BA Theology and Religion

This course is in clearing

This course is in international clearing

Religion, faith and spirituality are here to stay, even in a supposedly secular society like the UK. A basic understanding of religion and religions is indispensable knowledge for anyone functioning within a contemporary, multicultural society.

The city of Birmingham, one of the most culturally and religiously diverse communities in Europe, provides a challenging and intellectual environment for studying Theology and Religion. You will have access to excellent relationships with the city’s faith communities, giving you first-hand experience of significant religion traditions.

We have specialist expertise in the study of many of the ideas, movements and traditions that are shaping the twenty-first century, such as feminism and gender studies, cultural studies, Sufism, global ethics, the philosophy of religion and the study of the Holocaust. Students studying on this programme rate it extremely highly – 91% reported that they are satisfied with the quality of the course in the latest National Student Survey.

Course fact file

UCAS code: V600

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 Co-ordinator: 
Hannah Pries

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 6431

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

91% overall student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey

Details

This innovative and wide-ranging programme covers Christianity, Islam and Judaism in details with modules in Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism and special study options in a variety of alternative spiritualties. You will benefit from inventive teaching in a lively department that explores the changing forms of religion today.

The curriculum is designed to move you from a first year with generally larger compulsory classes; through a second year where there are rather more options and a compulsory placement module; to a third year where you determine your own dissertation topic, for which you receive one-on-one supervision and choose all your own modules.

During your second year you will have the opportunity to spend one semester studying abroad with a variety of theology-related subjects to choose from, including specialist topics. There are a wide variety of universities across the globe to pick from and it is possible to attend universities where all the modules offered will be taught in English.

The Theology and Religion department at the University of Birmingham has an outstanding international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The Department of Theology and Religion was ranked second in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Why study this course

  • Highly-rated department – The Department of Theology and Religion is ranked 6th in the Guardian Subject League Table 2015.
  • Excellent employability development – boost your employability skills by completing the compulsory placement module where you have the opportunity to spend time in a school, charity or even abroad.
  • Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds in Theology and Religion. We are ranked second among all Theology departments in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • 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 Theology. The city is one of the most racially, culturally and religiously diverse communities in Europe and the department has excellent relationships with the city's faith communities.

Hear from our students


Transcript

Open day talk

Modules

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

First year

Your first year involves studying introductory modules that provide you with the opportunity to explore a range of topics. Students will take all four compulsory modules, a “module outside their main discipline” and any 20 credits from the optional modules available.

*Please note the range of modules on offer may differ a little from year to year, but the following are an indicative list.*

First year modules include:

Core modules

  • Introduction to the Study of Religion (20)
  • Introduction to Islam (20)
  • Introduction to the History of Christianity (20)
  • Introduction to Biblical Studies (20)
  • Module Outside the Main Discipline (20)

Optional modules

  • Defining Jews, Jewishness and Judaism (10)
  • Hinduism (10)
  • Sikhism (10)
  • Introduction to the Study of the Holocaust (10)
  • Themes in Christian Theology (20)

Second year

In your second year you will be able to go into much greater depth, so that you can pursue the topics and questions that interest and inspire you. You will also be provided with a structured framework for gaining professional skills in presentation and teamwork, as well as identifying an appropriate dissertation area, research question and supervisor, and complete the initial planning and research for your final year dissertation.
You will have a wide choice of optional modules and you will also undertake a placement for two weeks in a school, charity or other situation in the UK or abroad.

You will take two compulsory modules and any additional 90 credits from the optional modules available. There is also the possibility to study abroad in the second semester of your second year.

Second year modules include:

Core modules

  • Dissertation Preparation (10)
  • Placement (10)

Optional modules

  • Religion in Contemporary Society (20)
  • Holocaust in History and Memory (20)
  • The Use and Interpretation of the Bible (20)
  • Sikhism (10)
  • Buddhism (10)
  • Women in Islam (10)
  • Biblical Hebrew Language (20)
  • Special Study (20)
  • Sufism: Belief and Practice (10)
  • Theological Ethics (20)
  • Paradigms of Christian Belief (20)
  • New Testament Greek (20)

Final year

In your final year you will be able to specialise and engage in your own independent study by choosing a dissertation; this will be a major piece of work for which you identify your own topic and carry out research with a supervisor to help produce a 6,000 or 12,000 word essay.

You have the option to take a dissertation, short dissertation or a placement based dissertation and choose from the optional module available to attain 120 credits for the year.

Final year modules include:

Core module

  • Dissertation (40)
  • Short Dissertation (20)
  • Placement-Based Dissertation (40)

Optional modules

  • Christian/Muslim Relations (10)
  • Contemporary Sufi Movements (10)
  • Religion and the Arts (10)
  • Islamic Philosophy (10)
  • Jewish Religious Responses to the Holocaust (20)
  • Biblical Hebrew Language (20)
  • Thealogy: Transgressive Travels with the Goddess (20)
  • New Age and Alternative Spiritualties (20)
  • Dead Sea Scrolls: Texts and Contexts (10)
  • World Christianities (20)
  • Bible and Sacred Space (10)
  • Special Study (20)
  • Living Theology (10) 
  • New Testament Greek (20) 
  • Queer Bibles and Theologies (10) 

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

General Studies: accepted

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.

Additional information:

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry 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.

Joint Honours combinations

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 Co-ordinator: 
Hannah Pries

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 6431

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

91% overall student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey

Learning and teaching

Seminar 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.
 

Contact hours

We offer relatively high levels of contact time with academic staff, including guaranteed tutorial time each week.

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.

 

We also rely on other assessment tasks such as multimedia portfolios, presentations, reflective practice assessments, blogs and take-home exam papers, making sure in each case that you have an excellent opportunity for demonstrating your knowledge and skills.

In our Department we use assessment as a tool for learning much more than just a way of measuring performance. So in many modules you will have both formal and informal opportunities for feedback on your performance. In fact, our feedback for formal assessment exercises has frequently been praised by our external examiners for being comprehensive, constructive and offering clear and specific suggestions for future improvements. You will receive feedback on each assessment task within four weeks.

Contact

For more information, please contact

Admissions and Recruitment Co-ordinator: 
Hannah Pries

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 6431

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

91% overall student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey

Employability

[Video above - Dr David Cheetham discusses careers and employability during the Theology and Religion open day presentation]

 

Studying one of our Theology degrees 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
• 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

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, earning an average salary of £18,000 within six months of graduation.

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

• Law
• Journalism
• Teaching
• Management consultancy
• Local government
• Publishing
• Marketing
• Charity administration
• Social policy

Therefore studying one of our Theology and Religion degrees from the University of Birmingham opens the door to a wide range of careers. Some graduates choose to progress to further study, not just in theology and religion but in politics, international development, sociology and other others. 

Theology alumni profiles

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 Co-ordinator: 
Hannah Pries

Telephone enquiries:
+44 (0)121 414 6431

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

91% overall student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey