Amy Bowes - theology studentAmy Bowes – Theology BA (Hons)

“I originally attended an open day at Newman University when I was 19 (almost 10 years ago) and I was impressed by its calming surroundings, inclusivity and the theology departments welcoming embrace. I have never shook the want to study here, and returning for an applicant day 10 years later, I still had a feeling of wanting to be there and feeling of belonging. That’s how I knew that I wanted to spend three years of my life studying at Newman.

I have always been fascinated by religion and its contribution to and effects upon society. Religion is ingrained in every aspect of society, and in order to understand difference and challenge ideas, we must have an understanding of the religious aspects which underpin society. I adore biblical studies, hermeneutics and exegesis because it is fascinating to research the way in which the Bible was composed, the socio-political and historical influences present at the time it was written, how it affected societies in ancient times and how it continues to affect and influence society today.

The course has exceeded my expectations. I feel both challenged and supported on my course and the course has opened up to me new adventures I may have otherwise not explored.

Newman is a lovely place to be. The surroundings are beautiful, and it is a very calming place to be. The Theology staff are incredible, supportive, knowledgeable and always challenging us to be the best that we can. The lecturers are always happy to help, respond the emails incredibly quickly, are always willing to fit in tutorials as soon as they possibly can and their enthusiasm for the course genuinely shines through.

Newman has a very supportive student-centred network including mental health support and counselling service, mentoring, financial information and help, dyslexia support, academic workshops and specialised library staff for each department to name a few. I have been to see the mental health student advisor who helped me with my DSA application and ongoing support during difficult times, the finance department who supported me through a difficult financial period and have weekly mentoring appointments.

The Theology department itself is extremely supportive, with an open-door policy should you be facing any issues and are always happy to schedule tutorials or appointments should you need them.

The lecturers are always willing to listen to feedback and build upon this to improve the course. During my first year of study I was a course rep for my class, representing their views, concerns and recommendations. This current year I am a StAR of the Early Years Education and Care Department, mediating between the department heads and student enquires, attending the SSCCs and following up on anything the students have asked me to look into.

I am currently involved in a staff-student partnership. A Masters student on the theology course has developed the project and has asked me to collaborate with her. I have not only gained the opportunity to be involved in an exciting project, I have also made new friends.

After my degree, I hope to complete my Masters and my PhD, specialising in the Hebrew Bible and teaching theology as a lecturer in a university. I would love to be a Professor heading a Theology department one day.”

Debbie Williams - theology studentDeborah Williams – Theology BA (Hons)

“Newman does not attempt to be everything to everyone – it is superb at providing accessible courses to people who want locally provided, quality teaching, in an intensely supportive environment. The theology department are professional and highly skilled but not in any way remote and made me feel that they would engage with me as an individual throughout my studies – and my supposition has proved to be correct!

I chose to study the course because we are reported a more secular society yet religion and religious discourse dominates our daily landscape – I wanted to understand that more, and have a great appreciation of different religions and beliefs.

I think the ethos of Newman is essentially student centric – well as far as it can be in the demanding environment of HE. My own departmental staff are committed and hardworking enthusiastic directors of studies who genuinely seem to want to help us to achieve.

My course has been full of surprises! It has by far exceeded my expectations – I wish my 2016 self had spoken to my 2018 self before I started!!!!

I am a very old mature student, with a house, my own business, a job, a child and a dog – it can be quite exhausting delivering everything – add disabilities and health troubles and the issue magnify. Academic support has been outstanding which is why I like being at Newman – its small enough that people spot when you are drowning.

Newman have worked with my disability report to minimise the way my disability impacts on my learning. It has, where possible, been possible to continue to work in my part time business which has been vital to family life for funds! As a person who had not been in education since 1983, I have also benefited from some outstanding additional support via ASA classes – all together making things as easy as it can be (and it certainly is not easy!!)

I was a course rep in year 1; I did HEADstart before I started which was excellent. I am a student advisor with the SU which is really interesting and hopefully helping my peers also.

Tom Hunt has arranged a number of ‘outings’ all local – but nevertheless worthwhile. They helped to bring to life the classroom based learning and really were inspiring. Handling ancient coins was beyond mind blowing – normally I wander aimlessly around a museum – this was like being at a theme park such was the enthusiasm build by pre attendance lectures and inspiring academics at the institute who devoted time and expertise to us. First class.

I embarked on a degree in my fifties for the sheer thrill of learning. For the joy of self-development and for the challenge it would bring. I have not chosen to a degree with a career in mind – I am learning for the bliss of learning, to exercise my brain and to develop as a person.

