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BA Philosophy and Religion

Year of entry: 2022


Degree awarded
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years
Typical A-level offer
Typical contextual A-level offer
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Refugee/care-experienced offer
Applicants who have been in local authority care for more than three months or have refugee status may be eligible for an offer two grades below the standard requirements.
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
35 points overall, with 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply through  UCAS  

UCAS course code
UCAS institution code

Course overview

  • Work at across the disciplines of, philosophy and religion in a joint degree.
  • Gain a rigorous grounding in the main areas of philosophical and theological thinking.
  • Explore the works of key academics in religions and both continental and analytical philosophy.
  • Study a course that received 100% Student Satisfaction in the 2020 National Student Survey.
  • Study at a top 5 UK university for Religions and Theology (Guardian University Guide 2022).

Open days

We are carefully reviewing all our recruitment events in light of the developing coronavirus outbreak.

View the latest updates on measures we are taking .

As we're unable to host on-campus visits, or attend events like UCAS and overseas recruitment fairs at the moment, look at our virtual open day content to help you learn more about the University.

You will be able to watch videos about the university, including accommodation, student finance and course-specific sessions.


Tuition fees for home students commencing their studies in September 2022 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £21,500 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
Louis Byrne
+44 (0)161 306 1252
School/Faculty overview

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

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Entry requirements


AAB. General Studies can be included in this.


AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.


Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of  our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications  or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall, with 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see  Accepted entry qualifications from your country

Scottish requirements

Two Advanced Highers at AB, plus one additional Higher at A in a Humanities subejct.

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this.

The minimum grade required will normally be the same as the lowest grade listed in the A Level entry requirements.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome.

80% with a mark of 8.0 in at least one essay-based subject.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: we require Distinction / Distinction / Distinction.

BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: we require Distinction / Distinction, plus one A-level at Grade A, preferably in a Humanities subject.

BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma: we require a Distinction plus an A-level at min. Grade A in an essay-based subject (such as English or History) plus an EPQ or AS at Grade B.

BTEC National Extended Certificate: we require a Distinction, plus two A-levels at Grades AB; one of the A-levels should be in a Humanities subject.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC): We consider the Technical Extended Diploma for entry.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Diploma with grades DDD.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC): Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades DD plus an A Level at grade B in an essay-based subject such as English or History.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC): Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Foundation Diploma with grades D*D plus an A-level at min. Grade B in an essay-based subject (such as English or History) plus an EPQ or AS at Grade B.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC): Entry requirements are based on achievement of  EITHER  the full Technical Extended Certificate with grade D* plus two A Levels at grades BB,  OR  full Tech Ext Cert Grade D plus two A-levels at Grades AB.  In both cases, at least one of the A-levels should be in an essay-based subject such as English or History.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

We require a minimum of 39 credits with a Distinction grade, plus 6 credits with a Merit grade, all in a Humanities-related subject. 15 of the Distinction credits should be in any pre-requisite subject required for A-levels.

Further specific course requirements are either GCSEs in both English and Mathematics (at Grade B/6 or higher), or achievement at Level 2 (GCSE-equivalent) by, for example, having six credits each in English and Maths. We also consider other factors such as additional educational achievements, life experience and skills on an individual basis.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A Level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken.

Candidates taking Pre-U principal subjects in conjunction with A levels are expected to achieve a combination of D3, M2, M2 in the Pre-U and ABB at A level in three distinct subjects.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. We strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement (and at interview, if  relevant).  We may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account, should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

For this programme, you will be made the standard offer plus an alternative one, if you are studying for an EPQ.  The alternative offer will be one grade below the standard offer but you will also be asked to achieve a Grade A in your EPQ.

Core Maths

The University welcomes and recognises the value of Level 3 core mathematics qualifications (e.g. AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies). 

Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer made to the student. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when we consider their application, particularly for certain non-science courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element.

We advise students to contact the academic School, who will clarify whether their specific portfolio of qualifications is acceptable for entry on to their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS for further information: UCAS reference guidelines

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.  The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.  Further information for mature students can be found here (  )

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade C/4 or;
  • IELTS 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in any one component, or;
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through  UCAS  

Advice to applicants

We are looking for applicants who have the predicted A-level grades (or other relevant qualifications) for the relevant degree programme and whose personal statement demonstrates an enthusiasm for the subject.

How your application is considered

We don't normally interview for this degree, except in the case of mature applicants. In considering your application, all the information on the UCAS form is taken into account, particular attention being paid to academic qualifications and predictions, to your referee's confidential report, and to your personal statement.

Returning to education

We welcome applications from mature students. We accept a wide range of qualifications including Access courses.


Deferrals are normally allowed; however, we do ask applicants to let us know as early as possible if they are intending to defer.  This helps us to adjust the number of offers we make, in order to achieve the required number of students in a given year.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.


We will consider applications to transfer to Manchester from other universities and would normally ask for a letter explaining why a transfer was needed, relevant transcripts, a copy of the applicant's UCAS form and a confidential reference from one of the applicant's current university tutors.

