Theology

BA single honours or in combination with another subject Theology 2018/19

Year of entry

Theology provides an intellectual space for anyone drawn to thinking about God and Christian faith. You will explore how people of faith have instilled life with religious meaning, seek to understand how Christian beliefs and values are relevant to the world, and investigate what Christianity in action looks like today. Our degree offers you a challenging and stimulating course that encourages open mindedness and lively debate.

100% of our Theology students were satisfied with the quality of their course.

National Student Survey 2017

You will be taught by an experienced team of academics who have published widely on topics such as Biblical studies, theology and the arts, and Christian doctrine. We have special expertise in the intersection of Christianity, politics, and social justice.

You will explore areas including:

  • Jesus in Christian doctrine
  • pastoral and practical theology
  • theology and popular culture
  • church and society in the New Testament

Are you drawn to thinking about God, reflecting on faith, and exploring the relevance of Christianity and other religions in the world today? Do you relish the prospect of understanding how people of faith have instilled their life with religious meaning? Do you value open-minded, independent and critical thinking? Are you concerned about questions of ethics, society, and justice in modern life? If so, you will enjoy studying Theology at Canterbury Christ Church University. Our exciting degree in Theology includes modules on Biblical studies, the history and interpretation of doctrine, philosophical theology, and a lively range of other topics. Our degree is distinctive because we allow broad and sustained engagement with questions of theology and social justice, including opportunities to study political theology, religion and culture, practical and ethical issues. We engage with surprising and challenging questions, explore both the theory and practice of faith, and seek to relate thought to action. We also provide the opportunity to study other religious traditions, and key issues such as religion and science. This stimulating degree fosters critical judgment, analysis and evaluation, together with cultural awareness and the ability to argue with clarity.

Top reasons to study this course

  • New thematic focus on Social Justice
  • Particular expertise in Christianity and close links with Canterbury Cathedral
  • Range of courses in ethics in different religious traditions; caring approach to students; small class sizes that allow for discussions and debates

Students on this programme are also eligible to apply to study for a year in North America as part of their degree.

"On top of an amazing bunch of inspirational leading lecturers and access to incredible resources and excursions, I have had the pleasure of undertaking my studies in the beautiful and inspiring city of Canterbury."

Steven Horne

Our single honours Theology degree is studied alongside elements of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, whilst preserving a dedicated focus on Christian traditions. In our combined honours degree, selected Theology modules are paired with those from a second subject chosen from an extensive range of degree courses.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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We continually review and, where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

Core Modules

Year 1 Single Honours

  • Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • Introduction to Christianity
  • Religion and Social Justice
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Ethical Theories and Issues
  • Understanding World Religions

Year 1 Combined Honours

  • Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • Introduction to Christianity
  • Religion and Social Justice
Introduction to Christianity (20 Credits)

You will receive a broad introductory overview of Christianity in its historical and intellectual development, and gain an understanding of Christian thought within its historical, social and cultural contexts. You will also be introduced to theological resources from different Christian streams.

Introduction to Biblical Studies (20 Credits)

You will gain an overview of the historical background and content of the Old and New Testaments, study in detail some representative texts within them, and become familiar with the concepts, principles, methods and tools of modern scholarly biblical interpretation.

Religion and Social Justice (20 Credits)

You will critically assess claims for, and approaches to social justice in the context of the Bible. You will also explore the application of social justice in the practices of Christians in a range of contexts.

Understanding World Religions (20 Credits)

You will be introduced to a variety of the world’s religions.

Introduction to Philosophy (20 Credits)

You will be introduced to the history of philosophy in the Western tradition, and study key philosophical issues.

Ethical Theories and Issues (20 Credits)

You will engage critically with significant ethical theories and apply these theories to contemporary moral issues with reference to religion.

Year 2 Single and Combined Honours

  • Jesus in Christian Doctrine

You will take the mandatory Christology module, Jesus in Christian Doctrine (20 credits). In this module, you will explore major areas of Christian doctrine, particularly Christology and soteriology, in relation to their Biblical foundations, historical expressions and systematic expositions. You will also read, analyse and evaluate primary historical and theological resources, develop critical awareness of theological norms and methods, and you will make connections between Christian doctrine and contemporary issues. This module builds on the year one Introduction to Christianity and Introduction to Biblical Studies modules.

