- Examine theological arguments, ancient texts and ethical controversies and see how they link to current issues
- Develop your skills as a writer, debater, and thinker
- Learn from staff who are comfortable with big questions and know how to make their subject interesting
- Enjoy opportunities to specialise in your own areas of interest
- Widen your career horizons by working with a variety of organisations, or charities, through the What’s Next? module
- Take part in regular screenings and discussions at the Department’s active student-led film society
Our Theology, Religion and Ethics programme deals with big questions of human existence. Why do we exist? Can we prove the existence of God? What is the role of religion in the contemporary world? How should we treat each other?
You study these stimulating questions through the analysis and confrontation of texts, sacred and secular. In doing so, you learn how to think imaginatively about living faiths and intellectual reason, about life and death, and the nature of right and wrong. Whether you have a robust faith, or you are an ardent atheist, our degree helps you understand the complexity of the human condition.
We want you to address the parts of our contemporary world that one wouldn't usually think to question. And to consider the ideas that underpin our history as a species.
Although you study the historical origins of religions, you also explore religion as a lived cultural phenomenon. To help you do this, you examine how religious texts and practices are critiqued in contemporary culture. And you discuss the great thinkers of ethical philosophy, ancient and modern, and how their ideas relate to the issues we face in today’s globalised world.
In studying theology, religion and ethics so closely, you grow as writers, debaters and thinkers. You also develop close skills in reading, critical argument and cultural literacy.
Year 1 is foundational and provides you with the basis for specialised study in Years 2 and 3. In Year 1, you are oriented in the core subject areas of theological tradition, ethics and religious studies. Core modules include Great Theological Minds, Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy and Controversies in Biblical Studies. These develop study skills and enhance your confidence in critical writing and reading.
In Years 2 and 3, you are able to build a profile of options to develop your own academic interests. These reflect the range of specialisms offered in the Department. Optional modules such as Bioethics and Theology, Gender, Sexuality and the Bible and Aspects of Islam encourage you to think about the way religious ideas and practices interact with the contemporary world.
Some of our students arrive with destinations in mind, but others discover their vocation while they’re here. Graduates commonly find work as teachers, journalists, social workers and academics, or in the charity sector.
Wherever you’re heading, we want to help you reach there. A degree that addresses what it means to reason, to be, to act, to believe, to read – we think that’s a good place to start.
Graduates enter a wide range of careers in such areas teaching (philosophy, religion or ethics), charity/Non-Governmental Organisation work, and employment in the public and private sectors.
94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).
Pre-approved for a Masters
If you study a Bachelor Honours degree with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.
ABOUT THIS COURSE
Suitable for applicants from:
UK, EU, World
Students may undertake field studies to explore the diversity of religions, cultures and traditions - previous trips have included India, Istanbul and Jerusalem.
Our Theology, Religion and Ethics course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the USA
For more information see our Study Abroad section.
Learning and teaching
Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.
You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.
In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.
Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.
Theology, Religion and Ethics teaching is very student-centred and you are unlikely to be lectured at. We teach in small, informal, specialist classes which ensure you're always a name and never a number. Our teaching is dynamic and interactive, fuelled by reading, discussion and presentations, or through interaction with visual media and the arts. We'll run group exercises, help you get started on individual projects, and guide you along the way with your assessments.
Year 1 (Level 4)*:
• Teaching, learning and assessment: 192 hours
• Independent learning: 1008 hours
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
• Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
• Independent learning: 996 hours
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
• Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
• Independent learning: 972 hours
*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.
Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus (Winchester) or at our West Downs Campus (Winchester)
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:
YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)*:
19% written exams
0% practical exams
YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)*:
13% written exams
0% practical exams
YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)*:
13% written exams
5% practical exams
*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures
2018 Entry: 104-120 points
A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.
International Baccalaureate: 26 points
If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent
Course Enquiries and Applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message
If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023
Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester
Suitable applicants are required to attend an interview
Year 1 (Level 4)
|Controversies in Biblical Studies||15|
The Bible is a central text in various religious communities and remains an important cultural driver in wider society. This module introduces students to the study of the Bible by looking at some key books and key intellectual controversies around their interpretation. Students will be introduced to the diversity of the Bible and its accompanying scholarship and will be encouraged to engage with a variety of questions around both their historical and literary dimensions. The module will invite students to appreciate the many, diverse ways in which meaning can be gathered from biblical texts. How the Bible has been and is read in different contexts and with respect to culture will also be important. Specific texts will be looked at in detail.
This module seeks to give students a knowledge of the Christian tradition’s underlying ideas: its fundamental beliefs, its central practices, its historical development and the challenges it now faces. Students will be encouraged to read the central New Testament texts and to understand how the Christian tradition is a history of the multiple, contested interpretations of these. Christianity will be treated not just as a set of beliefs, but as an historical phenomenon with certain key practices (e.g. reading the bible, celebrating the sacraments, prayer and worship). Principal denominational, theological and regional variations of Christianity in a global context will be studied, and trends in contemporary theology and church life critically assessed.
|Introduction to Classical and Early Modern Philosophy||30|
In this module we will begin to study philosophy through looking at its two great foundational moments, commonly attached to the names Socrates and Descartes. The first inaugurated the flowering of philosophical thought in Ancient Greece and the second beginning the European Enlightenment. Throughout both semesters students will also engage in a range of activities and classes based on developing their philosophical skills.
