September 2020

Theology and Philosophy BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, Undergraduate, September 2020

Key Details

  • VV56 Course Code
  • 3-4.5 Years
  • 96 Typical UCAS Tariff
students talking on steps

Overview

Theology and Philosophy are of great importance for understanding the world in which we live, as both our history and our modern culture are shaped by religious beliefs and philosophical traditions. This is an ideal course for the student with wide interests who loves thinking and debating. The course will encourage you to consider the deep questions facing individuals and society about life and death, culture and identity, and the responsibility of human beings to one another and to the environment.  Almost every story covered in the media has an ethical, philosophical or religious dimension to it, so that theology is always relevant to the issues of today. Students from a range of backgrounds and prior learning experiences are welcome, and the course is open to those of any religious tradition or none.

Why study this course?

  • Theology and Philosophy scored 100% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019.
  • Theology and Philosophy at Newman challenges students to think deeply about the greatest questions facing society today such as climate change, human rights, gender equality and the nature of work.
  • The Theology tutors at Newman make use of an interactive teaching style, which is greatly appreciated by students; in the National Student Survey 2019, for example, we scored 99% for satisfaction with teaching,
  • 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
  • Field trips to places of worship and other sites of interest are included in some modules
  • The programme includes optional modules in Religious education for those students considering a career in teaching

What does the course cover?

Theology and Philosophy is a broad area of study, which embraces a whole variety of other subjects, including history, literature, politics, sociology and anthropology. The Theology and Philosophy degree at Newman offers you the opportunity to study all the key areas of the wide subject of theology, including: Christian theology, both classical and modern; philosophy of religion; ethical theories and issues; biblical interpretation; and how different religions interact with society and politics. The first year of the Programme aims to give you a solid grounding in all of these areas and also to help you make the transition to University study.

In the second and third years you will develop your knowledge and skills further through a combination of compulsory and optional modules. These will cover both ancient and modern perspectives on Theology, Philosophy, and Ethics, and provide opportunities to study areas such as biblical interpretation and Religious Education. During your final year you will explore deeply a topic of your choice and write a 10,000 word dissertation. A key element of the whole course is engagement with primary texts, including the scriptures of the major religions, and a willingness to evaluate a variety of perspectives is expected.

In addition to the compulsory work placement strand which is a feature of all Newman’s degree programmes, the Theology and Philosophy course includes an employability-related module in the third year. This allows students to engage directly with community organisations, charities and other agencies to apply their theological and philosophical knowledge in order to create solutions for real-life problems.

How will I be assessed?

The course uses a variety of assessments to help develop a range of different skills including essays, poster and oral presentations, textual commentaries, book reviews, case studies, portfolios, digital artefacts, reflective logs and research projects. There are no written examinations.

What careers could I consider?

Theology and Philosophy graduates go on to a wide range of careers, including teaching, the police service, the NHS, administration in the public and private sectors, human resources, and retail or hotel management. Others take professional post-graduate courses to qualify as, for example, lawyers, accountants, youth workers, social workers or librarians. The skills of critical thinking, evaluation, communication, and cultural and religious understanding gained during the course are valued by many different kinds of employers.

Theology and Philosophy Webinars

Newman University’s Theology and Philosophy department are excited to introduce TRS Summer Tuesdays – a series of webinars for those interested in studying the subject area at University. Held across 4 weeks in June, each session will get students thinking about some current topics in Theology and Philosophy.

Find Out More

Contact Details

for course specific enquiries

Entry Requirements

You must achieve at least 96 UCAS points including a minimum of CC at A level or equivalent (e.g.MM at BTEC Diploma; MPP at BTEC Extended Diploma) towards the total tariff.

Access Students can achieve the requirements with the following combination of Distinction, Merit and/ or Pass grades at level 3 achieved from a completed Access course. 96 UCAS Points: D21-M3-P21; D18-M9-P18; D15-M15-P15; D12-M21-P12; D9-M27-P9; D6-M33-P6; D3-M39-P3; D0-M45-P0.