In addition, you will choose the requisite number of 20 credit option modules from any of the following categories to make up your remaining credit requirement.

  • Selected Texts in Biblical Studies
  • Selected Topics in Religion, Community and Social Justice
  • Selected Topics in Philosophy
  • Selected Topics in the Study of Religion

Year 3 Single Honours

  • Theology Individual Study (40 Credits)

This module will enable you, under the guidance of a tutor, to undertake an extended piece of work in theology based on your own research. This provides you with an opportunity to follow up an area of interest in depth, to enable you to develop skills in critical thinking and argumentation, and to lay the foundations for possible future work at higher degree level.

Year 3 Combined Honours

  • Theology Extended Research Essay (20 Credits)

This module will enable you, under the guidance of a tutor, to undertake an extended piece of work in religion, philosophy and ethics based on your own research. This provides you with an opportunity to follow up an area of interest in depth, to enable you to develop skills in critical thinking and argumentation, and to lay the foundations for possible future work at higher degree level.

You must also take Church and Society in the New Testament or Christian Doctrine and Interpretation.

NB: At least one (but not necessarily both) of these modules will run in any given year.

  • Church and Society in the New Testament (20 Credits)

This module allows you to develop sophisticated critical awareness concerning scholarly method in theology and religion by studying how the current application theoretical models from sociology and anthropology to the New Testament may be informed or challenged by detailed historical-critical study of the ancient world.

  • Christian Doctrine and Interpretation (20 Credits)

In this module you will analyse selected areas of Christian doctrine in relation to Biblical foundations, historical expressions, and systematic articulations. You will critically evaluate primary theological, historical and philosophical sources, and develop a critical awareness of theological norms and methods. You will explore how such theological resources may be used to respond to contemporary issues and challenges.

In addition to your mandatory core module/s, you will choose the requisite number of 20-credit option modules from any of the following categories to make up your remaining credit requirement.

  • Further Topics in Theology
  • Further Texts in Biblical Studies
  • Further Topics in Theology, Community and Social Justice
  • Further Topics in the Study of Religion
  • Further Topics in Philosophy

Likely optional modules

Year 2 Theology

In addition to your mandatory Christology module, Jesus in Christian Doctrine (20 credits), you will choose the requisite number of 20 credit option modules from any of the following categories to make up your remaining credit requirement. One or more option modules will always be offered in each of the following categories. Please note that not all available modules will run in any given year.

  • i) Selected Topics in Biblical Studies 

    Option modules in this category will allow you to acquire an understanding of a range of different kinds of Old and New Testament texts, develop an understanding of critical approaches to these texts, and to make appropriate use of them in a variety of contexts. Current options include: 

  • Selected New Testament Texts (20 credits)
  • Selected Old Testament Texts (20 credits)
  • John: Gospel and Letters (20 credits)
  • Textual Explorations in Biblical Theology (20 credits)
  • ii) Selected Topics in Religion, Community and Social Justice

    Option modules in this category investigate the significance of community and notions such as equality and social inclusion in religious traditions. Current options include:

  • Popular Culture and Theology (20 credits)
  • Religion and Community (20 credits)
  • Christian Faith and Ethical Living (20 credits)
  • iii) Selected Topics in Philosophy

    Option modules in this category will give you knowledge and critical understanding of a range of philosophical issues, many of which are closely related to religious concerns. Current options include:

  • Philosophy of Religion (20 credits)
  • Religion and Science (20 credits)
  • Kant (20 credits)
  • Chinese Philosophies (20 credits)
  • iv) Selected Topics in the Study of Religion

    Option modules in this category will allow you to extend your knowledge and critical understanding of various religious traditions. Current options include:

  • Judaism (20 credits)
  • Islam (20 credits)
  • Buddhism (20 credits)

Year 3 Theology

In addition to your mandatory core module, the Theology Individual Study (40 credits) if you are a single honours student, or the Theology Extended Research Essay (20 credits) if you are a combined honours student, you will then choose the requisite number of 20-credit option modules from any of the following categories to make up your remaining credit requirement. Please remember combined honours students must take at least one of Church and Society in the New Testament and/or Christian Doctrine and Interpretation. One or more option modules will always be offered in each of the following categories, though not all available modules will run in any given year.

Year 2 Optional Modules

Selected New Testament Texts

(20 credits). This module will help you to understand a range of different kinds of New Testament texts. It will enable you to understand modern critical approaches to these texts, and to make appropriate use of them in a variety of contexts.

