Year 1

Compulsory modules: 

Introduction to the Study of Religion (20)

This module surveys wider theories and debates in sociology, cultural studies and anthropology as a basis for the study of religion, focussing especially on the social and cultural analysis of religion.

Problems of Philosophy (20 credits)

This module introduces a range of key philosophical problems most of which practically everyone with a philosophical temperament has puzzled over before:

  • Scepticism (how can I know anything at all about the world?)
  • Free will (how can I think and act freely, if all my thoughts and actions are determined by the laws that govern the Universe?)
  • The existence of God (does S/He exist?)
  • Realism vs. antirealism (to what extent is reality distinct from how it appears?)
  • The mind/body problem (is the mind just the brain?)
  • Personal identity (what is it about you that makes you the same person as you were years ago?)
  • Utilitarianism vs. Deontology (are actions morally right and wrong ‘in themselves’, or are they so just because of the effects they have on people’s happiness etc?)
  • Ethical obligation (do we have obligations to others?)
  • Moral relativism (are moral values absolute or do they vary from one culture/person to others?)
  • The requirements of justice (who should have what?)

Understanding Politics (20)

This is an introductory course designed to familiarise students with a broad spectrum of theories, approaches and issues related to the concept of power and contemporary political ideas.

The aim is to provide students with a solid foundation of key skills and knowledge upon which they can build their own perspectives on a number of themes and issues which they are likely to encounter over the course of their degree programme.

The course is divided into two main parts – the first part looks at different conceptions of politics and power, whilst the second half of the course examines a number of contemporary ideas and political issues.

Example optional modules may include (choose 20 credits in each group): 

Group A (Theology and Religion)

  • Defining Jews, Jewishness and Judaism(s) (10)

  • Introduction to Islam (20)

  • Introduction to the Study of the Holocaust (10)

  • Themes in Christian Theology (10)

Group B (Politics)

  • Classical Political Thought (20)

  • Introduction to International Relations (20)

  • Introduction to Political Economy (20)

Group C (Philosophy)

  • Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle (10)

  • Ethics: How should we live? (10)

  • Philosophy of Religion (10)

  • Political Philosophy: Can power be legitimate? (10)