Durham University has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.
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?
At the Department of Theology and Religion, the answer to the final question is 'Yes'. We teach you how to use the tools of philosophy, social science, history, literature and language to understand human beliefs and worldviews, past and present. We do this both from within, seeking to test our own beliefs for clarity and coherence, and from without, as critical observers. We have a historic strength in the study of Christian thought, history, practice, and texts, while offering strong provision in other areas such as politics, ethics, non-Christian faith traditions, humanism and atheism (which are also belief systems).
Four compulsory modules are taken in the first year, as follows:
Worldview, Faith and Identity (world religions)
Introduction to Biblical Studies (scriptural studies)
Christianity in Context (historical studies)
Introduction to Christian Theology (philosophical studies)
and two optional modules from a list which in the past has included:
God and Evil
God and the Good: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics
New Testament Greek
A module from another department (such as Arabic, or Ethics and Values).
One of these optional modules may be taken in your second year.
Beyond the first year, you have the opportunity to either develop your expertise in all of these areas, or to specialise in one or more according to your interests. Here are some examples of modules that have previously been offered in the second year:
Atheism, Belief, and the Edge of Reason
Science and Theology: Exploring the Interface
Literature and Theology of the Old Testament
Sacred India: Land, Politics, and Identity
Faith, Identity and Power in Latin America
Jewish Religion in Antiquity: Belief Systems, Ethics, Political Conflicts
Philosophy and the Christian Tradition 100–1300
The Making of Modern Christianity: Medieval and Reformation Europe
Religion in Contemporary Britain
Myth and Meaning
New Testament Theology: Exploring Paul and John
Death, Ritual and Belief
Catholic Identity in the Modern World.
In your second year you may also take up to two modules in other departments.
In your final year, you will submit a double dissertation which allows you to explore in depth a topic of your choice which is of special interest to you. In the third year you can also take optional modules, selecting from a list which in the past has included:
Jesus Christ in the Twentieth Century
Competing Gospels: Jesus Inside and Outside the Canon
Issues in Old Testament Studies
Religious Diversity in African Context
The Sociology of Conservative Protestantism
Theology, Nature, Environment
The Thought of St Thomas Aquinas
The First Urban Churches
Religion and Film
Emotion, Religion and Identity
Christian Tradition and the Practice of Politics.
The Postmodern God.
If not taken in the second year (see above), you may also take up to two Finals modules (in total) in another department.
We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2020 entry from September 2019.
Durham University currently has over 240 student exchange agreements across the world as part of our International Exchange programmes. Our partner institutions are spread across the globe from Austria to New Zealand. Students apply for this opportunity during their first two years and (if successful) spend a year, between their second and third years at Durham in one of our overseas partner institutions.
For more information on this course, please see our website.
For more information on the content of this course, including module details, please see our website.
How to apply
If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:
15 January*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!
You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.
You are viewing a course summary page, please select a course option to see the application codes
Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
|UCAS Tariff||Not accepted|
Specific subjects excluded for entry:
General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Applicants taking Science A-levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This refers only to English A Levels.
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)||DDD|
|Access to HE Diploma||
D: 30 credits
M: 15 credits
|We require 60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 (or equivalent). Applicants may be required to meet additional subject-specific requirements for particular courses at Durham. Please contact departments for further information.|
|Scottish Higher||AAABB||Departments will normally make offers based on Advanced Highers. In the absence of 3 Advanced Highers, where these are not offered by the applicant’s school, offers comprising of Advanced Highers and Highers or a number of Highers may be made on a case by case basis.|
|Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal||D3, D3, M2|
|Extended Project||Not accepted|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme||36 points||
General information on subjects/grades required for entry:
Seventeen points (6, 6, 5) from Higher Level subjects required.
|Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017)||H2, H2, H2, H2, H3|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||AAB|
|Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)||Not accepted|
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
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£9,250||Year 1|