BA Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Alice Poulter - BA Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics

"The best thing about my course is the ability to have total freedom within the Religion and Theology department.

"I really enjoy the breadth of subject areas which I can study."

Alice Poulter / Year 3 student

Our BA Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics course an exciting opportunity to work at the interface between theology, philosophy, and ethics.

These disciplines have had a long history of interaction, productive engagement, and cross-fertilisation, but also periods of mutual suspicion and critique.

You will be provided with a rigorous grounding in the main areas of theological thinking and their significance for philosophical and ethical debates.

A distinctive feature of the course is its focus on continental philosophy and religious philosophy, especially as they impact on theology.

You will study the thought of key theologians and philosophers and how they have shaped modern thinking about the role of religion in the world, and the ethical challenges faced by contemporary society.

You will also acquire the skills to analyse key issues in theological and philosophical debate, identify the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of theological and philosophical theories, and construct your own arguments on a range of issues in theology, philosophy, and ethics.


We aim to:

  • provide multidisciplinary curricula informed by the research and scholarly activities of the teaching staff;
  • develop your critical understanding of the interaction between theology, philosophy, and ethics through a range of learning and teaching methods;
  • equip you with the skills necessary to interpret primary and secondary sources;
  • provide appropriate language instruction, where feasible;
  • help students from diverse backgrounds progress through their course by providing effective academic and pastoral support;
  • equip you for a variety of careers through subject specific knowledge, active engagement in your own learning and the development of analytical and other transferable skills.

Special features

Placement year option

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Learn in a multi-faith city

You will have the opportunity to engage with living religious traditions in a contemporary context in one of the most religiously-diverse and dynamic cities in the UK.

Study abroad

You may apply to spend one semester  studying abroad during the second year of your degree.

Exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus Exchange scheme (in Europe) and the Worldwide Exchange Scheme (eg USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore).

Connect with like-minded students

Join one of our student societies to further explore your interests, such as the Religions and Theology Society, an inclusive community that plans academic and social activities from first year through to postgraduate level.

Teaching and learning

You'll choose from an extensive menu of course units relating to philosophy and ethics in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Japanese religions.

You'll be exposed to traditional and innovative teaching and learning methods, with the opportunity to conduct research among Manchester's various multi-faith communities.

These methods include:

  • lectures;
  • seminars;
  • one-to-one meetings;
  • small group tutorials;
  • research workshops.

A number of units also offer 'outward facing' assessment, in which students work with mentors to produce resources that can be used outside of an academic context, such as blogs and guides.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment includes:

  • written coursework (eg essays, literature reviews and a 12,000-word dissertation);
  • examinations;
  • e-learning activities;

group projects/presentations.

Course content for year 1

Gain a solid foundation in the three disciplines of theology, philosophy and ethics and their interactions.

Explore theories of moral behaviour and ethical reasoning through additional core unit Truth and Truth Telling.

Begin to explore specific areas of interest through optional course units.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Truth and Truth Telling RELT10522 20 Mandatory
Being Human[e]: Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics RELT10911 20 Mandatory
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10171 20 Optional
New Testament Greek RELT10120 20 Optional
Introduction to Christianity RELT10132 20 Optional
Introduction to Judaism RELT10191 20 Optional
Religion, Ethics and the Environment RELT10241 20 Optional
Bible in Ancient and Modern Worlds RELT10712 20 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

You'll study core units to develop your critical skills and understanding.

You'll also select from a breadth of additional optional units, including subjects as diverse as Philosophy of Science to Religion, Culture and Gender.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Problems in Theology, Philosophy and Ethics: Evil RELT21111 20 Mandatory
World Philosophies: Ethics and Ideas in the History of Thought RELT21702 20 Mandatory
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional
Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Biblical Hebrew RELT20140 20 Optional
New Testament in Greek II RELT20150 20 Optional
Interpreting Religion RELT20572 20 Optional
God at the Movies RELT20631 20 Optional
Jewish Philosophy and Ethics RELT20652 20 Optional
End of the World and Apocalypticism RELT21082 20 Optional
All about Eve: Encountering the First Woman from Antiquity to Today SALC21132 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Conduct research in a specialist area of interest through your final year dissertation, supervised by a member of our teaching staff.

Supplement your final-year study with optional units ranging from Radical Theologies and Freedom of the Will to Existentialism.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation RELT30000 40 Mandatory
Contemporary Debates in Islam MEST30031 20 Optional
Holocaust Theology and Ethics RELT30331 20 Optional
Science and Islam RELT30522 20 Optional
Radical Theologies RELT30671 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in the Bible RELT30712 20 Optional
Literature and Theology RELT31131 20 Optional


Our most distinctive research resource is The John Rylands Library - an internationally renowned resource which holds one of the finest collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives in the world.

As well as an excellent general collection of books on Religions and Theology and related areas, the library houses many collections of world importance.

You will find a substantial collection of papyri, such as the oldest manuscript fragment of a New Testament book, alongside several major archives, including the Methodist archive with a large number of original documents.

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: