First Year

Compulsory modules:

Introduction to Biblical Studies (20 credits)

This module aims to give students an introduction to Hebrew Bible and New Testament from the perspective of academic Biblical Studies. Topics covered relate to the historical background to these texts; questions of authorship, dating, and original audience; literary relationships between biblical books; the historicity of the biblical narratives; different theological interpretations of the events the Bible describes; and the relationship between academic and confessional approaches.

Introduction to Islam (20)

This module introduces students to the core elements of Islamic faith and practice with reference to the key Islamic sources and methods of religious thought. It summarises the development of Islamic thought, and the current state of Islam in majority and minority situations.

Introduction to the History of Christianity (20)

This module introduces students to the history of Christianity from the early church to the present, with particular focus on schisms and denominational histories including Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, the early and later Protestant Reformation, non-conformist churches, and the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement of the twentieth century.

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.

Widening Horizons Module (20)

You will need to choose a module that is of interest to you from outside Theology and Religion. There will be a fair at the beginning of the academic year, which you attend in order to make your choice of a module.

Example optional modules may include: 

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

This module introduces and explores a number of different and competing narratives (or accounts/explanations) of ‘who is a Jew?’, Jewishness, and the nature of Judaism(s), how they have developed over time and how they relate to each other. Considerable attention is paid throughout the module to questions of definition and methodology, paying particular attention to key moments in Jewish history, such as Second Temple Judaism, Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment ) and the contemporary period.

Introduction to the Study of the Holocaust (10)

The module explores contemporary debates about how to define, describe and account for the Holocaust, including the nature of non-Jewish victimhood and whether or not this should be understood as part of ‘the Holocaust’, and how events were written about and understood differently from the perspective of victims and perpetrators.

Themes in Christian Theology (10)

This module will consider some major doctrinal and/or thematic aspects of Christian theology. Such doctrines/themes may include Creation, the Human Person, Word of God, Sin, Trinity, Ecclesiology, Christology, Soteriology, Eschatology to mention a few. In critically reviewing such themes, students will study different theological perspectives and viewpoints offered by figures selected from Christian history (and from different regions).