Research Methods of Religious Studies

Subject Code: 



  Lecture Date Census Date Location

Semester 1 2017 5-9 June 2017 5 June NTI Wollongong Campus

'Research Methods of Religious Studies’ is an introduction to critical thinking and the various modes of research used in Applied Buddhist Studies.

The basic skills and processes associated with developing research questions, reviewing relevant literature and conducting research are discussed.

Qualitative and quantitative research methods are reviewed. The subject also covers key basic principles in academic writing, including referencing and citation methods.

As part of this subject, students will be encouraged to develop their own original ideas and formulate research proposals that demonstrate their understanding of applied research.

Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of a range of approaches to religious research, their strengths and weaknesses and the contexts in which they can be applied.
  • Compare and contrast qualitative research with quantitative research.
  • Develop an understanding of research ethics and consideration of key issues in applying for research ethics approval.
  • Evolve the capacity to critically review literature on a research topic of interest.
  • Develop the ability to develop a research proposal that clearly outlines the research question, objectives and methodology.
  • Develop an understanding of key principles in academic writing.

Who is it for?

Research Methods of Religious Studies’ is ideal for:

  • any student in NTI’s postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters program in Applied Buddhist Studies
  • academics with an interest in research and religious studies
  • teachers, librarians, and anyone else whose careers require an understanding of research processes
  • anyone interested in history, religion and/or philosophy
  • Buddhism devotees and anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism.


Preliminary reading

1 week prior to lectures and workshops

Lectures and workshops (5 day intensive on-campus)

9:00am - 5:00pm daily


3 weeks - Final assignments due 


Attendance and class participation; reflective journal

Lecture Week


Research idea presentations

Lecture Week


Written assignment on research methods

1 week after Lecture Week


Research proposal and literature review

3 weeks after Lecture Week 



'Research Methods of Religious Studies' is a core subject of Nan Tien Institute's postgraduate Applied Buddhist Studies program. It provides a foundation for the practical and theoretical meditation components of all NTI subjects.

This 6 credit point subject can be part of a:

Master of Arts (Applied Buddhist Studies)

72 credit points

Graduate Diploma of Applied Buddhist Studies

48 credit points

Graduate Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies

24 credit points

Total cost:

Australian students


International students


Entry requirements

There are no prerequisites to study this subject as a non-award student. Buddhists and non-Buddhists are welcome, and no prior knowledge is required.

There are academic and/or program and work experience prerequisites for studying this subject as part of the NTI Applied Buddhist Studies program. Contact NTI for details on entry requirements.