BA History and Theology and Religion

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History and Theology are two disciplines that provide a rich and insightful learning experience when studied together. Religious movements, institutions and theological ideas have had a profound influence on historical events and processes, and vice versa. Awareness of one discipline enables a more informed, nuanced understanding of the other. 

At the University of Birmingham, you will study alongside staff with research expertise in the interplay of history and theology. Our knowledge covers a range of historical periods (antiquity, medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary), geographical contexts (Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America) and religious ideologies. Graduates will be able to engage critically with historical and theological debates and identify how they influence each other, and will have an informed appreciation of the religious and historical context of pressing contemporary issues. 

Course fact file

UCAS code: VV16

Duration: 3 Years

Typical Offer: ABB (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Contact

For more information, please contact

Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator:
Beth Astington

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 5506

Email:
theology-ug-admissions
@contacts.bham.ac.uk
 

Details

Studying History and Theology is an exciting chance to discover how and why our world emerged, alongside the ideas that are shaping religion, faith and spirituality in the 21st century. We provide an intellectually challenging environment which encourages you to question some of the myths, preconceptions and prejudices that surround both subjects.

The size and quality of our History department enables us to offer you a wide range of options across the medieval, early modern and modern periods, and over a vast geographical span. With over 30 full-time academic staff, the department will teach to your interests – whether cultural, social, military, political, economic, or religious history. Moreover, historians in other departments can offer unique insight into Byzantine and African history to broaden your learning opportunities further.

Meanwhile, our innovative Theology department is equally wide-ranging, covering Christianity, Islam and Judaism in detail, as well as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Sufism, Pentecostalism, global ethics and the study of the Holocaust.

Both History and Theology seek to produce graduates with an enthusiastic appreciation of the past and spirituality, as well as the range of skills needed to research these fields, and the ways in which they influence contemporary society.

Why study this course

  • Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds in Theology and Religion. We are ranked 2nd amongst all Theology departments in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, whilst our History department was ranked 1st.
  • Be a part of an exciting department – You will be exposed to a variety of opportunities to enhance your student experience, including regular coffee mornings for staff and students, visiting speakers, lecture series and social events.
  • The City of Birmingham – Birmingham is an ideal place to study History and Theology. The city is one of the most racially, culturally and religiously diverse communities in Europe and the University has excellent relationships with the city's faith communities.
  • Access to a wide variety of resources from the University Library, which is situated next to the History Department, and the Hilton and Styles Libraries in the Arts Building itself. The University Special Collections houses some 60,000 rare and early printed books and upwards of 2 million manuscript and archive items.
  • Our wide variety of modules are very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress, culminating in a final-year dissertation that allows you to carry out in-depth, individually-supervised research into topics of your choice.

Open day talks

Three full videos on YouTube of recent open day talks relevant to this course:

Modules

Please be aware that the following information is intended to provide prospective students with an indicative guide of the modules offered by the School. However, our research is constantly exploring new areas and directions of study, therefore some modules may be dropped and new ones offered in their place.

In this programme, you study half of your modules (60 credits) in History and half in Theology and Religion (60 credits)

First year

History: The first year is the foundational year in an academic process that will see you progress from being a dependent to an independent learner. You will study modules spanning the early medieval to late modern periods. You can choose either Discovering the Middle Ages and Living in the Middle Ages or The Making of the Modern World 1500-1815 and The Making of the Contemporary World 1815-2000 (20 credits per module). These explore fundamental themes and issues focused on key periods  and indicate the kinds of questions historians explore and some of the methods they employ in answering them. You will also study Practising History (A): Skills in History (Autumn semester) and Practising History (B): Approaches to History (Spring semester), which look more closely at the techniques of the historian and at the nature and evolution of key historical debates. 

Theology and Religion: Your first year lays foundations, and introduces you to areas that you can explore in depth later. There are three core courses, which provide introductions to Biblical Studies, Christian Theology, and the Study of Religion. Optional courses include introductions to Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism, to the study of the Holocaust and to the Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek languages.

Second year

History: The second year is an intermediate year that builds on the foundations laid in the first year of study. You engage in Group Research and extend your historical knowledge through two (20 + 20) subject-specific modules chosen from a wide range of available from Option A in the Autumn semester and Option B in the Spring.

Theology and Religion: Here you have more freedom to choose your own subjects for study. These range from the study of the Bible or the Qur’an, to the philosophy of religion, religion, society and politics.

Third year

History: The third year represents the culmination of undergraduate study and the final stage of your transition to an independent learner. You hone your historical skills in Advanced Option A or Advanced Option B and you also undertake an in-depth Special Subject module, which is chosen from a variety of available subjects. 

Year Abroad

This four year route offers you the additional educational benefit of a year of study in an approved University in Europe or in English speaking countries. Students with grades of 2.1 or above in their first year will be asked to apply for the Year Abroad in the first term of their second year and if successful, will go abroad in their third year. In addition to the tutor support given from the host University, students who choose to take a Year Abroad will be allocated a member of staff from the Department of History who will monitor their progress while overseas through regular contact.

Theology and Religion: Again, you have an extensive range of modules from which to choose and can choose do to a dissertation in Theology.

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding
 
Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: ABB

Required subjects and grades: A Level History, Medieval History or Ancient History at grade A

International baccalaureate update

Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.

International students:

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Learn more about applying.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Contact

For more information, please contact

Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator:
Beth Astington

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 5506

Email:
theology-ug-admissions
@contacts.bham.ac.uk
 

Learning and teaching

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and welfare advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Transition review - you will undergo a formal transition review during your first year with an academic member of staff. They will see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support.
  • Academic Skills Centre - the centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

Assessment methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Contact

For more information, please contact

Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator:
Beth Astington

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 5506

Email:
theology-ug-admissions
@contacts.bham.ac.uk
 

Employability

Studying History and Theology at the University of Birmingham will provide you with skills highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market:

  • Understanding complex information
  • Writing clearly and effectively
  • A deep understanding of the past
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to research, analyse and interpret complex information
  • Building a case to critically assess a particular point of view, strategy or course of action
  • Respecting the views of others even if they disagree with you
  • Generally thinking for yourself
  • Managing your time and prioritising your workload

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 4th in the UK for graduate prospects in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015. Our graduates from the Department of Theology and Religion have excellent employment prospects with 85% of graduates entering work within six months of graduation. The equivalent figure for History graduates is 89%.

Theology graduates go on to pursue highly successful careers in professions such as:

  • Law
  • Accountancy
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Management consultancy
  • Local government
  • Housing
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Retail Management
  • Library and Archive work
  • Charity administration
  • Social policy

Some graduates choose to progress to further study, not just in history and theology, but also in politics, international development, sociology and other others

You will also benefit from organised events whereby our graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the variety of roles available to historians and theologians. Many careers-orientated events are arranged in the department over the course of your time at Birmingham to enable you to gain skills so that you join the working world with confidence in your abilities.

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law undergraduate research scholarship scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.

Contact

For more information, please contact

Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator:
Beth Astington

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 5506

Email:
theology-ug-admissions
@contacts.bham.ac.uk