The Department is pleased to announce the launch of its innovative new Single Honours programme in Religion & Theology (V600) from September 2013. Building on the strengths of its old Theology & Religious Studies programme, which will cease to operate, the new programme will continue to offer ample opportunities to study the Bible, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. But in addition, aspects of Islam, the Philosophy of Religion, and Chinese religions will feature. And more generally, students will be encouraged to think critically about the nature of religion, the complex interactions of religion with the modern world, and key themes pertaining to living religious traditions (e.g. ethics, mysticism, sex, and politics). A rigorous and critical understanding of religion is crucial to appreciating both Eastern and Western cultures, past and present. It is especially important within a multi-religious society such as the UK. Many employers value graduates with such a background.
The Department of Religion and Theology is a friendly place and this exciting new programme will offer students the ideal means to engage with the academic study of religion in ways that reflect the complex and challenging realities of the modern world. The Department aims to provide excellence in teaching and learning within a stimulating research environment. We aim to produce high-quality graduates with an advanced understanding of religions and the methodologies employed in construing and analysing religions. In addition, the transferable skills that you will be taught will equip you for future achievements in many professional or further research fields.Our overarching aim is to provide excellent research-based teaching and learning in Religion and Theology. You should possess a strong commitment to the importance of the subject and a willingness to pursue it seriously and critically. We accept about 40 students a year for Single (Religion and Theology) and Joint Honours Programmes (either Theology and Sociology or Philosophy and Theology). You will receive high-quality teaching in core and optional areas to facilitate an informed, critical and methodologically complex understanding of religions in societies, past and present.
The department's high standards in research were recognised by the last national Research Selectivity exercise. This strength in research is reflected in its teaching.
Teaching will take a variety of forms, including not just traditional lectures but also small-group work, especially the ever-popular Symposium which will now be extended to the second year as well as the first year. And third years will continue to finish their programme by writing a dissertation supervised by a member of staff on a research topic of interest to the student. Teaching methods used include lectures, seminars, and individual tutorials, excursions and use is made of audio-visual material and internet facilities.
The department is relatively small and contact between staff and students is informal and friendly. There is a staff-student committee which discusses issues of concern to students. You have a personal tutor with whom you can discuss your academic progress and any other individual concerns.
At the end of the first year, there are sessional examinations which must be passed for entry into the second year. Units taken in the second and third year form the basis for final degree classification. These units are assessed by a combination of examination and coursework. Coursework, which may include a third-year dissertation, comprises a minimum of 50% of the total classification mark.
Our programme is not specifically vocational. The normal range of career opportunities open to Arts graduates is open to our students. Some do become priests or ministers, but more become teachers or go into social work, the media or management; 40% of all graduate vacancies are open to applicants from any discipline. For information on skills employers are looking for and how these skills are built into our syllabus, see employability and Religion & Theology (pdf 147 kb).