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Course summary

What do people believe about the world and their place in it? How do those beliefs shape society and culture? Can those beliefs be critically examined, scrutinised and tested? BA Theology and Religion will teach you how to use the tools of philosophy, social science, history, literature and language to understand human beliefs and world views, past and present. We do this both from within, seeking to test our own beliefs, and from without, as critical observers. We have a historic strength in the study of Christian thought, history, theology, practice and texts, while offering strong provision in politics, ethics, non-Christian faith traditions, humanism and atheism. In addition to academic learning, we have an extensive series of research-related activities which you are warmly encouraged to attend. These include several research seminars and public lectures from high-profile guest speakers and visiting scholars; the University also frequently hosts eminent and well-known visiting speakers. You also have the choice of applying to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four. In the first year, modules are intended to provide the foundational understanding and skills necessary for work in theology and the study of religion. In the second year, there is a much greater choice of modules to allow you to pursue your own interests within theology and religion by building on the understanding and abilities you have begun to develop in the first year. The third year includes a dissertation that allows a deep, independently driven, exploration of a topic of your choice. For more information on this course, please see our website.


Year 1 Core modules: Worldview, Faith and Identity outlines established approaches to the study of religion. The module introduces ideas of identity, faith and worldview as foundations for religious thought and practice. Introduction to the History of Christianity provides an introduction to the history of Christianity and to its relationships with its social and cultural contexts including the representation of different periods, different regions, different social groups such as historically marginalised groups, and different methodologies. Introduction to Christian Theology (philosophical studies) will equip you with a grasp of the history of Christian theology and provide a comprehensive map of the major figures, ideas and debates which function as a minimal context for intelligent work in Christian theology. The module will introduce the method of thinking theologically, by habituating you in the thoughts of leading theologians. Introduction to Bible: Texts, History, Culture (scriptural studies) introduces important passages and themes in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament, and explains some of the ways in which biblical scholars approach texts. Examples of optional modules: Biblical Hebrew New Testament Greek God and Evil God and the Good: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics Islam Observed: Ethnographic Accounts of Muslim Practice. Year 2 Examples of optional modules: Literature and Theology of the Old Testament New Testament Theology Decolonising the Bible Death, Ritual and Belief Creation and New Creation: Imaging God Atheism, Belief and the Edge of Reason Topics in Christian Ethics Christ and the Human Mystery: Imaging God Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement year or year abroad) Core module: In your final year, you will submit a dissertation on a related topic of your choice, approved by an academic advisor. The dissertation allows you to explore in depth a topic of special interest to you. Examples of optional modules: Aramaic Advanced Greek Texts Issues in Old Testament Studies The New Testament and Christian Ethics Religion and Film Emotion and Identity in Religion Christian Fundamentalism and the Modern World.

Assessment method

Modules are assessed by essays and end-of-year examinations, some by a combination of the two. Forty per cent of your degree will be assessed by coursework. In your final year, you will submit a dissertation, which allows you to explore in depth a topic of your choice.

How to apply

Application codes

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Durham City
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Our contextual offer for this programme is A level BBB or ABC (or equivalent). To find out if you’re eligible, please visit:

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

English language requirements

Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.

English language requirements

Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250* Year 1
Channel Islands £9250* Year 1
EU £24000* Year 1
England £9250* Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250* Year 1
Scotland £9250* Year 1
Wales £9250* Year 1
International £24000* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

The tuition fees for 2024/25 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.
Theology and Religion at Durham University - UCAS