Five GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) or above (or recognised equivalents), including English Language, are also required.

For applicants who are unsure that they will achieve the above UCAS tariff, Newman University offers Theology and Philosophy (with Foundation Year) which enables such applicants to access a university degree via a four year route. Upon successful completion of their foundation year, students will progress to Year 1 of a named degree. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, students wishing to follow particular named routes with additional entry requirements, will need to meet these requirements before they make the transition from their foundation year to year 1.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for the full-time route for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

Course Fees

Fees per academic year:
Full-time UK/EU students: £9,250 *
Part-time UK/EU students: £5,130

* Fees shown are for 2020/21 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Additional Costs

Find out more about the other additional costs associated with our undergraduate degrees. 

Modules

Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

 

  1. This compulsory module aims to support first year students in the transition into Higher Education and prepare them to succeed in their theological and philosophical studies. It provides the opportunity and time for students to acquire and/or develop the academic study skills, both general and subject-specific, on which they will need to draw throughout their programme, for example: research skills; bibliographic referencing; academic writing; reading and commenting appropriately on primary theological and philosophical texts; critical analysis; and summarising and evaluating sources.  
  2. Sacred texts form the authoritative core of most religious faiths; their doctrines, traditions and often institutional structures. Therefore, understanding their historical and contemporary functions within the religious community is fundamental to religious and philosophical studies. The Hebrew (Tanakh) and Christian Bible present an ideal opportunity to provide students with the foundational knowledge and critical apparatus in order to understand, analyse and reflect upon the dynamic relationship between text, religion and society; how texts are produced, interpreted and applied throughout history and the present day.  
  3. This module explores the role of religion and politics in Britain by bringing classical texts of political philosophy into dialogue with real case studies from the recent past. You will become familiar with key concepts that have influenced how religion is understood in Britain today. Arguments about religious toleration, individual freedom, and the role of the state have real consequences for how people live and so over the course of this module you’ll analyse how these abstract political concepts play out in our contemporary world.
  4. This module will introduce you to the skills necessary to research religious studies both inside and outside the classroom. Offering a mix of guided and independent study, the module includes visits to religious centres in the Birmingham area. Through lectures and carefully guided practical sessions you will build up the skills necessary for research and study of religions. The teaching in the module is directed towards producing a portfolio of work responding to a visit to a religious centre.
  5. This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and self-management skills to make informed choices in preparing for work placement and the transition to employment or further study on graduation.  Learners will be provided with the opportunities to develop awareness of the workplace, identify different career and study options, recognise and articulate their own experience, accomplishments and talents and plan and implement career management strategies for the short and long term.
  6. Presuming no prior knowledge, this module introduces you to the key features of Christian Theology. Each week we will study a key component of Christian Theology and examine how it was developed in the work of one or two important theologians. We’ll think about how the work of Christian Theology engages with questions of race, sexuality, gender, disability and class. As our knowledge of Christian Theology develops, we’ll begin to consider how these resources might help us to meet the great challenges facing humanity today.
  7. In this module you will be introduced to some of the most exciting questions in philosophy such as: Can we know anything? Are we free? Is there such a thing as ‘reality’? Through an encounter with the works of some of the most well-known philosophers, for example Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, and Hume, and some who write from different standpoints, for example bell hooks and Cornel West, you will explore different answers to these questions and study how they have helped to form our view of ourselves and the world around us.  
  1. Beginning with the wisdom traditions of monastic theology, this module tracks the development of philosophical and theological enquiry through the second millennium. You’ll explore how the theology of the monasteries gives way to the scholasticism of the universities, before the rise of nominalism foreshadows the reforming theologies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The module concludes by laying out the key intellectual, technological and social shifts that herald modernity. There will be a strong focus on reading and analysing primary texts, and on placing the key ideas of these sources in their wider context.

