Study of Religions

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Explore different religious traditions across continents, through time.

  • Global and local – study the major religious traditions and newer religious communities
  • Contemporary – explore religious traditions in the contemporary world
  • Applied – learn through experience; use your learning to address current issues

“The teaching staff and tutors at Bath Spa University are absolutely brilliant. They are extremely helpful, offering help whenever they can and making the lectures and seminars not only interesting, but also fun and entertaining.”
–Alicia Penny, English Literature and Study of Religions student

Why study Study of Religions?

This Study of Religions course is about understanding; you’ll explore and analyse religious traditions and beliefs including the major faiths and more recent as well as contemporary religious movements. We welcome students who belong to a religious tradition and those who don’t.

The course is distinctive in giving you the opportunity to engage with practitioners across traditions, through visits to and placements with religious communities, mosques, temples and churches.

You must study another subject with the Study of Religions; it’s offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined Honours award. You can choose from a wide range of disciplines including Geography, History and Creative Writing.

If you would like to take this course with Philosophy and Ethics, you should apply for Religions, Philosophy and Ethics.

Course structure

You’ll study a diverse range of religious traditions. Our teaching focuses on both the major religious traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, and on less well known or more recent movements and communities.

You’ll develop an open and exploratory approach, gaining first hand experience and embarking on community placements. You can find more about our placements with religious communities, the British Humanist Association or the Salvation Army on our Living Religion website.

Modules

  • Year one
    You’ll explore the meaning of religion and spirituality, examine a variety of methods for studying religions, and apply these to a number of contemporary traditions. An optional module in global religion and philosophy considers major traditions and movements and key thinking in and about those traditions
  • Year two
    The focus in Year Two is on the philosophies, religious and non-religious world views in the Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include the in-depth study of the major world religions, and the exploration of environmental politics through religious and philosophical ideas
  • Year three
    You’ll consider religion in the contemporary world. This includes a fieldwork placement with – for example – a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas or the Salvation Army. We offer a range of optional modules which develop or introduce different themes and debates, from a range of perspectives. You can study Buddhism; religion, culture and society in Japan; or issues around religion, identity and gender.

Course assessment

Assessment is mainly through coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, and online discussion.

Study abroad

Our students make good use of the opportunities to study abroad through Erasmus and other programmes, usually in the second year, with one of our many partner universities. You’ll be able to find out more about this during your first year, including meeting up with students who have already benefited from the experience.

If you opt to join one of the study abroad programmes, you might find yourself in Denmark, Spain, Australia or North America. We have developing partnerships with universities in China and the Far East.

Field trips

Fieldwork and visits are an integral part of the course. We visit religious communities, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and churches.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We have excellent links with third sector organisations, working with environmental and educational charities, as well as others. These links support your study, as we’ll explore how religious, philosophical and ethical perspectives can be applied to current issues.

Teaching methods

We offer lectures, seminars and workshops, and support you throughout your degree through individuals tutorials. Visits, fieldwork and encounters with people from different religious backgrounds and traditions of belief form an important part of our teaching.

Application method

Full time applications are through UCAS

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC - CCC preferred in a related subject
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Career opportunities

List of current alumni careers

Our graduates have careers in:

  • the police service;
  • health administration;
  • education;
  • social work; and
  • journalism.

The ability to combine this course with another subject, makes this it ideal for individuals considering a career in teaching. Many graduates go on to train as teachers – the course is widely respected as a foundation for a career in education.

What students say...

Student Profile: Alex Hyde, Year 3 Study of Religions

I chose my course because I have always been interested in the world and in people.  I am fascinated by the thoughts, needs, beliefs and knowledge of others who have been brought up outside of Christianity.

I really like the structure of the course because the first year enables you to study in breadth and then in the second year focus more deeply on some of the religions studied in the first year. I was enthralled by the prospect of going on a placement for a week in a religious community as part of the course in second year.  I am soon to find out whether I will be going to live with The Community of the Many Names of God or the Hare Krishnas.

The Department has a friendly ethos, with lecturers who are genuinely willing their students to do well and continually supporting them along the way. It is with thanks to this course that my understanding of people in the world is ever expanding and even when the pressure is on with assignments due, I continue to brim with enthusiasm for the knowledge I gain.