Why study this course
This is a forward thinking and issue-led degree which offers you the opportunity to address and debate difficult and sometimes controversial moral, ethical and philosophical issues of our time.
You'll have excellent international travel opportunities, helping to boost your employability prospects.
Get hands-on and explore a wide range of religions, visits religious sites, meet new people and experience a variety of religious cultures through practical methods.
Choose your approach to study - undertake a fact-based and objective approach or an approach that allows you to explore a personal faith.
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.
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.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this 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.
What will you study
During the course of your foundation year, you’ll cover the following modules:
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practice and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practice locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Enrivonment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You will cover a broad sweep of the last 2,000 years of major world religion’s attitudes towards and treatment of women and in particular that of Christianity. You will look at the contributions to theology and spirituality of some of outstanding women; scriptural women such as Esther, Deborah, Mary mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, historical women such as Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila and the more modern contributions made by feminist theologians such as Mary Daly and Rosemary Radford Ruether.
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; the socio-political context surrounding various holocausts; wider aspects of the conflagration; and critical and pedagogic approaches to exploring holocausts in contemporary learning settings, including through the school curriculum and Holocaust Memorial Day
You will explore selected accounts of psychic and paranormal activity in the UK and elsewhere, considering popular, scientific and theological explanations for these phenomena. Historical mainstream and alternative religious teachings about angels, spirits, miracles, mystical experiences etc are explored, and a study is made of established mystery cults and sects, and the conspiracy theories which have often surrounded them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After preliminary consideration of what is meant by 'modernity', 'religion' and 'atheism', you will examine the thought of some central thinkers, theistic, agnostic and atheistic, and the implications of their thought for religious questions. Some of the most central themes in Enlightenment and post Enlightenment Western religious and atheistic philosophical debates will be examined and evaluated in order to engage students with both the history and the latest developments in core religious, philosophical and ethical issues.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GSCE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year. International applicants are not eligible to apply for an undergraduate course with a Foundation Year.
How you will be taught
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 and work-based placements. 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.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
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, Philosophy & Ethics graduates may include work as an RE teacher/primary specialist, theology lecturer, social or youth work, politics and policy planning or museum work.
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.
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.