Don’t forget to look around and take time to appreciate all that is on offer here at Newman. There is much to participate in, develop from and be enjoyed if you take a few moments to look.”

theology studentCharlotte Bailey – Theology and Philosophy BA (Hons) Alumna – (Class of 2019) and current MA Contemporary Christian Theology student. 

 “When first applying to Newman, I chose to study Theology and Philosophy as this was a topic I was interested in at school. I also knew by doing this course, I could most definitely consider teaching as a prospective career or could equally consider the numerous avenues of different career paths this subject relates to.

After graduating in 2019, I began to study my Master’s degree of Contemporary Christian Theology at Newman. I really enjoyed my time at Newman throughout my undergraduate degree, and didn’t feel ready to end my journey at Newman so soon. I also wanted to develop my skills and qualifications further to hopefully give me additional options career-wise in the future.

When I was deciding upon which university to go to, I knew a smaller university would suit me well. At Newman, you’re most definitely not just a number, you’re an individual. The last thing I wanted to be was a face in a crowd of thousands of faces, and for no one to really know who I was – this is certainly not the case at Newman. At Newman, I was given a friendly, warm welcome both when I came to open days with my family and when I officially started my studies. I was also aware that, by studying at a smaller university, the support I would receive would be far superior than if I went to a bigger university with many more students, and this has been the case throughout both my Undergraduate and Post-Graduate studies – the support network is phenomenal. I was also really drawn to the modern campus, particularly the library where you’ll undoubtedly spent a lot of time!

Both my Undergraduate course and my Post-Graduate course so far have exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed my Undergraduate course and I also really love the independent nature of my Master’s course I am currently undertaking. Both courses have been challenging, but very interesting and have really allowed me to develop and challenge my own beliefs. My favourite thing about the course I am doing now, the Master’s degree, is both the independence of the course and the friendly, supportive lecturers. Throughout my Undergraduate and Post-Graduate time at Newman, the lecturers have been so supportive, approachable and friendly and that is something I’m very grateful for as studying at university can be challenging and stressful at times, so it’s comforting to know they’ll always be a friendly face on hand to help.

I think my favourite thing about Newman University as a whole is the friendly, warm atmosphere the campus has. Because of the university’s small nature, you’ll walk around campus and see so many familiar, smiley faces you recognise. I remember when I first visited Newman for an open day, a student at the time told me how you can’t walk from one end of the Atrium to the other without seeing a familiar face, and this is definitely true and it’s so comforting. All of the staff around Newman, from lecturers to cleaners, are friendly and they’ll always say hello when passing in the hallways. The atmosphere here will truly encompass you in the best way possible.

Throughout my entire time at Newman, the Theology team have been nothing short of amazing. They truly are a lovely, approachable team who are always on hand whenever you need some extra support, help or guidance. The Heads of both Undergraduate and Post-Graduate Theology are so lovely and welcoming, and are amazing just like the rest of the Theology team. You’ll most definitely feel like you’re in safe hands and constantly supported if you choose to study Theology here at Newman University.

My time at Newman has definitely positively developed me as a person. I’ve developed skills such as hard-work, resilience, the ability to rise to challenges, time-management, social skills and so many more along the way. All of these will really help throughout my future after my journey at Newman has finished, especially with regards to prospective future career paths. I was previously interested in becoming a teaching, however, now I’ve become more interested in possibly pursuing a career in intelligence and anti-terrorism or work within a specialist department of the police.

My advice for future Newman students is to Jump into your Newman experience head-first and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that may come your way during your time here. I’ve been lucky enough to have various opportunities while studying at Newman, which even included going on a trip to Rome and visiting Pompeii! So, I’d definitely suggest trying to make the absolute most out of your time here at Newman.

I’d also suggest really making the most out of the resources around you. Newman has an amazing, modern campus with a variety of different resources so making good use of those will certainly enhance your Newman experience and benefit your studies too. The library is great so I’d recommend taking advantage of that by studying in there either alone or with friends, getting support from the librarians if you need it, and by making the most of the academic resources Newman’s library has to offer. I’d also recommend reaching out to your lecturers if you need any support or have any questions about assignments or exams, they’ll always be supportive and willing to help!

If you’re contemplating whether Newman University is the right place for you, then I would safely say you’ll have no regrets if you do decide to study at Newman. I’m so glad I decided to study at Newman, and I’ll be extremely sad when my journey here at Newman finally comes to an end. Newman University has countless amazing qualities, such as the supportive and approachable lecturers, the vast and modern campus and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere you’ll experience if you do decide Newman is the place for you.”

View our Theology and Philosophy courses