We will consider applications to transfer from other degrees within the University of Manchester but applicants are required to have the A-level grades (or other qualifications) needed for entry to that degree programme.

Transfers are subject to our having enough places to accommodate such applicants.    Enquiries should be made to the admissions administrator for the subject (see contact details). 

Course details

Course description

This joint degree offers the best of both Philosophical and Religious Studies.

You will study the sacred texts and world philosophies taught by various religious traditions, alongside the writings of some of the greatest world philosophers.

You will explore fascinating debates concerning human nature, conceptions of the divine, belief and doubt, existence, truth, and to reflect on the ways we think we know what we know.

You will also learn a variety of methods for approaching such profound questions, and Manchester's emphasis is distinctive: for Religious Studies, we offer the opportunity to study a diversity of religious traditions and their texts, with special emphasis on their real-world impact and for Philosophy we offer both Analytic and Continental philosophy.

Analytic Philosophy is concerned with the clarification of ideas and the language we use to express our ideas, and has been highly influential in Anglo-American philosophy.

Continental Philosophy denotes a cluster of philosophical movements originating in 19th and 20th century continental Europe, and covers such areas as structuralism, hermeneutics, existentialism, phenomenology, and deconstruction.


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 philosophy and religions 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

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, including the Religions and Theology Society, an inclusive community that plans academic and social activities from first year through to postgraduate level.

Placement year option

Apply your knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year.

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. You may have 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 may 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

Students will have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation that reflects both subjects with joint supervision.

Course content for year 1

You will study critical thinking and can explore introductory courses in Metaphysics and Epistemology and the Philosophy of the Mind.

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
Critical Thinking PHIL10042 20 Mandatory
Truth and Truth Telling RELT10522 20 Mandatory
Being Human[e]: Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics RELT10911 20 Mandatory
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
Introduction to Ethics PHIL10021 20 Optional
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology PHIL10622 20 Optional
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind PHIL10631 20 Optional
New Testament Greek RELT10120 20 Optional
Introduction to Christianity RELT10131 20 Optional
Introduction to Judaism RELT10192 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
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Core courses in Ethics and World Philosophies can be complemented by units in Existentialism, Analytic Philosophy and Logic, as well as the full range of units in Religion.

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
Ethics PHIL20231 20 Mandatory
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 JAPA20211 20 Optional
Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Philosophy of Religion PHIL20021 20 Optional
Formal Logic PHIL20142 20 Optional
20th Century Analytical Philosophy PHIL20242 20 Optional
Hegel and Marx PHIL23022 20 Optional
Religion, Culture and Gender RELT20121 20 Optional
Biblical Hebrew RELT20140 20 Optional
New Testament in Greek II RELT20150 20 Optional
Interpreting Religion RELT20572 20 Optional
God at the Movies RELT20632 20 Optional
Jewish Philosophy and Ethics RELT20652 20 Optional
End of the World and Apocalypticism RELT21081 20 Optional
All about Eve: Encountering the First Woman from Antiquity to Today SALC21131 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will engage in a fully interdisciplinary dissertation and choose from course units in the Philosophy of Mathematics, the Philosophy of Action and many more.

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 (40 credit) PHIL30030 40 Mandatory
Dissertation RELT30000 40 Mandatory
Philosophy of Psychology PHIL30362 20 Optional
Advanced Topics in Aesthetics PHIL30621 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mathematics PHIL30721 20 Optional
Religion in Political Philosophy: From Early Modernity to the Contemporary RELT30271 20 Optional
Science and Islam RELT30522 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in the Bible RELT30712 20 Optional
Jewish Tradition Today RELT30811 20 Optional
Literature and Theology RELT31131 20 Optional
Making Sense of Christ RELT31142 20 Optional
Lived Religion: Places, Practices, Bodies, Objects RELT31211 20 Optional
Contemporary Religion in the British Isles RELT31322 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 3

What our students say

I've really enjoyed the units on South Asian and Indian religions - it's interesting to learn about something other than what's taught at school. These units made me reconsider how I view and categorise religion, especially within South Asian countries, which I've found particularly interesting.

Alice Poulter, Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics BA


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:


Career opportunities

You will develop versatile and transferable skills, including presentation, critical thinking and analysis, team working and cultural sensitivity.

Some course units will enable you to develop more specific skills, such as translation, source handling, exegesis, data collection and geo-historical awareness.

The University of Manchester is the most targeted university in the UK for top graduate employers (High Fliers Research, 2020).

Degrees in Religions, Theology and Ethics provide some of the best skills to prepare for roles in fields such as:

  • teaching and education;
  • cultural heritage;
  • counselling;
  • roles in the creative industries;
  • law;
  • research consultancies and think-tanks;
  • finance;
  • publishing;
  • faith-based organisations;
  • youth work;
  • charity work;
  • media;
  • the public sector.

Employers include the BBC, the Civil Service, Xaverian College, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SPCK, the Church of England, Christian Aid and the Liberal Jewish Synagogue.

A substantial number of students continue to postgraduate study, including further study in Religion and Theology and PGCE courses.