This course is discontinued

PSY2504 – Psychology of religion

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course provides an introduction into the most important areas in the Psychology of Religion. Central topics are:

  • Definitions of concepts
  • Spiritual and religious experiences
  • Different methods for alterations in consciousness (for example mediation and narcotics)
  • Conversion
  • Religious-, spiritual- and moral development
  • Religion, personality and health
  • Religion, culture, identity and the socially constructed reality
  • Groups: New religious movements (NRM), sects and cults. The debate about brain washing in NRM
  • Theories and research methods

Learning outcome

You should be able to:

  • Describe and discuss central topics in the Psychology of Religion, theories and research findings

You should:

  • Develop your skills in critical analyses and reflection
  • Get experience of group work and presentation of selected themes in plenum

General competence:
You should be able to:

  • Clarify and work on your attitudes to religion in general and to issues within the Psychology of Religion in particular


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

60 credit points completed from university or university college


The teaching will be given predominantly in the form of lectures, but group work presentations are also included.


Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Students will be evaluated on the basis of a home exam at the end of the course. Homework assignments are posted on fronter, please see the course semester page for information about time and deadline for submission. Two topics will be given; candidates will select one of them. The length of the home exam essay should be ca 3000 words.

Any exam at the University of Oslo may be checked for both correct word count and incidents of cheating. The text recognition software Ephorus could be used to find cases of plagiarism.

Language of examination

You can submit your exam written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish. Read more here: §5.4 i Forskrift om studier og eksamener ved Universitetet i Oslo

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Examination results will be published in Studentweb within three weeks after the day of examination. If the examination results are delayed, a message with the new deadline will be posted on the semesterpages to the course in question.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language