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Study Theology & Religious Studies, why & how to study

Religion has existed for as long as people have walked the Earth – so there's plenty to learn about.

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CONTENTS

  1. What’s Theology & Religious Studies?

  2. What Theology & Religious Studies degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a Theology & Religious Studies degree?

  4. What topics does a Theology & Religious Studies degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Theology & Religious Studies?

  7. What do Theology & Religious Studies graduates earn?

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

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Theology & Religious Studies

  11. Have any questions?

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 – and aspects of other subject areas such as philosophy and history are also included.

What Theology & Religious Studies degrees can you study?

Theology & Religious Studies undergraduate degrees on offer in the UK include:

  • Divinity BD
  • History & Religious Studies (with placement) BA
  • Philosophy & Theology BA
  • Religious Studies BA
  • Theology, Religion & Ethics BA

Options may include joint honours, integrated foundation year or placements.

What do you need to get onto a Theology & Religious Studies degree?

Most undergraduate Theology & Religious Studies courses ask for 96–168 UCAS points. Not all unis base their offer on UCAS points and some courses may have lower or higher requirements. Qualifications may include:

  • A Levels: AAA–CCC
  • BTECs: D*D*D*–MMM (or in combination with A Levels)
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAB–BBC (Advanced Highers: AAA)
  • International Baccalaureate: 38–24

Good subjects to have studied include:

  • Essay-based subjects at a higher or advanced level
  • General studies may be excluded

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Independent reading into the subject

What topics does a Theology & Religious Studies degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Issues in contemporary ethics
  • Philosophy of science
  • God and the universe of faiths
  • Metaphysics
  • Death, ritual and belief
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Fundamentals of systematic theology
  • Medieval Islamic thought
  • God in Christ
  • Religion in contemporary society

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following and will vary from module to module.

  • Book/journal reviews
  • Commentaries
  • Dissertation or thesis
  • Document analysis
  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Film evaluations
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Reflective journal

Why study Theology & Religious Studies?

Theology & Religious Studies will give you insights into religions that have shaped culture and history around the world. Along the way, you’ll develop a range of transferable skills useful in any job.

Career-specific skills:

  • Diverse cultural understanding

Transferable skills:

  • Academic writing and note-taking
  • Communication
  • Conducting research
  • Critical thinking
  • Diplomacy and negotiation
  • IT skills
  • Project management
  • Research and analysis
  • Resilience and problem-solving
  • Self-reflection
  • Teamwork and delegation
  • Organisation and time management
  • Writing skills

Professional accreditation:

  • Some degrees are approved as a pathway towards religious ministry, and may be approved or accredited by the relevant body

What do Theology & Religious Studies graduates earn?

If you study a Theology & Religious Studies degree, your starting salary could be between £17,500–£24,000.

Earnings thereafter will depend very much on the career you enter. If you do become a minister of religion, you may be paid a monthly stipend or allowance of around £25,000–£27,000 (Church of England or Church of Scotland). Full-time ministers are also provided with somewhere to live.

On the other hand, you could decide to serve people as a social worker, earning an average salary of £35,000.

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

As a Theology & Religious Studies graduate, you’ll be able to offer a broad skillset and an understanding of religious diversity. This could equip you for a wide range of careers, from the civil service to the third sector, journalism or health and social care – although many roles will require further training.

  • Archivist
  • Chaplain
  • Charity policy advisor
  • Counsellor
  • Editorial assistant
  • Human resources manager
  • Management consultant
  • MP
  • Social worker
  • Teacher or lecturer
  • Trainee solicitor
  • Volunteer co-ordinator

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught master’s and research degrees at postgraduate level include:

  • Ethics & Practical Theology MPhil/PhD
  • Religion & Conflict MA
  • Theology, Religion & Philosophy of Religion MPhil
  • Classical Hebrew Studies MSt
  • Buddhist Studies MPhil

Similar subjects to Theology & Religious Studies

Other subject areas that might appeal to you include:

Have any questions?

If you have questions about studying Theology & Religious Studies, you can email our experts at ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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