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Guide to studying Theology & Religious Studies

Religion has existed for as long as mankind has walked on Earth – so there's plenty to learn about.

Imam praying inside a mosque


  1. What's Theology & Religious Studies?

  2. Why study Theology & Religious Studies?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Theology & Religious Studies graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Theology & Religious Studies?

Theology is the study of religion and the nature of religious ideas. It's the learned profession of training in religious studies at a university or school of divinity.

Religious Studies is the academic field of non-biased, analytical study into religious beliefs, behaviours and institutions. All major world religions are generally covered.

Why study Theology & Religious Studies?

Is religion less relevant nowadays? Not necessarily; its role has just changed hugely. The impact of science and technology means that religion is now more a varied and interesting subject than ever before.

Theology & Religious Studies is a composite of many fields, making it a good choice for someone who is either unsure of their speciality or hasn't yet decided where they want to go. Aspects of other subject areas such as philosophy and history are also included.

This is not a degree that will keep you in the lecture hall from nine to five. There's plenty of time for personal study, research and reflection – suitable for those who like independent learning.

Read our six reasons to study Theology & Religious Studies for more information on why you might choose this subject area.

Priest conducting mass

What jobs can you get as a Theology & Religious Studies graduate?

Theology & Religious Studies degrees teach transferable skills such as presentation, research and communication, as well as a more spiritual experience at university, with an understanding of what makes people's lives work.

Particular job roles include teacher, lecturer, archivist, journalist, charity worker, civil servant, editor, publisher, social worker, youth worker, and local and national governors.

Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, including Frontline.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Theology & Religious Studies have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Theology & Religious Studies students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need?

For Theology & Religious Studies, you don't necessarily need an A Level (or equivalent) in a religion-related subject. You might need one in an essay-based subject, such as History.

Grades and other requirements vary between institutions. Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university and course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • BA Classical and Theological Studies
  • BA Theology and Film Studies
  • BA Theology with a foreign language
  • BA Theology

How will you be assessed?

Courses are assessed in different ways. In the first and second year, various techniques are used to test your knowledge and skills, including essays, portfolios, presentations, seminars and exams. The final year often includes a dissertation as the primary source of assessment.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include straight MAs in Theology, as well as master's courses in Abrahamic Religions, Apologetics, Applied Theology, Evangelism, Religious Pluralism, and Theology and Spirituality.

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