Religion and Theology

Studying religion and theology with Bristol's highly regarded lecturers gives you the analytical tools you need to think critically about the nature and variety of religious thought and culture. The course will enable you to understand and explain the ways in which religion significantly shapes the world.

You will explore themes such as philosophy, ethics, mysticism, sex, power and politics across various traditions, and engage with living religious communities.

Why study Religion and Theology at Bristol?

Religion plays a central role in modern culture and the place of religion in the world is best understood by examining it from a variety of perspectives across disciplinary boundaries. 

On our course you can study Buddhism, Christianity (Protestant and Roman Catholic), Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Chinese and Japanese religions, atheism and philosophy of religion. Your analysis of religion in its many forms may use a variety of approaches, such as:

  • historical
  • archaeological
  • linguistic and textual
  • philosophical
  • theological
  • comparative.

You may study religion and theology as a Single Honours subject or in a Joint Honours degree with sociology or philosophy.

New to our Single Honours programme is the opportunity in year two to spend half a year studying abroad at a partner university.

The department is friendly and welcoming. You will experience a close working relationship with other students and teaching staff. You will also have your own personal tutor with whom you can discuss academic or pastoral issues.

What kind of student would this course suit?

You will appreciate the challenge of engaging with religion's place in the world through a variety of approaches and by focusing on one or more religious traditions. You will possess a strong commitment to the importance of the subject and a willingness to pursue it seriously and critically, either collaboratively with other students, or through independent research and study. Most of all, you will be proud to study a subject that is completely integrated, explicitly or culturally, in almost every aspect of life today.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching will take a variety of forms including lectures, small-group tutorials, student-led seminars, one-to-one meetings with tutors, excursions, and optional language classes. We also make extensive use of audio-visual equipment and internet facilities.

Assessment is varied and includes traditional essays, book reviews, short tests, oral presentations, teamwork and formal exams.

In your final year you will produce a dissertation supervised by a member of staff on a research topic of interest to you.

What are my career prospects?

The breadth of your degree will give you skills in writing, oral presentation and independent research, and you will benefit from training in the critical and analytical skills common to humanities degrees.

Our graduates are equipped to pursue a variety of careers, including many not directly related to religion. Some graduates do pursue careers in religious education, as well as in non-governmental organisations and journalism. A significant number continue further study for a postgraduate degree before pursuing a career in research or teaching.

Read more about what students from religion and theology go on to do after graduation.

 

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

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