Religious Studies and Politics (BA)

Politics and Religion are two subjects which impact heavily on each other in a fascinating way

The BA Religious Studies and Politics joint honours degree gives you the opportunity to combine study of religion – part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day – with governmental and political theory. Through the flexible modular programmes on offer in both disciplines, students will develop vital transferable skills for entry into the graduate job market.

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.

Politics is a fascinating subject that has a significant impact on our everyday lives. The field of politics allows you to explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability. Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

Distinctive features

  • The opportunity to specialise in two university honours subjects.
  • The chance to explore complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.  
  • Academic links with the National Assembly for Wales via the Welsh Governance Centre and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVL62
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Typical A level offerAAB. Three A-level subjects, excluding General Studies.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWelsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a grade A in the Core and grades AB at A-level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points overall, to include 6, 6, 6 at higher level and English at subsidiary level 6.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a three-year degree programme. You will study 120 credits a year split equally between Religious Studies and Politics.

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 will take 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of Politics modules.

Year two

In Year 2, you will take 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of optional Politics modules. 

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
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
British Politics since 1945PL928720 credits
International Security - Concepts and IssuesPL928820 credits
Politics and Policies of the European UnionPL929020 credits
Conducting Political ResearchPL929620 credits
International Law in a Changing WorldPL929920 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Credoau'r CymryPL928620 credits
O'r Groegiaid i GymruPL928520 credits
Political Thought from Marx to NietzschePL929320 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
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
Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits
Colonialism, GPE and DevelopmentPL922220 credits
Gender, Sex and DeathPL922020 credits
Global GovernancePL922420 credits
Digital Technologies and Global PoliticsPL922320 credits
International Relations of the Cold WarPL922120 credits
Theory and Practice in Comparative PoliticsPL929820 credits

Year three

You will choose a further 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of Politics modules.

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

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
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL938820 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsPL937620 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits
History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
Myth and The Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Free Speech in a Multicultural SocietyPL931420 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
Islamic Law and SocietyRT136120 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
Devolution in Practice: Welsh Law and Politics Work PlacementPL931020 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Bombs, bullets and ballot-boxes: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Intelligence in Contemporary Politics: Bond, Bourne and the Business of SpyingPL932320 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.

Welsh language teaching

Politics and International Relations provide opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Seminar teaching in Welsh is available in modules in each of Years 1, 2 and 3.  Students may elect to write all or some of their assessed work and examinations in Welsh. 

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 Law and Politics

In 2013/14 over 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

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.