     
  2. This year-long module offers learners the opportunity to apply and explore knowledge within a work-based context, through the mode of work place learning. The placement supervisor in the work place will negotiate the focus for the learner’s role on placement, with the learner. Students complete 100 hours in the work setting. The learner will reflect critically on different dimensions of the work place setting. This module provides an opportunity for students wishing to attain National Professional recognition with the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) to complete an AMTLA project. The module will also provide the opportunity for those students interested in going on to the PGCE programme to gain support and guidance with the PGCE application process.  
  3. Beloved and favoured by God, Abraham/Ibrahim is an important figure in both the Qur’an and the Bible. Christians, Muslims, and Jews have all claimed to be the true descendants of Abraham and, therefore, the sole inheritors of God’s favour. More recently, the term “Abrahamic Religions” has been used by politicians, religious leaders, and normal people to express a fundamental similarity between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  On this module, you will analyse and evaluate different discussions of Abraham to understand how this scriptural figure has been imagined by generations of religious and non-religious people.      
  4. Taking this module will enable you to examine some of the most pressing ethical debates of our age from human cloning and genetic modification to capital punishment and overseas military intervention. You will be encouraged to assess the arguments for and against different ethical positions, while developing an appreciation for the underlying philosophical issues like autonomy and choice, the value of human and non-human life, and the purpose of modern medicine.
  5. In this module, students will apply some of the theological and philosophical approaches studied elsewhere in the programme to a contemporary issue of their choosing (e.g. gender, environment, euthanasia, social justice). This is as an essential step-up module enabling students to consolidate their learning and promote the skills of independent learning, critical thinking and research essential for success in the dissertation and other Level 6 modules. They will therefore be offered sessions to develop their confidence in areas such as enhanced research skills, research ethics, academic writing and grammar, negotiation and collaborative working, and project planning.

