Religion, Theology and Culture

Undergraduate

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The UCAS application deadline for September 2021 entry has been extended to 6pm on 29 January

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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

Our BA Honours Degree in Religion, Theology and Culture degree will equip you with the skills to understand religion and its power to shape the human condition. You will develop an understanding of the centrality of religion to the functioning of societies past, present and future. It will enable you to understand better the world we live in, and to explore the forces that shape your own attitudes, hopes and fears. In turn, it will empower you to go out into the world to make a difference for the good.

You will explore in detail the religious practice and beliefs in relation to either particular religions (such as Islam, Judaism and Christianity), particular regions (such as Asia, Africa, and Europe), or particular transnational media (the internet, film, and literature).

You will be able to study religion and how it originated in the past, so for example in the ancient and classical world. This enables you to study the origins of religion in its various forms of expression. You will able to explain, for example, the biblical and historical origins of Christianity centred as it is on the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth, and Christianity’s development out of Hebrew Religion and Judaism. Are Christians monotheists? How did the ancients really think about the end of the world in Apocalyptic thought? Who was the theological genius who wrote the Gospel of John and why did he write it? How did the ancient world understand dreams and visions?

This degree also 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. 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 does religion foster psychological and physical well-being? How are we to assess philosophical arguments for the existence of God? 

Our modules also tackle contemporary world issues and social justice in religious cultures: racism, ecology, politics, and gender – from the African-American Freedom Struggle and Black Lives Matter to climate change, gender, from poverty to racism, and from 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.

As you progress through this course, you will develop highly transferable and employable skills, while tailoring your studies to your own areas of interest. 

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.