At a glance
- Study in a department rankedwithin the top 10 in the UK for theology and religious studies*
- The department received 100% for overall satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey
- Engage with traditional and foundational aspects of theology alongside the latest research-led teaching on religion in the contemporary world
* The Complete University Guide, 2017 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2015.
What is Theology and Religious Studies?
Religious questions have been central to every age and culture, and in our department we study a range of ideas and traditions spanning 3,000 years. We are drawn together by our commitment to one simple idea: the question about God, and in light of this we explore issues of ultimate origins, meaning, truth and purpose. In fact, theology is among the oldest and most established degree subjects, but has the utmost relevance for the contemporary world. Religious studies is concerned with investigating the phenomenon of religion and the functioning of specific religious traditions, and so studying in our theology and religious studies department will allow you to engage with a wide range of subject areas in examining the fascinating and important theological, philosophical, historical, political and cultural issues surrounding religion and faith.
How will I study?
Our courses are delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials and one-to-one supervision for the final-year research dissertation. The aim is to stimulate your curiosity and provide you with essential information by means of lectures in the first instance, so as to establish a solid grounding in the core of the subject. You will be able to discuss your ideas with experts in the field and take part in group discussions and events.
The development of oral communication skills is an important aspect of our course. Key modules in all years involve assessment not only via written work, but also through oral presentations or participation in seminar discussions. These skills are vital in all sorts of careers, from the civil servcie to business, teaching, the media or work within a religious context. By learning to convey complex religious, historical and philosophical ideas in a clear and engaging way, you will develop confidence in communicating your ideas academically and in the workplace.
As a single honours student, during your three years at Nottingham, you will take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, mainly from those offered by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, but also from a choice of subsidiary modules from outside the department.
A joint honours degree (see the Department of Philosophy) is split between your two subjects, so the theology half of your degree is normally made up of 60 credits each year. Our joint honours degree in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics allows for greater flexibility in the way you divide your study between the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, according to your particular interests.
Most modules in the first two years are assessed by a combination of essays and exams. In the final year, some modules are assessed by a single long essay. There is also a dissertation in the final year, for which you undertake in-depth research into a topic of your choice.
Successful completion of your first year allows progression to the second year. Your final degree classification will be determined by work in the second and final years, with more weight given to the latter.
A degree in theology and religious studies leads to a wide range of careers. You will be equipped for a variety of positions that call for skills such as the careful analysis of texts and complex issues, reasoned decision-making, sensitivity to cultural and religious diversity, and the ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively. Recent graduates are working in areas such as: law, teaching, journalism and publishing, politics, the charity sector, as well as in a variety of religious contexts.
In 2015, 94% of first-degree graduates in the department who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £18,154 with the highest being £23,000*.
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2014/15
You can apply to spend time abroad, usually for a semester in the second year, through the Universitas 21 and Erasmus schemes. The Department currently has links with universities in Australia, Canada, South Africa, Sweden and the US.
Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages.
Nottingham has the highest number of any UK university on outward mobility under Erasmus.*
* Erasmus student and staff numbers by institution, Erasmus+ 2014.
Application and interview
Offers are usually made without interview. Students with non-standard entry requirements, including mature students, may be invited to an interview.
UCAS visit days for students offered a place are normally held from late January to March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us or for dates of our open days visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/opendays