Religious Studies and English Literature (BA)

Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences in the two subjects.

This joint honours degree gives you the opportunity to combine the study of Religious Studies with the opportunity to encounter English literature in all its diversity.

English literature at Cardiff has long enjoyed an international reputation for its teaching and research. But more than this – we pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for our students. We aim for the best and for success in all we do.

Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

Religion has been the way most cultures have sought to express their understanding of the purpose of life and the foundation of personal and social behaviour.  You will have the opportunity to explore your own and other peoples' religious history and culture, and some of the fundamental questions of existence, in a flourishing centre of research. Your lecturers are active researchers in their fields, bringing the latest research into teaching.

Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

Distinctive features

This degree provides the training necessary for students who wish to study either discipline at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who wish to enter a variety of other professions.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVQ63
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1450 applications.
Typical A level offerAAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer35 points, 6 points each required from English and one other subject, both at higher level.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a three-year degree programme. You will study 120 credits of modules per year, split equally between the two subjects.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

In your first year, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of English Literature modules.

You may study religion through texts, poetry, art, film, biographies, fieldwork and drama. You will be introduced to key ideas about ritual, gender and place that provide a dynamic foundation for further study across a range of modules offered in your second and third years. You will also have the option to study one of the original languages of religious texts on offer.

Year one English Literature is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in years two and three.

Year two

In Year Two, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of English Literature modules. 

In Religious Studies you will have the opportunity to develop a more advanced knowledge of a range of religious traditions, building on introductory modules undertaken in year one and develop your awareness of the role of religion in shaping the cultural, intellectual, and ethical concerns of contemporary societies. 

In year two English Literature there are no compulsory modules. You may select from a range of modules based on period, genre or theme in which you will be reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Fiction of The Indian SubcontinentSE228320 credits
Creative Writing ISE241720 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Reading Old EnglishSE244120 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
The Post-1945 American NovelSE256620 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Contemporary Women's WritingSE244620 credits
Children's Literature: Form & FunctionSE244720 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Ways of ReadingSE244920 credits
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
Romanticism, Politics, AestheticsSE246920 credits
Shakespeare's Tragedies and HistoriesSE247720 credits
Chivalry and Subversion in Medieval LiteratureSE246420 credits
Shakespeare's Late PlaysSE259420 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
Contemporary Irish PoetrySE247320 credits
The Twentieth Century Novel in the British IslesSE245620 credits
Modern and Contemporary Women's PoetrySE247420 credits
Style & GenreSE141620 credits
Visual VictoriansSE247520 credits
Mapping Wales: Politics and Identity in Contemporary Welsh Fiction in EnglishSE247820 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
Myth and The Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Islamic Law and SocietyRT136120 credits
History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits

Year three

You choose a further 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of English Literature modules.

You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious themes and topics with a range of specialised modules. You may also acquire skills in qualitative and quantitative research into religion(s) in contemporary societies, depending on your module choices.

By your third year of English Literature study you will have gained experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts. You will therefore be in an excellent position to choose between a range of more specialised modules that engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts both well-known and possibly less well-known to you.

If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either Religious Studies or English Literature. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Creative Writing III: Special TopicsSE237320 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Creative Writing II: Special TopicsSE237020 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance LiteratureSE258320 credits
French TheorySE257020 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
Gender & Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsex'd Females: Women in public life, 1770 - 1800SE258820 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Four English Poets of the Twentieth CenturySE259120 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Medical FictionsSE259620 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 credits
Island Stories: Literatures of the North AtlanticSE259820 credits
Dialect in Literature and FilmSE141320 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
The Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
Religion, Politics and Sex, 1640-1714SE254820 credits
Medieval Arthurian LiteratureSE229520 credits
Postmodern American PoetrySE235420 credits
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
Myth and The Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Islamic Law and SocietyRT136120 credits
History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

How will I be supported?

As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance.

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • develop practical research skills
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

In 2013/14, 92% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise, while others compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields. 

We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer.

Religious and Theological Studies students may choose to study the module ‘Religion in the Workplace’ which focusses specifically on developing employability and enterprise skills.

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

In 2013/14, 91% of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

We provide our students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

English literature graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time and careers advice.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.