Welcome to the University of Gävle and Master Programme in Religious Studies!

On this page you can read more about your programme, the introduction for international students and how to get started with your studies!

Get started with your studies!

To be able to use the university web services, register for your courses, take out library books and more, you need to first go through our "Five steps to get started".

Introduction for international students

The International Office at the University of Gävle welcome you to to the introduction for international students on 30th of August. All international students are encouraged to participate. At the introduction day you will receive information about the University of Gävle, as well as practical information about studying and living in Sweden. Please send an e-mail to studentcentrum@hig.se to confirm your attendance at the introduction day.

About the programme

Programme introduction and registration

Programme introduction and registration

Registration and an introductory session to your programme is held on September 3, at 10.15-12.00 in room 31:215. Here you will receive a short introduction to your programme by your programme director, Jari Ristiniemi.

Presence in the introduction is non-mandatory, but we presuppose that you contact Jari Ristiniemi at jari.ristiniemi@hig.se to confirm your participation in the programme. If you have not confirmed your participation either through e-mail or during the introduction, you will lose your place on the programme.

Programme information

Programme information from your programme director

The Master program in Religious Studies is a distance-based educational program that offers the possibility to obtain a Master of Religious Studies entirely off-campus. The official language throughout the studies is English. There are no restrictions related to geographical location. All courses can be followed online. The lectures will be available online on a web-based learning management system Blackboard for watching at any time.

At the University of Gävle you have the unique possibility to study Religious Studies at the master’s level. Here, we study the interaction between individual, society and culture during different historical epochs. The influence of religion on current politics, the relationship between aesthetics/art and religion, the relationship between mentality and forms of organisation, as well as different forms of action strategies for a sustainable society, are all issues in focus. The Master Programme in Religious Studies includes four specialisations, you choose one of these during the second semester: Ethics and leadership; Religion in post-secular society; Environment, health and working life; Religion and folklore in the past and in the present.

A great majority of the world’s population say that that they are followers of different religious traditions. At the same time, religion is heatedly debated in media. The picture is complex and demands specific tools to avoid simplified assumptions: How can we understand the development of terror organisations like the Islamic State, compared to the parallel growth of Muslim feminism and the struggle for civil rights in the Middle East? How about Syria, is Syria the last secular state in the middle of the growing conservative Islam? How about the scientific worldview, does it really offer an alternative to religious world-views? What kind of leadership does the world need today? The spiritual leadership, what is it? How about the burn-out phenomenon, what is its genesis and how to cope with it? How do the indigenous African religious traditions see on the human/nature interaction?

As a student in the master programme, you will be offered the opportunity to pose the above-like questions and learn more about diverse religious phenomena. We explore a variety of religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as expressions of “New Age” like Spiritism and shamanism. The religious ways of living are all expressed in a multitude of ways, for example as beliefs, rituals, codes concerning food and dressing, politics, gender roles, and different art genres. The master programme studies these phenomena from historical, contemporary, behavioural and existential perspectives. All are used to understand the interaction between individual, society and culture in today’s local/global world. The diminishing influence of traditional religion in different contexts and religious change are also studied. In addition, we also ask the question if there is a difference between what we call religion and spirituality, and if they are related.

The course communication will happen both through the learning platform Blackboard and through e-mail contacts.

In preparation for your first courses

In preparation for your first courses

Below you will find welcome letters for the first course(s) that you will take as part of your programme. You will find information about course registration, links to the course syllabus and reading list, timetable and more in your course welcome letter. Welcome letters for courses are published at the latest four weeks before the course start date.

Information from the Student Union

Information from the Gefle Student Union

If you are a new student who has just arrived to Gävle, you are not alone. Finding meeting places and new friends is often where the fun begins. The Gefle Student Union work in conjunction with student organisations to improve courses, student social environments and many of the entertaining aspects available to you during your study period. To become involved in the Gefle Student Union is therefore a great opportunity to take part in and be able to influence student life and at the same time get to know students studying other subjects.

Don’t hesitate to send an email to the Gefle Student Union and make sure to follow their social media accounts.


If you have any questions about the programme, please contact the programme director, Jari Ristiniemi.

E-mail: jari.ristiniemi@hig.se
Phone: +46 70 721 49 21

General information

You need to apply for accommodation yourself. Please remember to do it in good time before your arrival. The University of Gävle does not provide any student accommodation.

Hig.se/student is the website for you as a student at the University of Gävle. Here you will find a news feed, links to pages relevant for your studies and lots of important information.

IT support
You can turn to IT support if you encounter any problems regarding your user account or any other IT related problems. The IT support is open for visits 09.00-15.00 in building 22, Monday to Friday. You can also contact them by telephone +46 26 64 88 00 or e-mail itsupport@hig.se.

The library is located in the middle of campus and is open to everybody. You can reach all digital resources such as e-books and e-journals after logging in with your user account.

Residence permit
If you are a non-EU citizen you need to apply for a residence permit. Start the process of applying for a residence permit as soon as possible. This can be a slow process and take several months. It is therefore good to get started as soon as possible!

Student Centre
At the Student Centre you will meet knowledgeable staff that can assist you in just about anything regarding your studies at the University of Gävle. The Student Centre is located in building 22. You will also find a café in this area and TV displays showing current information and the daily timetabling. If you have any study-related questions, you can contact the Student Centre at studentcentrum@hig.se.

Student support
Sometimes you need help to manage your studies and student life. At the University of Gävle we have several support functions to help you deal with various study-related situations, such as, for example, study guidance counselling, student health and welfare, and support for disabled students.

Tuition fees
If you have any questions about tuition fees, please find more information on this page.

Published by: Lisa Olsson Page responsible: Lisa Olsson Updated: 2019-04-16
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
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