     
  6. In this module you will explore how being human might be imagined in terms of our capacity to respond to the encounter with the other. Through a study of major movements such as existentialism, Marxism, neo-orthodoxy and liberation theology, you will assess how twentieth century philosophers and theologians have responded to modernity. This will underpin an assessment of how more contemporary voices from the margins, such as British black theology, queer theory, disability theology and feminist philosophy have challenged and resisted accepted models of God and humanity.
  7. This module aims to develop knowledge & understanding for students that have a particular interest in RE through identifying current issues raised in government reports and addressing challenges ahead as outlined by professional RE bodies. The module will examine research to investigate factors influencing the delivery of RE in schools and the impact this holds for pupil understanding. Through exploration of recent recommendations by professional bodies for the ongoing development of RE, as a statutory curriculum subject, students will be equipped for any future careers involving this subject area as well as developing a range of transferable skills.
  8. This module considers the question of spiritual and faith development of children within primary/secondary schools and the links that can be made to the wider area of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural). Through RE it will also examine world views alongside religious understanding of spirituality. Students will examine theoretical frameworks for moral and spiritual development within the context of theories of child development in general. School-related sessions will explore PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), equality and diversity, wellbeing, and wider issues such as whether moral and spiritual development can be assessed and the implementation of SMSC across the curriculum.
  9. Using canonical and non-canonical writings from the first and second centuries C.E. as primary sources, students explore, through its own words, the progression of Christianity from its emergence as a small Jewish movement within sectarian Second Temple Judaism to its struggle in renegotiating its identity and place within the Roman Empire as a distinct religious voice. In doing so, this module consolidates and develops core subject knowledge and skills introduced in THU406 (Reading Sacred Texts).  
  10. Focusing on the Jewish and Christian Bible and examples of its use within contemporary settings (e.g. politics, art, popular culture, social media, inter and intra religious dialogue), this module investigates the relationship between the text and its users. Building on a number of questions and challenges posed in THU406, the module explores in greater depth issues relating to genre and textual reception.
  1. This double module promotes the acquisition of in-depth and advanced subject knowledge and understanding, and fosters critical engagement with theological and/or philosophical issues. Building upon their interests and achievements at Levels 4 and 5, students will choose, in negotiation with tutors, a focused area of study within the broad field of Theology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. The dissertation focus may fall within any of the areas covered within the Programme, including Christian Theology, Biblical Studies, Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and Religious Education, but is dependent on the availability of staff expertise and suitable resources as well as student interest.
  2. Throughout the degree programme students have been encouraged and challenged to critically engage with issues and questions facing contemporary society. Building on this, this module provides students with the supportive space to use the tools (skills, theological/philosophical knowledge and experience) they have acquired throughout the degree programme in order to take on the role of theological and/or philosophical practitioners and consultants within ‘real world’ situations, and to attempt to create informed solutions to specific problems posed by local agencies and other groups.​
  3. This module focuses on the question ‘who am I?’ and whether it is, even in principle, possible to answer it. You will have the opportunity to encounter a wide range of philosophical answers to this question including, for example, those proposed by Plato, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Through this, you will critically engage with a broad range of philosophical debates, such as those concerning the role of myth in philosophy, the relationship between human beings and the non-human world, the possibility of metaphysics, and the philosophy of dance and aesthetics.
  4. This module explores the religious transformations that occurred around the Mediterranean in the years between 200 and 800 CE. It will draw together texts and material culture to trace the histories of Christianity, Judaism and Islam through this period, contextualising them within wider social, cultural, and religious developments. During the module you will be introduced to the different interpretations of modern readers and to the varied ways that the history of Late Antique religion is also a history of the present.
  5. This module enables you to explore the ways in which ancient ideas of virtues and values have been reasserted and recast by twentieth and twenty-first century philosophers. By engaging with ancient Greek texts you will have the opportunity to critically assess some of the ethical ideals upheld by this literature, such as Homer’s warrior-hero Achilles, Aeschylus’ tragic hero Agamemnon and Plato’s transcendent Forms. Evaluating the ways in which these accounts of virtue have been fundamental in shaping more modern perceptions of what it means to lead a good life found in, for example, Iris Murdoch’s account of the Good, Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist writings, and Martha Nussbaum’s insights about moral luck and tragic dilemmas will encourage you to critique the ideas of justice and good character promoted by our own contemporary culture.
  6. This module aims to develop knowledge & understanding for students that have a particular interest in RE through identifying current issues raised in government reports and addressing challenges ahead as outlined by professional RE bodies. The module will examine research to investigate factors influencing the delivery of RE in schools and the impact this holds for pupil understanding. Through exploration of recent recommendations by professional bodies for the ongoing development of RE, as a statutory curriculum subject, students will be equipped for any future careers involving this subject area as well as developing a range of transferable skills.  
  7. This module considers the question of spiritual and faith development of children within primary/secondary schools and the links that can be made to the wider area of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural). Through RE it will also examine world views alongside religious understanding of spirituality. Students will examine theoretical frameworks for moral and spiritual development within the context of theories of child development in general. School-related sessions will explore PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), equality and diversity, wellbeing, and wider issues such as whether moral and spiritual development can be assessed and the implementation of SMSC across the curriculum.
  8. Using canonical and non-canonical writings from the first and second centuries C.E. as primary sources, students explore, through its own words, the progression of Christianity from its emergence as a small Jewish movement within sectarian Second Temple Judaism to its struggle in renegotiating its identity and place within the Roman Empire as a distinct religious voice. In doing so, this module consolidates and develops core subject knowledge and skills introduced in THU406 (Reading Sacred Texts).  
  9. Focusing on the Jewish and Christian Bible and examples of its use within contemporary settings (e.g. politics, art, popular culture, social media, inter and intra religious dialogue), this module investigates the relationship between the text and its users. Building on a number of questions and challenges posed in THU406, the module explores in greater depth issues relating to genre and textual reception. For students who have taken THU505 (Early Christian Literature), they will be encouraged to find parallels and differences between contemporary use of the Bible and those in Antiquity. The historical trajectory of Christian tradition will be explored, principally through Reception Theory, to identify the dynamic nature of texts and hermeneutic plasticity.

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