Theology BA (Hons)
3 years full-time
4 years part-time (for further information on part-time course combinations available click here)
|Course type:||Combined honours|
A minimum of 280 UCAS points including grades CC or above at A2 level, BTEC National Diploma with an overall grade of Distinction Merit Merit, or an Access Diploma with a minimum of 39 credits with Merit or Distinction. You will also need five GCSEs at grade C or above, including GCSE English Language, or a recognised equivalent. For alternative qualifications please see our entry requirements page.
Contact for admissions enquiriesAdmissions
Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2386)
Contact for course content enquiriesDr Susan Docherty (Programme Leader for Combined Honours and Head of Theology and Religious Education)
Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2231)
Why Study Theology?
The study of Theology and Philosophy also develops analytical and thinking skills and encourages you to approach ideas from several viewpoints. The Theology department at Newman has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and support of its students. Our students come from a range of backgrounds and prior learning experiences, and the courses are open to those of any religious tradition or none.
The Theology major and joint courses offered cover all the key aspects of this wide subject area, including Philosophy of Religion, World Faiths and Theological methods and skills. The courses allow for great flexibility, so you can choose to specialise in one area of Theology (e.g. Christian Theology or Philosophy of Religion) more than the others. The department’s particular expertise lies in the areas of Christian Theology and Biblical Studies.
What makes this course noteworthy?
The Theology tutors are all well-qualified and experienced lecturers, and students are taught in relatively small groups, especially in the second and third year. The course emphasises the ability to read and engage with primary texts, such as the scriptures and creeds of the world’s religions and the writings of philosophers and theologians. Fieldtrips to places of worship and other sites of interest are organised annually.
All combined honours students at Newman also undertake a work placement which helps equip them for employment after graduation. Students have the opportunity of going abroad to do the placement module. The skills of critical thinking, evaluation of sources of information, combined with cultural and religious understanding would be valued by employers in a range of industries, both in the UK and overseas.
How will I be assessed?
All Theology modules are assessed through coursework including essays, textual commentaries, case studies, portfolios, journals and oral presentations rather than by examinations.
Courses at Newman are constantly evolving to reflect changes in the field of study. Therefore, modules listed here are indicative and may be subject to change for each academic year. Some modules are mandatory and some are optional. Not all modules will be available on all routes through the programme you choose, and modules studied will depend on whether you choose minor, joint, major or single honours routes.
Introduction to Biblical Studies
This module will introduce students to both general issues about reading sacred texts in the modern world (e.g. whether they can be translated and who should interpret them) and to the specific contents of the Jewish and Christian Bible (e.g. the New Testament gospels and the Old Testament creation stories).
Christian Theology: The Classical Tradition
The module will open with an exploration of the students’ own understandings of theology. Then week by week it will map out the nature and range of the theological enterprise through the exploration of the writings of key figures in the Christian tradition. After locating the theologians in their time and context the students will engage with group reading of primary texts. The group will gradually explore the influence of the text’s ideas in the history of Western theology and address the range of that influence today. The different Christian traditions of East and West, pre- and post Reformation, will also be addressed.
Religions, Politics and Philosophy
The module will introduce the student to issues surrounding the study of religions e.g. sources, dogma and texts; beliefs and practices; spiritualities; secularisation and pluralism; the influence of economics and politics on the development of religious and philosophical thought and practice, using case studies drawn from the six major religious traditions represented in the UK.
Methods in Theological and Philosophical Study
The module will introduce students to the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for studies in theology, religious studies, and philosophy of religion. They will work with set texts from a range of theological disciplines.
God and the Philosophers
This module explores key themes in contemporary philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. The intention of the module is to encourage an appreciation of the different attitudes towards the philosophy of religion taken by historical and contemporary philosophers, and to encourage students to develop their own critical response to the philosophers studied. The module will seek to foster an awareness of contemporary reactions to, and critiques of, analytical philosophy of religion.
Learning and Teaching in Religious Education
This double module aims to introduce students to Religious Education and SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural) development to assist students interested in working in a variety of educational and pastoral settings, including primary and secondary schools, adult catechesis and various forms of parish ministry. In addition to studying the historical development of RE and the significance of SMSC there will be practical aspects involving teaching and evaluation of strategies undertaken.
Students also take a Work Placement preparation module and one module from a different subject area from a set list during their first year.
Christian Theology and Modernity
The module will start with a brief survey of the intellectual currents of modernity e.g. the rise of historical consciousness, the turn to the subject, the growth in secularism, and of atheistic materialism. Then the work of a representative group of Christian theologians will be examined critically in the light of this modern framework. Vatican II will act as the concluding point of the module.
Three Monotheistic Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
This module focuses on some key themes in the three faiths, including worship, law and ethics and also covers historical and contemporary relationships between the three faiths, including co-operation and conflict.
