Theology and Religious Studies
A theology degree can open up career opportunities as diverse as education, charities and ministries to roles in commercial organisations. Learn more about your career options and how we can support you on your journey.
For many students who choose to study theology, their decision is often driven by the wish to explore the beliefs, practices, values and doctrines of people around the world and this presents an opportunity to understand cultural and religious diversity. Many skills are developed on the degree course and therefore career options are very open-ended.
What skills will I gain during my degree?
The skills gained from studying theology are transferable to a wide range of areas which means that graduates can, and do enter a diverse range of roles and sectors.
A theology graduate typically will have the following skills:
- research and analysis
- ability to interpret and synthesise information
- ability to understand complex written documents
- organisational and time management
- reflection and collaborating with others through group work and tutorials
- professional communication, empathy and the ability to understand people and take on board others’ views
- independence of mind
It is important that you can talk about these skills on application forms and in interviews.
What are my career options?
Many graduate employers will recruit students from any discipline into a wide range of careers and theology and religious studies students can perform well in the job market.
In the past few years, theology graduates who seek employment have found themselves in a diverse range of roles across the public, private and third sector. For example, graduates secured employment in education, human resources, finance, e-commerce and faith organisations.
Around a third theology and religious studies graduate continue their studies going on to study either taught masters or professional training courses to enter professions such as teaching, law and psychology.
Types of Jobs - explore roles and sectors
It is true to say that many theology graduates (and other subjects) take some time building their career through a series of roles to get to a specific career where they want to be or even to decide what job suits them.
This could be due to a variety of reasons for example: the sector they want to enter requires an entry-level position (for example: heritage, media roles and publishing) or they are saving up to fund a postgraduate course or travel and therefore their first destination is a stop gap.
Cat Quine, UoN alumna, Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham
What I enjoy most about academia is continuing to research and learn. You never master the texts or the world of ancient Israel - there’s always so much more!
Read more from Cat
Jodi Kiang, Individual Giving Manager (Legacies) at Diabetes UK
I didn’t go in, ‘I want to work for a charity’. It comes from a sense of, as a person, what do I care about? That’s why I did my degree and that’s also what’s impacted my career choice.
Read more from Jodi
How can I build my skills and experience?
Work experience and volunteering
Depending on what area of work or role you might be interested in, and where, there will be specific strategies, from speculative applications to formal processes you need to be familiar with.
Work experience - what, how and when
Nottingham Internship Scheme
We work closely with a huge variety of local and national businesses to bring you an exciting range of internship opportunities, for both current students and recent graduates.
Nottingham Consultancy Challenge
The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge offers the chance for you to gain hands-on experience of managing a short term project for a local business or charity as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
Nottingham Advantage Award
The Nottingham Advantage Award offers interesting extracurricular modules to develop and reflect on your employability. With over more than 200 modules across our three campus in the UK, China and Malaysia.
Advice from Nottingham alumni
With our Careers Mentoring programme, you can receive invaluable support from an alumnus while considering your career options. Choose a mentor in the career area that interests you and get a real insight into the sector.
The Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering options both locally and internationally which you can fit around your studies.
Alternatively you could get involved in a society or sports club - there's so many, you're bound to find one that interests you!
Students in Classrooms
There are three initiatives which will give you the opportunity to work in a local educational setting. These initiatives support the academic attainment and raise the aspirations of primary and secondary pupils, whilst developing the skills and employability of those involved.
These are excellent opportunities for students considering teaching, youth work or community engagement as a career.
Exchange programmes overseas
Undertake an exchange semester in another country and broaden your horizons. Talk to your tutors and find out more about the programmes available from the International Office.
Optional placement year
You can now undertake an optional placement year as part of your degree at the end of your penultimate year of study. The placement can be aligned to your degree discipline or related to your career aspirations. Speak to a career adviser or your school for more information.
If you are no longer at Nottingham, you can access work and volunteering opportunities at home. Depending on your location and what you want to do, your strategy may vary so come and speak to us or arrange a telephone appointment.
How can I enhance my digital skills?
Digital skills are essential in many career fields, including advertising, publishing, marketing, and general commerce. They range from social media to coding and will definitely enhance your employability. There are various ways to develop your digital skills whilst at university.
How can I practise psychometric tests?
Many graduate recruiters use psychometric tests during the recruitment and selection process.They are common across all sectors and career fields. Practise will really help your performance.