In the first semester we will be concerned with key thinkers, ideas and arguments from the Classical period. Our primary focus will fall on the still highly influential works of Plato and Aristotle, particularly as they relate to what philosophy and the philosopher are, along with key questions relating to metaphysics, epistemology, politics and the polis. However, we will also offer a chronological sweep of the Classical period that looks from the Presocratics to the Sophists, onwards to the major Hellenistic schools of philosophy and then to the philosophers of the Roman Empire. Along with telling this standard story we will look at contemporary attempts to put in question the narrative that philosophy begins in Ancient Greece.
In the second semester we will turn to the Early-Modern period: a time when parts of Classical thought were being rejected while others were being rediscovered. We will look at how a renewed focus on epistemology along with developments in the natural sciences led to a new confidence in the power of reason against superstition and illusion. To develop our skills and knowledge of the diverging rationalist and empiricist traditions that succeeded medieval scholasticism, we will focus in particular on the conceptual accounts and proofs of the existence of God, the self and world that developed in the succession of debates sparked by Descartes. By investigating their proofs for the existence of God, the immortal soul and the reality of the external world, their explanations for the existence of evil and their accounts of freedom, we will learn to analyse texts carefully and form persuasive arguments with and against them.
|Ethics and Religion||15|
This module is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the academic study of ethics. Students will explore a range of current moral issues and debates in some or all of the following areas: science, technology and medicine; animals and ecological concern; gender, sexuality and intimate relationships; political, economic and social life. They will develop skills in analysing such debates through the study of selected philosophical, theological and/or religious approaches to moral reasoning. The module will give students an opportunity to develop a critical understanding of key historical and contemporary thinkers and traditions in ethics, and will explore some of the ways in which philosophical, theological and religious forms of moral reasoning have interacted in different times and places.
|Perspectives on Living Religions||30|
This module focuses on theory and method in the study of religion It is divided into two parts. The first part will introduce students to a range of key theoretical and methodological perspectives in the study of religion from the 19th century to the present. The second part will examine four non-Christian traditions, and explore the ways in which the theory and methodology discussed early in the module finds application in relation to particular aspects of these traditions.
|Great Christian Thinkers||30|
The Christian doctrinal tradition has been the scene of immense intellectual energy and creativity for two thousand years. This module introduces some of its most influential figures, situating them within their historical context and exploring some of the central themes in their thought. An emphasis on the acquisition of textual analysis skills and academic writing will be a major focus of the first semester, which will focus on one or two questions/thinkers/problems in order to demonstrate how lectures, reading and independent work might be utilised for effective written assessment. Students will encounter thinkers ranging from the first to the twentieth centuries, and undertaking this module will train them to read primary texts, and work within the parameters of Higher Education with increased confidence. Theologians to be included will normally include figures such as Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Schleiermacher and Barth.
Year 2 (Level 5)
Year 3 (Level 6)
In this module, each lecture will consist of two academics discussing or debating an issue or set of ideas common to their individual profile of expertise. Their discussions will explore a topic through dialogue, debate or critical disagreement. Students will be drawn into that discussion in a variety of ways, though activities such as mini seminar discussion, facilitated debate, and question and answer sessions. Students will engage with structured reading patterns in preparation to participate in these staged debates, and the assessment pattern for the module will prioritise the way in which students are able to communicate and engage with ideas in real time.
In conversation with a member of academic staff, students select an appropriate area of investigation. In 8-10,000 words, students must engage with their chosen topic using critical methodologies, evidence and argument. The topic chosen must be one which relates to the subject matter of their Programme and which permits the demonstration of independent research, study and reflection.
|Specialism in Religion||15|
Study will involve an in-depth exploration of a particular theme or area in the study of religion in line with the lecturing staff’s research expertise and published outputs (realised or potential). Key controversies and problems will be considered and methodologies analysed. A focus will lie on independent study on the part of the students to explore particular themes, texts, figures, or areas around the subject, which will be based in contemporary scholarly resources. Students will be required to take initiative on devising their assessment projects, and to exhibit strong communication in the delivery of their findings.
|Specialism in Theology||15|
Study will involve an in-depth exploration of a particular theme or area in the study of theology, in line with the lecturing staff’s research expertise and published outputs (realised or potential). Key controversies and problems will be considered and methodologies analysed. A focus will lie on independent study on the part of the students to explore particular themes, texts, figures, or areas around the subject, which will be based in contemporary scholarly resources. Students will be required to take initiative on devising their assessment projects, and to exhibit strong communication in the delivery of their findings.
Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.
Course Tuition Fees
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man
If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.
Full-time £9,250 p/a
Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)
UK/EU Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,938
Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)
International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.
As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.
There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:
Core texts: Core Texts are available from the University Library; however, students will be strongly encouraged in some modules to purchase a copy of a key work that the module focuses on. Some Core Texts can be bought second hand, or as an ebook which can often reduce this cost. Costs approximately £100 per academic year.
Field trips: In year 2 and/or year 3, students may undertake field studies to explore the diversity of religions, cultures and traditions - previous trips have included India, Istanbul and Jerusalem. The cost of a field trip is dependent on location and duration. Previous trip costs have ranged between £800 and £1200.
Study abroad: Students have the option to study a semester abroad in the USA in their second year of study. For more information please click here.
Course Specific Bursaries/ Scholarships
We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards page.
Key course details
- UCAS code
- 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
- Typical offer
- 104-120 points
- King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester