BA (Hons) Theology & Ethics in Society

Overview

This course allows you to study Theology & Ethics as a single honours degree, giving you an in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Whether you describe yourself as agnostic, atheist or a firm believer, if you have a passionate interest in the ethical, political, philosophical and religious issues of our time, this course is perfect for you. Here at BGU, we can look back on many years of experience in teaching Religious Studies, Philosophy and Theology. We designed this degree to bring the oldest of academic subjects into the present day – combining the richness of ancient tradition with the relevance and freshness of a 21st-century subject.

Please note this course is subject to revalidation.

Key Facts
Award: BA (Hons)
UCAS Code: VL63
Academic School: School of Humanities
Duration: 3 years
Mode of Study: Full-time
Start Date: September
Awarding Institution: Bishop Grosseteste University
Institution Code: B38
Entry Requirements

You will normally need 96 -112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.

However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.

Further Information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

About The Course

This course offers a different type of Theology and Ethics – we like to think of it as Theology ‘with its sleeves rolled up’. Our hands-on programme will take you beyond the classroom and will open doors that have the potential to change your life and empower you to make a difference to the world you inhabit.

Get ready to look at recent trends in theology alongside the implications of scientific discovery, exploring religious debate together with arguments for atheism and for the existence of God. You won’t stop studying world religions, however. You’ll also explore other key events and issues related to terrorism, race, gender and sexuality. Here at BGU, we have many years’ experience in teaching Religious Studies, Philosophy and Theology. We designed this degree to bring the oldest of academic subjects firmly into the present day – combining the richness of ancient tradition with the relevance and freshness of a 21st-century subject.

Throughout the course you’ll develop your curiosity and fascination about different religious cultures, learning from hands-on experience and developing research skills and critical evaluation skills.

Delivery

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework, work-based placements or even field visits. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.

Assessment

We recognise that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, so we use a variety of assessment strategies on our courses.

On our Theology courses, we believe that we have an imaginative approach to assessment that allows us to utilise your strengths. We assess our students using a wide range of methods which include written assignments, paired and single presentations, research-based dissertations, files of work and exams. A good deal of continual assessment and easy access to our course tutors means that we are in a strong position to get the best possible results from our students.

Careers & Further Study

Many Theology students will pursue careers directly related to the disciplines of Theology, Ethics and Religious Studies, in education and schools. However, graduates of this course are highly skilled individuals fully prepared to pursue a wide variety of careers in other fields, such as Community Work, Counselling, Policing, Librarianship, Social Work, work in the third sector, Politics, Museum Work, Education Officers attached to religious buildings or organisations and Media work. Specialised modules and the ability to choose individual routes through our programme will prepare you for whatever career might best suit your interests.

As well as an in-depth understanding of ethical and theological issues, you will gain a wide range of transferable skills which will prepare you for further study or employment. Possible future careers for Theology & Ethics graduates may include work as an RE Teacher/Primary specialist, Theology lecturer, Social or Youth work, Politics and Policy planning or Museum work.