New Testament Studies: Paul and Acts
This module will provide opportunity for an in-depth study of early Christianity, focusing in particular on the life, missionary strategy, thought and contribution to the Church’s development of Paul, and the ethical and doctrinal difficulties faced by the Christian communities he founded. Students will be encouraged to actively engage in analysis and interpretation of the texts of the major Pauline letters and sections of the Acts of the Apostles.
Issues in Contemporary Ethics
This module is designed to engage the student in the application of the principles of Christian Ethics to a variety of particular issues in social and medical ethics.
Science and the Cosmos: The Search for Meaning
This module is designed to encourage an appreciation of how developments in contemporary science might inform some of the central debates in metaphysics, philosophy and theology. The module will foster an awareness of the way in which scientific discourse is underpinned by philosophical assumptions and it will encourage students to develop a critical analysis of whether empirical science can, on its own terms, respond adequately to key philosophical and theological questions such as 'who are we?', 'why are we here?' and 'how should we live?'
Radical Theologies and Philosophies
The aim of this module is to explore and assess the contribution of radical thought and action to the broader field of contemporary Christian theology. This will entail an examination of a range of movements from the 20th and 21st century, and will be developed in a detailed study of the thought of selected theologians and philosophers.
Religious Education and Citizenship
This module will cover the national requirements for both Religious Education and Citizenship in primary and secondary schools, with reference made to appropriate syllabuses. It will examine how both subjects have developed historically and what the future may hold in store, especially in the light of current debates in society around “citizenship ceremonies” and the nature of citizenship in the twenty-first century.
Jewish Studies: Ancient and Modern
This module will offer an overview of important aspects of Jewish faith, history and literature, including the origins of Israel as recounted in the Hebrew Bible, Jewish law, selected Inter-Testamental and rabbinic texts, and the modern period (with a focus on 20th century Europe). The cultural and political influences on Jewish beliefs and life (e.g. ancient empires, the interaction with Hellenism, Nazi ideology) will be considered.
Philosophy of Truth: Conceptions of the Good, the True and the Beautiful
This module will encourage students to engage with key philosophical thinker in the Western canon and will study how post-modern philosophers have reacted against their 'modern' inheritance. Certain important philosophical themes will be addressed such as the use of myth and language in philosophy, the possibility of philosophical truth and knowledge, the death of God and noncognitivism. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own philosophical reaction to developments in post-modern philosophy.
Mysticism East and West
The course will open with a survey of the debate on the nature of mysticism within the western Christian tradition. The shift in this century to more comparative and inclusive models of study will be highlighted and the theories of key practitioners explored. The lectures will adopt three different approaches; theological, philosophical and the more comparative approach of contemporary psychology in the modern study of religions.
The Cathedrals and the English Spiritual Traditions
The module will be taught in an intensive field study mode, based on a series of visits to regional Cathedrals and Minsters where there will be an opportunity to study the religious culture of past societies at different sites. There will be a briefing session beforehand to introduce the aims of the module to the participants and to deal with practical issues. During the visit there will be lectures, workshops and guided visits to places of importance. Students will plan and carry out practical research related to their chosen topics and will give presentations and prepare final assessment tasks.
Europe Reborn and Divided: Renaissance and Reformation
This module covers a fundamental period – the Renaissance and Reformation - in the development of western religion and culture. The module seeks to develop an understanding of this complex period and to explore its meaning and on-going influence through an examination of primary sources, images, key events and the lives of individuals. It will concentrate on continental Europe with particular focus on Renaissance Florence and Reformation Germany and Switzerland.
Values and Virtues
The intention of this module is to guide students towards developing an appreciation of the relationship between culture and philosophy. It is designed to encourage an appreciation of the ways in which ideas about virtue and 'the good life' have changed over time, influenced by and influencing particular historical contexts. It will explore how ideas current in ancient Greek thought have since been reasserted and recast by twentieth century philosophers.
Theology with Ancient History V6VC BA/TWAH
Theology with Applied Psychology V6C8 BA/ThWPsy
Theology with Counselling V6B9 BA/TWC
Theology with Creative Writing V6W8 BA/ThWCW
Theology with Education Studies V6X3 BA/TWEdS
Theology with English Language VPQ3 BA/TEL
Theology with English Literature V6Q3 BA/ThWE
Theology with Local History and Heritage V6V3 BA/TWLHH
Theology with Management & Business V6N2 BA/ThWMS
"After speaking to my teachers in 6th form, they recommended Newman. I came to an open day and knew it was the right place and course to study, with the small class sizes, interesting module choices and friendly lecturers - Newman was the perfect place to be studying Theology. After two years of studying Theology here, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and know that I definitely made the right decision in choosing Newman."
Vanessa Green, Theology student