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Undergraduate course

Theology & Religious Studies BA (Hons)

Interested in the world's diverse religions and how they sit together or stand apart in our modern era?

religion student classroom

This course will introduce you to the essential elements of the major world religions and enable you to reflect upon the theological, ethical and philosophical issues that arise within them. You’ll discuss diverse theological topics through the exploration of a broad range of religious issues.

96% of 2017 Theology & Religious Studies are graduates now in employment or further study, with 82% of these in professional or managerial roles. (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2017)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – V600
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • School – Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

Modules on this course investigate the relationship between religion and often controversial issues in contemporary life. You will find that Theology & Religious Studies is a lively subject, dealing with some of the most important issues of our time. You will discuss a broad range of topics, including representations of the Holocaust and the ways that film, art and literature communicate theological ideas.

Through this course you will come to understand the rich diversity of the world's religious cultures and the deep theological and philosophical questions underpinning them. You will also reflect on the fascinating role that religious thought and practice plays in today’s society, such as portrayal in the media and the rise of Islamophobia. You will also have the chance to study abroad, with current destinations including Norway and the USA.

There are no formal examinations: assessment includes essays, group and individual presentations, and reflective pieces. We believe in learning through encounter and dialogue, observation and engagement. In this way, this course remains rooted in the realities of everyday life and the challenging search for meaning.

A range of popular career paths utilising the skills cultivated on this course are available. Whilst some graduates pursue a teaching career or move into ministry, others pursue work in social services, law, media, charity and community projects, as well as a variety of roles in the commercial and business sectors.

Course structure

Level 1


Modules include:

Studying Religion (20 credits)
This module introduces you to the academic study of Theology and Religious Studies. It will introduce basic terms, methodologies and issues in the study of religion in preparation for your degree programme.

Values & Virtues: Ethics & Religion (20 credits)
The module will take you through the key concepts and theories in moral philosophy. You will challenge muddy thinking and learn how to identify, critique and apply moral theories with clarity. By the end of the module, you will have gained a critical understanding of classic and contemporary theories underlying religious and secular ethics.

Philosophy & Religion (20 credits)
The module will take you through important debates in the philosophy of religion, from the classic to the contemporary. You will gain a critical understanding of religion as a pervasive aspect of human society as well challenging preconceived ideas and learn how to construct rational arguments.

Global Islam (20 credits)
Islam is a much discussed topic, but often people misunderstand and misrepresent this diverse tradition. We will cover the basic beliefs and practices followed by the majority of Muslims across the globe as well as exploring some of the different groups who call themselves Muslim. The experience of Muslims in the UK will be unpacked from a religious, social and political perspective.

World Christianity (20 credits)
This module introduces the story of Christianity. Students will consider the religion’s global spread, considering its interaction with diverse cultural, political and social contexts. The aim is to enable an understanding of Christianity today, the nature and impact of secularisation and areas of growth and decline.

Level 2


Modules include:

Religion & Human Diversity (20 credits)
This module incorporates the study and development of research methodologies and approaches used within religious studies with a focus on the anthropology of religion. There are opportunities to study indigenous religions and cultural forms of major world religions or different Christian denominations in specific contexts; it also helps to prepare students for third year research modules allowing them to choose a religious community to study from which to begin a research project.

Matters of Life & Death (20 credits)
The module will take you through some of the key life and death issues in practical philosophy. You will challenge existing assumptions by identifying, critiquing and assessing arguments. By the end of the module, you will have gained a critical understanding of religious and medical ethics.

Film, Ethics & Theology (20 credits)
This module will explore the way in which film may be used as a source of theological and ethical reflection and, it will introduce students to a range of approaches to understanding the significance of film-watching more generally. Students will be given a conceptual base on which they will then develop their own engagement with film.

Work Related Learning (20 credits)
This module ensures you are aware of the requirements, resources and opportunities involved in seeking graduate career pathways, postgraduate study or, for mature students, other appropriate vocations. An important element of this module is that you research and reflect on your own learning in relation to skills and career opportunities.

Theology, Action and Reflection (20 credits)
This module introduces you to the theology of praxis. By engaging with faith-based organisations you will link theological study with important and challenging issues such as poverty, homelessness, asylum, addiction, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS.

Level 3


Modules include:

Feminist Ethics & Religion (20 credits)
The module will take you through advanced moral theory and issues in applied ethics, considering both traditional approaches and contemporary feminist arguments. You will challenge presumptions and prejudices and learn to identify gender discrimination in theory and practice, while relating your findings to the teaching and practice of the Abrahamic religions.

Religion & Globalisation (20 credits)
This module includes examination of the religious systems of global society, religions as geographical representations of the global world, religious responses to global issues and more.

Religion and Myth (20 credits)
This module examines the phenomenon of myth through the lens of religious studies. Drawing upon traditions as varied as Hinduism, Christianity, Shinto and Vodou; this module will allow students to develop an understanding of the role that myth plays in religious traditions according to the key theories in the discipline.

Religion & the Visual Arts (20 credits)
This module explores the relationship between religion and the visual arts with a focus on contemporary art. We will cover a whole range of artistic genres, both with specific religious subject matter and without, to explore the myriad ways that religious ideas are expressed in art.

Responses to the Holocaust (20 credits)
On this module you will identify and assess key themes and approaches to Holocaust studies, including women, suffering, identity and memory. This enables you to focus on a particular aspect of the Holocaust in relation to Jewish responses to the events.

Dissertation (20-40 credits) 
In your final year, you will write a dissertation (an independent research project) on a subject of your choice, under the guidance of a supervisor.

All modules subject to availability. Not all modules will run every year.

Teaching & Assessment

You will be introduced to a reflective approach to learning to help you develop your academic, personal and professional skills and you will be encouraged to reflect on your learning throughout your degree programme.

The tutors will use a variety of learning and teaching methods in their sessions which are tailored both towards the subject and different approaches to learning (for example, lectures, seminars, group activities, visiting speakers, media, visits to relevant places of interest.) You will be given opportunities to actively participate in the teaching sessions and to develop your confidence through learning activities such as group discussion and presentations. This will enable you to develop both independence and collaborative skills as you learn both with and from your peers. Your tutor will guide you in preparing for these activities.

You will encounter a range of assessment strategies throughout your degree programme. These are designed to help you to enhance existing skills and build confidence in developing new ones. Assessments will include written, oral and visual communication, which you will be able to build on in the future. For example: essays, group or individual oral presentations, reflective writing, articles, exhibitions, portfolios and dissertations.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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