BA Religions, Theology and Ethics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our BA Religions, Theology and Ethics course will enable you to engage with a wide range of traditions and beliefs, covering all periods up to the present day.

We offer one of the widest ranges of course units at any British university. You can study ancient languages to read scriptures in their original languages, learn about Buddhist, Jewish and Islamic traditions, pursue an interest in the Bible or Christian theology, or discover the different approaches to religion offered by sociology, anthropology and philosophy.

Whether or not you have a religious background, the study of the beliefs, philosophies, practices, policies, ethics and values which have defined our civilisations over hundreds of years provides insight into one of the most fascinating aspects of the human psyche.

You'll explore topics crucial to understanding the shape of our current multicultural society - from religion, culture and gender to Holocaust theory, from sacred spaces to apocalyptic expectation.

Courses you can study cover Islam, Judaism and Christianity, Japanese religious world views, and include theology, history and biblical studies


We aim to:
  • provide a multidisciplinary curriculum informed by the research and scholarly activities of the teaching staff;
  • stimulate curiosity about a variety of religious cultures, their histories and the present condition;
  • enable you to analyse and evaluate a range of political, social and cultural practices using methodologies drawn from the disciplines of Religious Studies;
  • develop your critical understanding of religion, theology and the various approaches to studying this discipline through a diverse range of learning, teaching and assessment methods;
  • equip you with the skills necessary to interpret primary and secondary sources related to an in-depth study of texts, religious practices and traditions;
  • provide, when required, appropriate language instruction;
  • 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).

Read scriptures in their original language

You can study ancient Hebrew or Greek as part of your course.

Study an additional subject

Flexible Honours  may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject. 

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.

Teaching and learning

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

Assessment includes:
  • recital
  • written coursework (eg essays, literature reviews and a 12,000-word dissertation)
  • examinations
  • e-learning activities
  • group projects/presentations

Course content for year 1

The core course asks the question what religion is and introduces a broad range of historical, literary and anthropological approaches. 

The diverse and exciting range of other course units are all introductory.

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
Introduction to the Study of Religions and Theology RELT10311 20 Mandatory
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967) MEST10041 20 Optional
New Testament Greek RELT10120 20 Optional
Introduction to Christianity RELT10131 20 Optional
Introduction to Judaism RELT10191 20 Optional
Religion, Ethics and the Environment RELT10242 20 Optional
Truth and Truth Telling RELT10522 20 Optional
Bible in Ancient and Modern Worlds RELT10712 20 Optional
Being Human[e]: Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics RELT10911 20 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

This is the most flexible year of study and you can study subjects as broad as Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa, The End of the World and the History of Islamic Thought.

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
Religion in Japan JAPA20211 20 Optional
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Optional
The Politics of Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20502 20 Optional
Religion, Culture and Gender RELT20121 20 Optional
Christianity, Modernity, Tradition RELT20131 20 Optional
Biblical Hebrew RELT20140 20 Optional
New Testament in Greek II RELT20150 20 Optional
World Christianities RELT20301 20 Optional
Interpreting Religion RELT20572 20 Optional
God at the Movies RELT20632 20 Optional
Jewish Philosophy and Ethics RELT20651 20 Optional
End of the World and Apocalypticism RELT21082 20 Optional
Problems in Theology, Philosophy and Ethics: Evil RELT21112 20 Optional
World Philosophies: Ethics and Ideas in the History of Thought RELT21701 20 Optional
All about Eve: Encountering the First Woman from Antiquity to Today SALC21132 20 Optional
Anthropology of Religion SOAN20812 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20051 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20961 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will do an extended dissertation project of your choosing along with a choice of units including Lived Religion, Science and Islam and Contemporary Religion in the British Isles.

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
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Religion in Political Philosophy: From Early Modernity to the Contemporary RELT30271 20 Optional
Holocaust Theology and Ethics RELT30332 20 Optional
Science and Islam RELT30521 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in the Bible RELT30711 20 Optional
Jewish Tradition Today RELT30811 20 Optional
Interdisciplinary Literature and Theology: Empathy, Ethics, Liberation RELT31131 20 Optional
Making Sense of Christ RELT31142 20 Optional
Lived Religion: Places, Practices, Bodies, Objects RELT31212 20 Optional
Contemporary Religion in the British Isles RELT31322 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 3

What our students say

I loved studying Religions and Theology. The number of courses available means you can really tailor your studies to your interests. Some of the lecturers are world leaders in their field, and it's an amazing opportunity to have such fantastic input into your learning.

Samuel Cresswell, Religions and Theology 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: