Religion, Theology and Culture

Undergraduate

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  • This degree encourages critical thinking on the role that religion and theology have played, and continue to play, in shaping and transforming global culture, political thought and informed debate.
  • We offer in-depth study of multiple global religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as topics in other religious traditions such as Sikhism and Taoism.
  • The degree structure contains pathways of study so you can tailor your focus to one or more religions, approaches and topics. 
  • Roehampton is number one in London for Religion and Theology (The Times Good University Guide 2020)
  • Roehampton is in the top five universities in London for graduate earnings in Religious Studies (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019 results, earnings three years after graduation).
  • 90% of Religion, Theology and Culture students are satisfied with their degree (National Student Survey 2020) 

Summary

What is the meaning of life? What does it mean to be human? How do we understand and value the planet, other people and animals? How are we to assess philosophical arguments for the existence of God? What can we learn from religious and philosophical texts and thinkers? Our BA Religion, Theology and Culture allows you to explore the big questions in life, covering truth, morality, God, love and death by engaging in depth with global religions and philosophies including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. 

Modules also tackle contemporary world issues and social justice in religious cultures – from climate change to gender, poverty to racism, human rights to fundamentalism. This BA will give you the critical and theoretical tools to better understand the world we live in and to interact with lecturers who are actively engaged in projects for social and ethical change.

Religious studies is a highly interdisciplinary area of study, and you will have opportunities to analyse religion from approaches including philosophy, history, politics, sociology, psychology, and art. On this programme, you will engage closely with primary sources including religious texts, film, media and literature, working alongside scholars who are engaged with religious and social practices, committed to the public role of faith, and active in social justice and change projects, as well as inter-religious dialogue. There will be plenty of chances to hone your communication and problem-solving skills, and to learn how to work collaboratively.

At Roehampton, you will engage with a diverse community of students who come from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds, allowing you to have rich and informative discussions. We will help you to develop religious literacy and an informed understanding of how religion affects society, and vice versa, which are much valued skills in the workplace. You will graduate with an in-depth knowledge of a diverse range of religious traditions, have gained analytical skills to understand and scrutinize evidence and arguments carefully, and be able to reflect on how theologians and philosophers have tackled the big questions concerning the origin, meaning and goal of life.

We try to provide you with an interactive learning experience and you will be taught in a variety of ways, including lectures, student-led seminars, one-to-one tutorials and blended learning, and you will be assessed through coursework. You will be able to go on trips to religious and cultural sites in London such as places of worship, galleries and museums, join workshops and have opportunities to study abroad.

You can gain practical workplace experience in a professional placement. Practice-based skills are also consolidated by learning from scholars who are active in social justice projects, committed to the public role of faith, working in community settings, and involved in inter-religious dialogue.

Teaching is research-led by a range of lecturers who are experts in their fields and have subject specialisms as well as active experience in social change projects at local, national and international levels. We offer a close-knit community with lecturers that provide high levels of support, both in person and on-line.

Year one 

  • Acquire a broad understanding of approaches and methods in the study of religion.
  • Investigate global religious and philosophical worldviews, with a focus on Asian and European traditions.
  • Begin exploring the sacred texts, history, beliefs and practices of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism.
  • Study the ethics of what it means to be a person from the perspective of religion. 
  • Develop academic skills in writing, thinking and discussing.

Year two 

  • Complete a professional placement and reflective portfolio
  • Study how cultural change impacts upon religion, be it climate change, issues of gender and race, or human rights.
  • Develop knowledge of specific religious traditions in global contexts, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism
  • Read key historical texts and consider the relationship between theology, tradition and modernity
  • Reflect on the relationships between institutional religion and the public sphere, including politics, ecology and public health

Year three 

  • Engage in extended study of a topic of your choice – in a dissertation or special essay – under the supervision of an expert in the field.  
  • Consider representations of religion in literature, art, drama, and film.
  • Explore the experiences and meanings of religion in life, love, death and dreams.
  • Analyse cultural, historical, legal, textual and sociological approaches in a range of contemporary global religions.
  • Critically reflect upon contemporary debates, such as animal rights and environmentalism or belief and non-belief.

Graduates of this programme will have an acute understanding of diverse religious traditions, cultures and identities. This religious literacy is essential for public facing roles and you will be well equipped for a career that includes teaching (primary and secondary), charity and third-sector posts, religious ministry and chaplaincy, journalism, law and human rights, campaigning, community and social services, activism, the cultural heritage sector, community and police roles, and a broad range of civil service professions. 

Our careers team is available to support you from the start of your studies until after you graduate. They will help you build your CV, prepare for interviews, and meet and learn from successful graduates working at the top of their careers. You’ll also have opportunities to work with our partners across London and beyond, and to attend a Roehampton jobs fair where you can find out about graduate opportunities and meet employers. 

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.