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Religious Studies and Politics (BA)

Entry year


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

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Course overview

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.
UCAS codeVL62
Next intakeSeptember 2019
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.
  1. School of History, Archaeology and Religion

    John Percival Building

    Colum Drive

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EU

  2. School of Law and Politics

    Law Building

    Museum Avenue

    Cardiff

    CF10 3AX

Entry requirements

BBB - BBC. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects but please note General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted.   

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DMM in Humanties, Social Science, Applied Science or Computing. Any other BTEC subject if combined with an A-Level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking).

Achieve the IB Diploma with 655 in 3 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the Cardiff School of Law and Politics and School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-scores.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 22 for Writing and 20 in all other components.

PTE Academic

At least 62 with 62 in Writing and no less than 54 in all other components.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language will be considered at grade C. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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 (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£16,950None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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.

Additional costs

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

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 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

In your first year, you will take 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of Politics modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
The Origins and Legacies of Religion in the Modern WorldRT010120 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Art, Archaeology and Culture in Ancient GreeceCE478310 credits
Medieval QueenshipCE521710 credits
Fiction vs History: The Real Game of ThronesCE527010 credits
Life, Love and Death in Early Modern EnglandCE527110 credits
A World Full of GodsHS000120 credits
Projecting the Past: Film, Media and HeritageHS000220 credits
Inventing a Nation: Politics, Culture and HeritageHS110920 credits
Medieval Worlds, AD 500 -1500HS111220 credits
The Archaeology of Mediterranean Societies: Egypt, Greece and RomeHS212320 credits
Deep Histories: the Archaeology of BritainHS212420 credits
Introduction to Ancient History 1: Gods, Kings and Citizens, 1000-323 BCEHS310520 credits
Introduction to Ancient History 2: Empires East and West, 323 BCE to 680 CEHS310620 credits
Reading Latin1HS312120 credits
Reading Latin 2HS312220 credits
Reading Greek 1HS312320 credits
Reading Greek 2HS312420 credits
Y Da, Drwg a'r Gwleidyddol: The Good, the Bad and the PoliticalPL919320 credits
Introduction to Political SciencePL919420 credits
Introduction to International RelationsPL919520 credits
Introduction to Political ThoughtPL919620 credits
Introduction to GlobalisationPL919720 credits
Introduction to European IntegrationPL919820 credits
Introduction to GovernmentPL919920 credits
Themes and Issues in the Study of ReligionRT010220 credits
Introduction to a Scriptural Language 1RT010320 credits
Introduction to a Scriptural Language 2RT010420 credits
Introduction to the BibleRT010520 credits
The Story of ChristianityRT010620 credits

Year two

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Now and Next: From Academia to Employment (20 Credits)HS000420 credits
Gender, Sex and DeathPL922020 credits
International Relations of the Cold WarPL922120 credits
Colonialism, GPE and DevelopmentPL922220 credits
Digital Technologies and Global PoliticsPL922320 credits
Global GovernancePL922420 credits
EU PoliticsPL922520 credits
Comparative Politics: Protest, Power and PopulismPL922620 credits
From Espionage to Counter-Terrorism: Intelligence in Contemporary PoliticsPL922920 credits
The Power and Politics of Research MethodsPL923020 credits
Critical War and Military Studies: an IntroductionPL923120 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL923320 credits
Credoau'r CymryPL928620 credits
British Politics since 1945PL928720 credits
International Security: Concepts and IssuesPL928820 credits
Justice and Politics: Contemporary Political TheoryPL929120 credits
Global JusticePL929220 credits
Political Thought from Marx to NietzschePL929320 credits
Political Thought from Machiavelli to RousseauPL929420 credits
International Law in a Changing WorldPL929920 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
What is ReligionRT020120 credits
Independent Study or Critical TranslationRT020220 credits
Exploring Christian DoctrineRT020320 credits
Christian EthicsRT020420 credits
The Hebrew Bible: Stories, Suffering and JusticeRT020520 credits
The War of the Worlds: an introduction to the MahabharataRT020620 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT020720 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT020820 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT021020 credits
Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021220 credits
Further Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021320 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
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Bombs, Bullets and Ballot-boxes: the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Political Economy: Rationality in an Irrational World?PL932520 credits
Popular Culture and World PoliticsPL932820 credits
China in the WorldPL933020 credits
Cybersecurity: Diplomacy and Digital Rights in Global PoliticsPL933220 credits
A History of British IntelligencePL933320 credits
The Politics of Violence and KillingPL933520 credits
Justice, Legitimacy and International LawPL933620 credits
Latin American PoliticsPL933720 credits
Sex, Drugs and Public PolicyPL933820 credits
Visual Global PoliticsPL933920 credits
Politics in Practice: Work Placement ModulePL934020 credits
The Soul and the City: Plato’s Political PhilosophyPL934120 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsPL937620 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Personality and PowerPL939220 credits
What is ReligionRT020120 credits
Independent Study or Critical TranslationRT020220 credits
Exploring Christian DoctrineRT020320 credits
Christian EthicsRT020420 credits
The Hebrew Bible: Stories, Suffering and JusticeRT020520 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT020820 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT021020 credits
Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021220 credits
Further Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021320 credits
Myth and the Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT340120 credits
The War of the Worlds: an introduction to the MahabharataRT340220 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT340320 credits
Emotions, Symbols and Rituals: Studying Religion Through FilmRT340520 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 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.

Learning and assessment

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. 

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

14%

Guided independent study

86%

Placements

0%

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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

60%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

40%

Year 2

Written exams

35%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

65%

Year 3

Written exams

30%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

70%

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.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

In 2015/16, 94% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating. 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 2015/16, 97% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

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.

Placements

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.

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