Religious and Theological Studies (BA)
The BA in Religious and Theological Studies (Single and Joint Honours) provides students with a critical understanding of religious and theological studies with relevance to the historical development of religion in contemporary societies.
Religion has been part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day. It 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.
As a student of Religious and Theological Studies, you will have the opportunity to explore your own and other peoples' religious history and culture, and some of the fundamental questions of existence. Your lecturers are active researchers in their fields, bringing the latest research into teaching.
This programme will provide you with a critical understanding of religious and/or theological studies with relevance to the historical development of religion(s) in contemporary societies. You will be encouraged to explore religions and theologies in relation to a wide range of historical, theoretical, and social issues, and according to a range of methodological approaches (including textual hermeneutics, language study, gender theories, cultural and theoretical anthropology, conflict studies, media, and globalisation).
The wide range of optional modules offers great breadth, but also enables students who wish to specialise after the first year to focus on such areas as Islamic Studies, Asian Religions, Religious Studies, Biblical Studies and Christian Theology.
At Cardiff University, BA Religious and Theological Studies you will have the opportunity to learn languages that allow you to study some religious texts in their original form, for example New Testament Greek and Sanskrit.
|Next intake||September 2016|
|Typical places available||The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||AAB-BBB|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||Grade A in the Core, with an AB at A-level.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||28-36 points, including scores of 5/4 at Higher Level.|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course|
This is a three year programme. You will study modules to the value of 120 credits per year.
In year one, you will take at least 80 credits in Religious and Theological Studies. These modules will allow you to study religion through texts, poetry, art, film, biographies, fieldwork and drama.
The remaining 40 credits will be studied in a subject of your choice. This includes the option to begin the study of religious texts in their original language.
Alternatively you may take 40 credits of modules in a wide range of other subjects chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.
In year two you will again study 120 credits. You will have the opportunity to develop a more advanced knowledge of Christian theology and history and related subjects, building on introductory modules undertaken in year one.
You will also develop a more advanced knowledge of a range of religious traditions and further improve your awareness of the role of religion in shaping the cultural, intellectual, and ethical concerns of contemporary societies.
If you have taken a language module in year one you will have the opportunity to deepen your ability to translate and analyse a range of religious texts.
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Year three will allow you to further deepen your understanding of theological/religious themes and topics with a range of specialised modules.
You will have the option to write a research-dissertation or translation based on expertise built up over years two and three. Some modules will enable you to acquire skills in qualitative and quantitative research into religion(s) in contemporary societies.
If you have taken a language module in years one and two, you will have the opportunity to acquire high-level translation, exegetical, and text-critical skills.
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How will I be taught?
A range of teaching methods and learning styles are used throughout the BA Religious and Theological Studies.
Lectures will introduce you to the general issues that will guide your own reading; you will develop your ideas in private study, and they you will be tested and gain feedback on those ideas through seminars. Seminars will include activities such as group discussion, and oral presentation.
How will I be supported?
You will be assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and personal development planning.
As appropriate, modules use the Learning Central electronic learning environment, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and electronic tests. Students undertaking the Open Choice Dissertation or the Open Choice Translation are allocated a research supervisor at the start of the academic year. Opportunities for you to reflect on your general abilities and performance are provided through Personal Development Plans.
You will receive extensive feedback in a variety of forms, including Essay Clinics on formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, essay tutorials, lecturer contact-hours (in office, and electronically).
How will I be assessed?
We will enable you to develop in a high-quality learning environment, supported by a student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills. You will develop a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain practical skills such as team-working, independent research, and time management.
You will be assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. You will also write longer essays, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and a dissertation. You will receive close academic support from the academic staff in all your work. In certain courses, you will give oral presentations as part of your assessment. The marking criteria for this work measure the extent to which you have achieved the learning outcomes for the programme.
Progression is built into assessment, in that you will do smaller guided tasks in Year one, as well as formative essays in Years Two and Three. Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on types of lengthier, independent written work, e.g. written portfolios as 100% assessment model. Final Year modules also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on handling critically a larger number of bibliographical tasks and items.
What skills will I practise and develop?
You will acquire and develop a range of essential transferable and discipline-specific skills, including:
- intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning, assimilating and summarising complex information and ideas, analysing and evaluating evidence, critiquing interpretations or arguments, coping with uncertainty or incomplete data, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting them effectively in writing and in debate;
- employability skills, such as effective communication through written reports and oral presentations, contributing to group discussions, working independently and in teams, using IT resources effectively, and time management;
- enterprise skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, initiative, and independent thinking;
- research skills, such as defining a project, formulating research questions, locating relevant information, and presenting the results in an oral presentation and an extended written report;
- discipline-specific skills, such as analysing historical problems, locating and using appropriate evidence and bibliographic resources, handling literary and archaeological material, analysing images, reading inscriptions, papyri and coins, and understanding the scholarly conventions used in relation to these types of evidence;
- language skills: the programme offers an opportunity for students to study Latin and Greek at beginner’s and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.
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.
UK and EU students (2016/17)
EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Students from outside the EU (2016/17)
Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.
The school has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time.
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.