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BA History and Theology

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
VV16
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (International)
More detail.

Religious movements, institutions and theological ideas have had a profound influence on historical events and processes. Studying undergraduate 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.

The University of Birmingham provides an intellectually challenging environment to nurture your enthusiastic appreciation of the past and spirituality. Our knowledge covers a wide range of historical periods (antiquity, medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary), geographical contexts (Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America) and religious ideologies, which encourages you to question some of the myths, preconceptions and prejudices in the interplay of history and theology. 

During your degree course, you will also develop an informed appreciation of the religious and historical contexts surrounding pressing contemporary issues, which will allow you to engage critically with historical and theological debates and identify how they influence each other. We are placed in the Top 15 for History in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, and in the Top 10 for Theology in the Complete University Guide 2022. 

Studying undergraduate Theology and Religion allows me to explore a wide range of topics from the Holocaust to sociological approaches. The Religion in Contemporary Society module inspired me to pursue a legal career because I now understand how laws are evolving to accommodate changing religious beliefs.

Cait

Why study this course?

  • Taught by experts – You will study your degree course alongside some of the finest minds in both subject areas. Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History 1st in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, whilst our Theology department was ranked 2nd.
  • Culturally-diverse city – All faiths are well-represented in Birmingham, with more than 650 churches, mosques, synagogues and temples across the city. Outside London, Birmingham has the UK’s largest Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist communities, the second largest Hindu community and the seventh largest Jewish community.
  • Be a part of an exciting department – You will be exposed to a variety of opportunities to enhance your undergraduate student experience, including regular coffee mornings for staff and students, visiting speakers, trips, lecture series and social events.
  • Access to a wide variety of resources - The Cadbury Research Library is home to the University of Birmingham’s historic collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs and associated artefacts. The collections, which have been built up over a period of 120 years, consist of more than 200,000 rare printed books including significant incunabula, as well as more than 4 million unique archive and manuscript collections.
  • Excellent employability development – You will have the option of taking the Theology work placement module in the second year of your degree course, where you will spend time in a school, charity or even abroad to inform your understanding of significant religious traditions within the workplace. 95% of BA Theology and Religion graduates enter work and/or study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017). Our academics have a long standing working relationship with policy makers and regularly advise governments and public bodies nationally and internationally on engagement with faith communities including during the Covid pandemic. A degree in History and Theology offers an excellent preparation for any kind of professional role that requires engagement with diverse communities and navigating their particular needs and challenges.

Open day talks

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2021. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

 

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

Year 1

History compulsory modules:

  • Practising History (A): Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Practising History (B): Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Discovering the Middle Ages (20 credits) OR The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (20 credits)
  • The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present (20 credits) OR The History of Africa and its Diaspora (20 credits)

Theology compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to the Study of Religion A (10 credits)
  • Introduction to the Study of Religion B (10 credits)

Detailed description of Year 1 Theology compulsory module

You will also take 40 credits of optional Theology modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • History - Group Research (20 credits)
  • Dissertation preparation module (20 credits) (if planning to take the final year dissertation in Theology)

You will also make up your remaining History credits with optional History modules and your remaining Theology credits with optional Theology modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final Year

History Compulsory modules:

  • Special Subject modules OR History Dissertation (40 credits)

You will also spend your remaining History credits in optional modules

Theology compulsory modules:

  • 12,000 word Dissertation if not taken in History (40 credits) OR 6,000-word Dissertation if not taken in History (20 credits) 

You will also spend your remaining Theology credits in optional modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International 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.
General Studies:
Accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including an A in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Pathways to Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. We are proud to offer prospective applicants at one of our partner institutions the support of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes to access a degree at the University.

We have a range of initiatives for Year 12 students to help make informed decisions about higher education. Our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme, for Year 13 students, allows participants to experience university study and prepare for the transition to university.

Successful completion of one of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes means students may be eligible for extensive financial support and an alternative offer, typically up to 2 grades below the standard offer, along with other benefits.

To find out more, please visit the Pathways to Birmingham webpage.

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 one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

The truth is flux. Everything is on the move. Everything is changing. The Buddhist is trying to persuade you to go with the flow, to let go of yourself, to let go of the idea that there is a God, and go with the flux.

Dr David Cheetham

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

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 advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to 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.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact hours

On the History side of your degree, you can expect about 4 contact hours per week in your first year, 3.5 to 4 hours in your second year and 3.5 to 4.5 hours in your final year, depending on the focus of your dissertation.

On the Theology side of your degree, you can expect approximately 5 contact hours each week throughout the course of your programme. Contact hours will vary across the years of the programme depending on the optional modules you take and as independent study becomes more of a focus.

Contact hours will be a combination of lectures and seminars and the independent research that you conduct in your final year will be supported by 1 to 1 supervision meetings with a lecturer.

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.

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Over 90% of our History and Theology students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

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

History and 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 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

The University of Birmingham is the most targeted university by the country’s top graduate employers according to The Graduate Market 2021 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisers and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internships, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in the The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.

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