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Religions, Philosophies and Ethics

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Religions, Philosophies and Ethics
School of Humanities (School of Study)
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: VV65 or VV66
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC, preferably in a related subject.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Explore the world and the challenges it faces through different traditions of thought, belief, and values.

  • Global – gain an international perspective on religion, philosophy and ethics.
  • Contemporary – explore current challenges, debates and different ways of thinking.
  • Applied – relate your thinking to solve practical problems.

This Religions, Philosophies and Ethics course is recognised for drawing together different disciplines and traditions of thought. You’ll address these individually, as well as exploring the connections between them.

You’ll gain insights into fundamentally different ways of seeing and explaining the world, reflecting on your own beliefs, values and assumptions. Intellectually challenging, you’ll consider practical responses to current issues, through projects with environmental charities, faith groups, and community organisations.

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“The material is fun and engaging: you are constantly re-evaluating your own views and it offers the opportunity to gain a more objective position on the world. The staff and my fellow students are incredibly open-minded and discussions are always interesting.”

Adam Da Rocha, Religions, Philosophies and Ethics student (2013-2016)

What you'll learn


You’ll explore religions, philosophies and ethics from a global perspective, not just a Western one. We examine the philosophies and ethics of the Indian subcontinent and China, and a range of religious traditions, from Buddhism to Christianity to Paganism.

We relate these systems and traditions to topical and emerging issues in the contemporary world: gender, identity, our relationship to the natural work and environmental crisis, among many others. The course is dynamic, staying up-to-date with changing religious and philosophical thinking, and the context in which these changes takes place. It demands, and helps you to develop, rigorous and systematic thinking.

Course structure

Year One
We introduce you to the study of religions as an academic discipline, including the study of contemporary religious traditions from Druidry to the Bahá’i faith. You’ll be introduced to the principles of philosophical and ethical enquiry. These are the building blocks of the course, alongside a number of optional modules.

Year Two
You’ll examine philosophies in the Indian and Chinese traditions. There are optional modules which explore contemporary morality, environmental ethics and politics, and some of the major religious traditions.

Year Three
You’ll undertake fieldwork on a religious community, staying with them for a short period of time and observing current practice. Students have travelled to the Samyeling Buddhist monastery in Scotland, a Christian convent, or worked with the Salvation Army. You’ll find more information about this unique aspect of the course on our Living Religion website.

Optional modules explore issues in contemporary religion, philosophy and society. You can opt to undertake detailed research or an employment-related project through the Dissertation and Advanced Project modules.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is primarily by coursework such as essays, reports, presentations, and online discussion boards. There are some timed assessments, as well as opportunities to work on creative projects such as making a film or designing a website.

How will I be taught?

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

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Truth and Reality
  • Ethics and Values
  • Global Religions
  • Global Philosophies
  • God and Reason
  • Politics, Media, Truth
  • How to Think Together: Humanities in the 21st Century

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Darshana, Dharma and Dao
  • Living Religion
  • Reading Philosophy
  • Atheism and Unbelief
  • Buddhism: Foundations, History and Philosophy
  • Ethics, Religion and Humanism
  • Ecology and Nature
  • Chinese Thought and Culture: China Summer School
  • Professional Placement Year
  • Political Ideologies: Thinking in Action
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Dissertation
  • Project
  • Life and Meaning
  • Issues in Contemporary Christianity: Science and Religion
  • Making Sex
  • Islam: Faith, Politics and History
  • Muslim Migration and Islam in Europe
  • Chinese Thought and Culture: China Summer School
  • Utopia and Dystopia


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.


Our graduates have careers in:

  • The police service
  • Health administration
  • Education
  • Social work
  • Journalism

Many graduates go on to train as teachers – the course is widely respected as a foundation for a career in education.

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The course is taught at our Newton Park campus, which combines outstanding modern facilities with a beautiful setting.


The Library provides many core resources, both in print and online. We draw on a wide range of resources, and encourage the use – and creation – of different materials.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Our students come from a range of different backgrounds. We look for individuals with an enquiring mind and a willingness to explore new areas of thought and belief.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - Grades CCC preferred in a related subject
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) 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.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Dr Alison Hems, Subject Leader for Humanities
Email: a.hems@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

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