In this unique Religious Studies degree you can explore first-hand the beliefs and practices of a range of religions and their influence on society. You’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from a cross-section of faith groups and traditions, participate in an extensive range of cultural study visits and benefit from the expertise of the lecturing team who share their experience and knowledge from around the world. From Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam to Sikhism and Christianity, you’ll get the chance to learn about different major religions and their cultures in a lively and innovative setting.
You’ll delve into the world of ‘lived religion’ experiencing the sights and sounds of religious expression, places of worship, and faith communities. Throughout your Religious Studies degree, you’ll also encounter further expressions of religion including Wicca, Voudou and Tranhumanism as well as various minority religions of the Middle East such as Baha’is and Yazidis. We are also one of only a few universities in the UK to offer a module in Jainism as part of the Religious Studies degree, which supplements the study of other religions practised in India.
In your first year, you’ll gain a real insight into the diversity of religion as you’re introduced to a range of beliefs and faiths. You’ll develop your knowledge and understanding of the concept of religion worldwide, try to pin down what the term ‘religion’ itself means, and develop a solid grounding in the methods used to study and understand religions. You’ll also start to study alternative expressions of faith and begin to explore how religion is presented through film and media.
During year two, your studies will concentrate on the world religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam in more depth with an emphasis on historical and philosophical developments. You also get to grips with anthropology and gain an better appreciation on religious expression. You will also undertake a short-term work placement which counts towards your degree.
Your final year will involve evaluating religious expression in the modern world and the controversies and difficulties faced by religions. You’ll get the opportunity to look at new developments in religious practice and the impact of mobile communications and the Internet. You’ll be appraising films with religious and cultural content and examining the ideas and issues they contain. You’ll also conduct a dissertation on an aspect of religion that you are particularly interested in.
The BA (Hons) Religious Studies is also available as a four-year course including an integrated foundation year, and is designed for students who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry onto the degree.
You will start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge before continuing onto the three year degree programme.
Find out more: Foundation Year (Social Sciences)
Taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, tutorials, guest speaker seminars and cultural study visits, this degree gives you the opportunity to learn about religion in new ways.
A key element to your learning will be beyond the classroom where you’ll be encouraged to explore ‘lived religion’ through different perspectives.
You’ll benefit from a friendly and supportive teaching environment taught by lecturers who have a wealth of knowledge. Our teaching team are frequently praised for the level of student support.
This Religious Studies degree offers a blend of different assessments and gives you the opportunity to present your knowledge and understanding in a variety of creative ways.
Whilst you will undertake traditional assessments such as written assignments, presentations and examinations, you’ll also get the chance to create brochures, posters, video documentaries or even create your own photography exhibition. This means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to develop a repertoire of skills not usually associated with studying religion.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
BCC - CDD (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
|Field Trips : UK||£1 - £10||
The course does include a number of field trips in UK, which are normally covered by FBS. However, we encourage student to provide a small donation of £1 per visit.
|Field Trips : Study Tour (India or Nepal)||£1200 - £1500|
|Study Tour : Europe||£500|
|DBS fees (if work placement is in school or with vulnerable people)||£50||
Students who choose to take their work placement in a school may be required to obtain a DBS.
|Other: Textbooks||£60 - £200||
We do encourage students to purchase a small number of books to underpin their studies. The estimates represent the total over the whole course.
|Other: Travel Costs to and from Work Placement *||£0 - £200||
Students are required to undertake a period of work placement in year 2. Student's undertaking placement may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire will vary according to the placement.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
We are committed to helping you get into your chosen career, so our Religious Studies degree has been designed to provide you with many desirable skills valued by employers. You’ll develop key skills such as presentation and communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and time management skills. You will also develop cultural sensitivity and an appreciation of others’ perspectives – key to getting ahead in a multicultural society and a globalised economy.
You will also have the chance to undertake a minimum 70 hour work placement which is assessed as part of your course and can count towards gaining a Grad Edge Award. This award has been developed to provide further recognition for undertaking work experience – another great boost to your CV.
Religious studies graduates have an excellent track record of employment following graduation, securing employment in a variety of diverse roles. Recent graduates have gone on to work in private and public sector organisations. The high demand for subject specialists also means there are plenty of opportunities to work in teaching and education.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.