Selected Old Testament Texts

(20 credits). This module will help you to understand a range of different kinds of Old Testament texts. It will enable you to understand modern critical approaches to these texts, and to make appropriate use of them in a variety of contexts.

John: Gospel and Letters

(20 credits). This module will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of theology and religion by a study in depth of a corpus of highly influential early Christian texts, the Gospel and Letters of John.

Textual Explorations in Biblical Theology

(20 credits). This module will help you to approach Biblical study through the exploration of theological themes with reference to the Bible, illustrated with selected examples of a range of texts from both Old and New Testaments. You will understand modern critical and theological approaches to these texts from the Bible, and learn how to make appropriate theological use of them in a variety of contexts.

Popular Culture and Theology

(20 credits). This module will introduce you to the relationships between theology and popular culture, including television, cinema, music, fashion and sport. You will critically examine theological approaches to the study of popular culture, and gain a thorough grounding in the key terms and concepts relevant to the study of this area.

Religion and Community

(20 credits). This module will help you evaluate definitions of “religious community” across a range of religious traditions and contexts, and evaluate the connection between community identity and practice. You will examine religious models of social life from renunciation, to full participation in the socio-political world. You will focus on the embodiment of belief in social interaction and political life. The module will analyse the practice of community organising as an expression of faith.

Christian Faith and Ethical Living

(20 credits). This module will help you articulate a critical appreciation of the ways Christian faith may inform and shape the moral life of communities and individuals. It will help you understand the theological resources available for Christian reflection on ethical issues, and apply your thinking to particular moral questions.

Buddhism

(20 credits). This module will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of Buddhism in the past and present in a variety of cultures.

Islam

(20 credits). This module will allow you to explore the history, beliefs and practices of Islam as it occurs in diverse cultural contexts.

Judaism

(20 credits). This module will introduce you to different understandings of what it has meant to be Jewish throughout the ages. Studying primary sources from all periods of Jewish history, you will learn to appreciate the essence and variety of Jewish identity.

Chinese Philosophies

(20 credits). This module will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of key Chinese philosophical ideas and traditions, such as Daoism and Confucianism.

Kant

(20 credits). This module will centre on sustained engagement with the thought of Immanuel Kant. It will introduce you to Kant’s critical philosophy, and explain his pivotal role in modern thought. You will read selected sections from Kant’s works (in translation), and develop broad understanding of one or two principal themes in his philosophical project.

Philosophy of Religion

(20 credits). This module will give you a detailed and critical understanding of key themes in the philosophy of religion.

Religion and Science

(20 credits). This module will help you articulate a critical understanding of the relationship of religion and science, including questions of definition, method and the historical development of disciplines and ideas.

John Stuart Mill 

(20 credits) This module will centre on sustained engagement with the thought of John Stuart Mill.

Ethics of Identity

(20 credits) The module will focus on specific approaches to identity such as multiculturalism, black feminism, colour blindness, gender performativity etc. 

Year 3 Optional Modules

Theology and Politics (20 credits)

What is the relationship between theology and politics? This option allows you to critically assess a variety of responses to the relationship between “church and state”. Materials will be drawn from theology, religious studies, and political science such as the Gospels, Augustine, Marx, Liberation theology, and the Civil Rights Movement, or others.

Pastoral and Practical Theology

This option allows you to study current issues in pastoral and practical theology, and to identify appropriate tools, methods and resources for engagement with the discipline. You will critically investigate challenges of faith in context, pastoral care, and Christian ministry.

Biblical Interpretation (20 credits)

In this option you will explore some Biblical texts or themes within the context of contemporary scholarship and study philosophical and theological questions of interpretation.

Contemporary Issues in Biblical Theology (20 credits)

This option looks at key contemporary issues in Biblical theology represented in both Old and New Testaments, offering you an understanding of recent theological thinkers who have sought to ground their understanding of faith primarily on the Biblical witnesses.

Theology and Literature (20 credits)

What is the relationship between theological reflection and literary forms, including the novel and poetry? This option helps you to understand theories in the interdisciplinary field of religion and literature and to appreciate the importance of literary theory, imagination and poetics for theological studies.

Modern Theological Thought (20 credits)

This module will enable you to understand challenges and opportunities presented to Christian theology in our day.

