunities to organise events and talks throughout the year for my fellow students.
At the end of the day I head back to my flat to catch up on readings and prepare myself for the next day, and I usually unwind by watching my favourite TV shows on Netflix!