Year 1 Modules
You will critically evaluate the Bible as ethical resource and the Church as an ethical community as well as a broad range of philosophical commentators both Ancient and Modern, such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill and MacIntyre. This module allows you to specifically explore issues in economics and social justice, work and money, sexual ethics, medical ethics, warfare, and the environment.
Studying this module will provide a review of the ancient European tradition through the medium of philosophy as it examines the contributions of key thinkers to important areas of thought such as Ethics, the existence of God, reason, government and education. You will cover key thinkers such the Socrates, Plato, Aristotle through to the modern age with Descartes, Marx and Satre, examining their philosophical contributions and the implications of their thought.
This module covers a broad sweep of Christian history, covering important foundation stages, personalities and concepts attached to the historical and theological development of Christianity from the Early Church, through the middles-ages and the Reformations to the modern age. It will look at the contributions to theology of some of outstanding thinkers such as Augustine of Hippo, Aquinas and Luther, as well as modern theologians such as Barth and Rahner.
This module explores the history and beliefs of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism, as well as some of the ways in which those beliefs and assumptions are expressed in everyday life and practice. You will be offered first-hand experience of the various faiths through visits to places of worship, meetings with faith-adherents, guest speakers and the use of various sources produced from within those faith traditions.
Year 2 Modules
This module will explore the historical relationship between the World’s main religions and the environment, asking whether these religious organisations contributed to the problems facing our planet since the advent of industrialisation and whether they can now contribute to a solution. It will explore sacred text from the Jewish Torah, the Bible, the Koran as well as the Eastern texts from Hinduism and Judaism in order to determine their significance in terms of Green issues.
This module will investigate a range of interdisciplinary approaches and materials, with sessions exploring the benefits, complexities and difficulties of thinking and working across subjects in the arts and humanities. The content will include relevant and topical themes that encourage and enrich interdisciplinary approaches, for example: ‘War and Commemoration’, 'Culture, Ethnicity and Identity' , ‘The Country and the City’, ‘Revolution and Reaction’; and ‘Belief and Blasphemy’.
The relationship between these two disciplines, with their questions of compatibility or exclusivity, form a pivotal issue not just with regard to theology and society, but with regard to our contemporary society in general. This module explores models of the relationship between science and religion, and the consequences of this work for key Christian concepts such as creation, providence and miracle, freewill, time and eternity, the nature of human beings, natural and revealed theology.
This module is structured in an open-ended way to allow placements and/or projects to be developed which are most suited to your potential future career. Working with your appointed tutor, drawing on shared and individually sourced resources, you will be allocated an appropriate placement or project which will enable you to meet the learning outcomes and to have a valuable experience of a real-life work-related situation.
This module covers both critical approaches to understanding holocaust education and the ways in which it is delivered in contemporary society. It explores major concepts including: the relationship between perpetrators, rescuers, bystanders and victims; anti-Semitism at key points in British and European history; filmographic perspectives on Judaism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; and critical and pedagogic approaches to exploring holocausts in contemporary learning settings, including through the school curriculum and Holocaust Memorial Day.
Religion has not always had a positive encounter with either sexuality or racial minorities, and these encounters continue to be an area that is attached with great importance. By examining political theologies from core thinkers such as Gutierrez, Loades and Cone, this module will offer students opportunities to encounter issues of poverty, sexuality powerlessness and liberative theologies, including Latin American, Black theology, Feminist theology, Gay theology, and Green theology.
Year 3 Modules
This module requires you to devise and undertake a substantial dissertation on a subject of interest to you, and to prepare in written form an abstract and working bibliography. It requires you to practice and develop all of the research skills imparted earlier in your studies and apply them in a more independent manner, deepening and refining your knowledge of your specialist area.
This module will explore the issues raised by modern conflict, war and terrorism in order to discuss their implications for theology - in particular through exploring the historical relationship between Christianity and acts of political violence, and examining Islam, Judaism and Hindu responses to politics, violence and the world. Various responses of religious individuals will be discussed; such as Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and Malcolm X to political and social problems.
Film, cartoon, radio and music are important facets of contemporary communication and as such plays a role in modern society that is ever growing in importance - no contemporary study of society would be complete without an examination of this form of media. This module provides an opportunity to reflect on the way in which the Christian religion and Theology in general is represented in, influences, and affects media products.
The module explores the history and beliefs of major Indo-Chinese religions, and some of the ways in which their beliefs and assumptions are expressed in everyday life and practice. In exploring a range of expressions within the different religions, the module will seek to offer a balance between classical and subsequent articulations, and studies of the religions within their traditional environments, and expressions of the same religion within contemporary Britain.
After preliminary consideration of what is meant by 'modernity', 'religion' and 'atheism', this module examines the thought of some central thinkers, both theistic and atheistic, and the implications of their thought for religious questions. It then looks at some challenging themes and issues, such as the problems of evil, religious and cultural pluralism, the challenge of moral relativism, the 'death of God', the ‘New atheism’ and the emergence of various forms of 'Christian atheism'.
Academic Staff
Dr Jack Cunningham
Programme leader

Reader in Ecclesiastical History

Jack Cunningham teaches on the undergraduate Theol

Mark Plater
Academic Staff

Mark Plater coordinates and teaches on the Secondary PGCE Religious Education programme. He also teaches va

Abigail Dor
Academic Staff

Support

Studying at BGU is a student centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests. We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step. Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.

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