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.
 

Distinctive features

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.

Key facts

UCAS CodeV603
Next intakeSeptember 2016
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-BBB
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, with an AB at A-level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer28-36 points, including scores of 5/4 at Higher Level.
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 programme. You will study modules to the value of 120 credits per year.

Year one

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction To The Study of Religion 2RT111220 credits
Introduction To The Study of Religion 1RT111120 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction To The BibleRT210320 credits
The Story of ChristianityRT410320 credits
Introduction To ArabicRT110920 credits
Further Elementary ArabicRT111020 credits
Introduction To SanskritRT110620 credits
Further Elementary SanskritRT110720 credits

Year two

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
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
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 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
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

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
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
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 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
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 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
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 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?

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.

Feedback

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.

Jobs

  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Theologian
  • Lecturer
  • Historian
  • Priest

Tuition fees

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.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

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.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,500None

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.