What is theology and religious studies?
Theology is the science of God. To pursue this subject, you need interpretative, historical and broadly philosophical skills. Religious studies is more concerned with the intellectual investigation of the phenomenon of religion and of specific religious traditions. Studying theology and religious studies is demanding, requiring a wide range of knowledge, considerable insight, and care in interpretation; but it is also highly rewarding.
The department has expertise in biblical theology and interpretation, Jewish and Christian origins, the theology of Paul, church history, philosophical theology, theology and science, theology and literature, philosophy of religion, and Jewish and Islamic thought.
How will I study?
Our course is 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. Such skills are vital in careers which involve leadership, from the civil service to business, teaching and the media. By learning to convey complex religious, historical and philosophical ideas in an engaging and compelling way, you will develop confidence in communicating your ideas academically and in the work place.
During your three years at Nottingham as a single honours student, 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 School of English Studies and 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.
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 and choose modules drawn from options offered by the department.
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.
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 Canada, France, Germany and Sweden.
Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages.
Career prospects and employability
A degree in theology and religious studies leads to a wide range of careers. While our graduates are naturally equipped to go on to study for the ministry in a particular church, the majority of them go on to managerial or administrative positions in industry or the financial sector, or else into professions such as law or teaching. Recent graduates have found employment in marketing, publishing, journalism, the civil service and social services.
In 2012, 96.7% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies 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 £30,000.
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
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