Visual Culture and Religion (20 credits)

In this option you will investigate the visual dimension of a variety of religious traditions which may include Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. This module will also allow you to explore the representation of religion in films.

Critiques of Religion (20 credits)

This module will give you detailed knowledge about important criticisms of religion, and the significance of such criticisms for religious belief. You will evaluate critiques of religion developed by thinkers such as Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche and Durkheim, and others. You will explore a multi-disciplinary approach to religion.

Indian Philosophies (20 credits)

This option allows you to develop a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of key Indian philosophical ideas. It will extend your knowledge of philosophy to include an important non-Western tradition.

British Idealism (20 credits)

In this module you will critically analyse the complex religious, philosophical and ethical synthesis present in the work of Idealists in the British tradition such as T. H. Green, R. G. Collingwood, or others.

Advanced Seminar in Ethics and Religion (20 credits)

This option will allow you to investigate ethical issues in an advanced fashion with an emphasis on detailed critical engagement with recent academic research and primary material from a range of sources.

God and Gothic: Themes in Victorian Religion and Culture (20 credits)

Students will engage with primary sources which will allow them to develop understanding of the complex relationships of religion, culture, and politics, in the context of Victorian Britain. 

Religion, Literature and Film (20 credits) 

This module explores religion, faith and spirituality from the standpoint of film narrative and the written word. Students will begin by looking at theories that analyse the significance of story to religious understanding.

In past years Theology has often been demonstrated to have provided our alumni strong employment prospects. Typically, some of our graduates go on to train for roles in Christian ministry. Theology also opens up routes into teaching, through the PGCE, and prepares you for further study at postgraduate level. This qualification will also help prepare you for various roles in religious institutions, in charities and non-for-profit organisations, in development work, community-based roles, and aspects of welfare. Wherever your career aspirations lie, a successfully completed Theology degree will equip you with the generic knowledge and critical-thinking skills demanded of an intelligent citizen in today’s diverse, multi-cultural world.

Tuition Fees for 2018/19 have not yet been finalised - please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Fees

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Field Trips (including potential trips abroad, and local and national trips to places of worship and sites of special religious interest).

Field Trips are offered as non-compulsory enhancement or enrichment activities, and are not included in the Tuition Fee. The cost of trips will depend on travel costs, entrance fees, accommodation fees, and other factors. The exact cost of trips will be calculated to provide an excellent experience at an appropriate cost, depending on the number of people involved.

Text books

The exact cost of books will depend on publishers’ prices. Academic staff will be mindful of the need to balance excellent resources against appropriate affordability. Text books will be supplied through the CCCU Bookshop, and will be available with any CCCU Bookshop discount which applies.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the Course

Each 20-credit taught module will ask you to engage with up to 40 hours of academic contact time, together with an extensive amount of your own time spent reading, thinking, and writing. Academic contact time will typically be composed of lectures and seminars, but may also include field based activity, tutorials, or other activity, depending on what best suits a particular topic or discipline. Module tutors also hold regular office hours, when you can drop by informally to discuss the module or your assignments. All staff are available by appointment for longer discussions, such as to give you detailed feedback on your coursework. You will also be required to work independently, engaging in up to 160 hours of self-directed study per 20 credit taught module. In year three, single honours students will take the Theology Individual Study (40 credits), and combined honours students will take the Theology Extended Research Essay (20 credits). Each of these modules will expect you to conduct independent research under the supervision of the Theology and Religion team, and you will be expected to meet with your supervisor on a regular basis.

Academic input

The Theology course is delivered under the supervision of a team of experienced academics, each an acknowledged expert in their particular field. All current full-time academic staff have doctorates and are research-active. Individual members of the current team have been recognised for their particular professional contributions to the field, and the University has awarded a significant proportion of them the status of Professor, Reader, or Principal Lecturer. We sometimes recruit additional staff to help us teach some of our more popular modules, and involve our postgraduate students in teaching where appropriate. At present, most modules are taught by our core team.

Theology is assessed primarily by coursework. Most of your work will consist of the writing of essays, and some modules will feature assessment by examination alongside a coursework essay, depending on what best suits a particular topic or discipline.

UK/EU

Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us

International

Full-time study

Need some help?

UK

For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Email: admissions@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900

EU/International

Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS code

  • V610 Theology

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time

Starts

  • September 2018

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited: 18/09/2017 12:33:00