BA Religions, Theology and Ethics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Christianity

Course unit fact file
Unit code RELT10131
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Why do Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God? What do Christians mean when claiming God is one God, yet three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? In what sense is the Bible the Word of God? Why do Christians practise baptism and do they really believe they are consuming Christ’s body and blood when receiving Communion? Why are so there many different forms of Christianity across the world and what are their similarities and differences? What do Christians get up to in their churches and what is the point of prayer? How, why, and what do Christians worship? This course unit provides the answers to such questions. Part One focuses on the core doctrines of Incarnation, Trinity, and the Bible as the Word of God, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life, while Part Two focuses on such Christian practices as worship, spirituality, mysticism, prayer, and the sacraments.


  1. To introduce students to the major Christian doctrines
  2. To introduce students to some of the distinctive practices of the Christian faith


Knowledge and understanding

  1. A grasp of the doctrines of the Incarnation, Trinity, forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life
  2. An understanding of the practices that emerge from the Christian understanding of God and his revelation of himself in Jesus of Nazareth
  3. An awareness of the different denominations in global Christianity

Intellectual skills

An ability to:

  1. engage with primary theological texts
  2. identify the principles that gave rise to Christian doctrines
  3. evaluate critically the practices in which Christian beliefs manifest themselves

Practical skills

  1. Independent research skills
  2. Essay writing skills
  3. Seminar presentation skills 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  1. Critical analysis
  2. The interpretation of primary and secondary texts
  3. An ability to engage empathetically with different beliefs

Employability skills

1. Empathy with a range of different religious and intellectual viewpoints and their ethical and cultural implications 2. The ability to frame critical and constructive arguments

Assessment methods



Assessment Task

Formative or Summative 



Draft introduction and essay plan Formative 750 words 0%
Essay Summative 1500 words50%
Online examination Summative 4 ½ hour Open Book Exam over a 48-hour period (1500 words)50%

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written essay feedbackBoth
Written online exam feedbackBoth
Essay tutorialsFormative



Recommended reading

  • Ford, David F., Theology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid, A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (London: Viking, 2010) 
  • McGrath, Alister E., Christian Theology: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 2017)
  • Woodhead,  Linda, Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Law Unit coordinator

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