The Study of Religions Department at UCC is the first department of its kind in Ireland. In 2007, a new subject 'Religions and Global Diversity' was introduced to the BA Arts degree at UCC; almost 100 students opted for the year 1 course.
The UCC Study of Religions department fosters an academic, non-confessional and non-theological approach to the study of religions. This differentiates it from traditional theology departments which tend to promote one religion rather than study all equally.
The Study of Religions approach allows for an unlimited range of religious issues to be taken seriously. For example a Study of Religions course on 'religion and politics' might involve the study of Buddhism's political role in Sri Lanka or Tibet, freedom of religion in China and the USA or radical Islam in Pakistan or secular-religious debates in Ireland and Europe. The focus is on religion's role in human life and society; we do not need to know whether religions are 'true' to appreciate the powerful influence of religion at a personal, community and international level.