Religious Studies - BA (Hons)

Religion is everywhere today, often where we least expect to find it. Explore the major institutions and theological traditions of world religions and discover how religion can reframe contemporary understandings of secular politics, money, sex, international relations, spirituality, and immigration.

Overview

Religious Studies is a creative discipline, vital to contemporary understandings of economy, art, politics, media culture and globalisation.

Our Department of Religious Studies is a lively, interdisciplinary community in which exploration of global traditions and a rich historical past enables us to rewire contemporary issues.

Staff are internationally-recognised experts in their fields and committed teachers with interests in areas including the philosophy of religion, mindfulness, East Asian medicines, blasphemy, unbelief and the secularisation of religion. They will show you how to engage in collaborative exploration at the cutting edge of the humanities.

"Don't be afraid just to go for it and see what they say." Religious Studies graduate Eloise applied to Kent via Clearing and shares her story and advice.

Your degree programme

You will encounter specific traditions from Christianity to South Asian religions and might explore more experimental topics including Chinese philosophy and medicine, death and the afterlife, blasphemy, sexuality and the secular.

In your first year you take one compulsory module, which asks ‘What is religion?’ You can also choose options from introductory modules in Judaism and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, Christianity, or ways to understand religion in secular society.

In your second and final years, you can choose to study particular world religions in more depth, or you can take modules on topics like religion and film, ancient biblical traditions in contemporary politics, or secular cultures and spirituality. At all stages of your degree it is possible to choose elective modules from other subject areas.

This programme will help you develop important transferable skills in critical analysis and communication and give you a fascinating insight into some of the most influential forces shaping our world.

Year or term abroad

Working or studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you have the enthusiasm to succeed in a new environment. You can apply to spend a whole year or just a term abroad as part of your degree programme. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details.

It is also possible to spend a year on placement in the UK, gaining valuable workplace experience and increasing your professional contacts.

Study resources

Access more than 1 million books, ebooks, databases and journals, including our special collections, at the University’s Templeman Library. We also have strong links with Canterbury Cathedral library and archives.

Extra activities

You have opportunities to broaden your understanding of the field, including seminars and talks by invited speakers. You can get involved with student societies such as the Religious Studies society, as well as societies representing other faith groups and cultural activities.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Academic Skills Development.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/placement year), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad/placement year)

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6300
  • International part-time £8400

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

You are usually taught in small groups, with most modules involving either two or three hours per week in class, plus individual consultations with teachers as well as sessions on computing and library skills.

Stage 1 modules are normally assessed by 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, some modules are assessed by 100% coursework (such as essays), others by a combination of formal examination and coursework.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • increase knowledge of religious ideas and institutions as found in a diversity of cultural settings both past and present
  • explore and discuss religious ideas and institutions, through texts and historical data as well as direct observation of the contemporary world
  • develop critical understanding of a sympathetic insight into the diversity of religious life, both as it has shaped and been shaped by, other factors within culture and history.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the place, role and influence of religion, and religions, in human culture - particularly the culture of Europe
  • the role and significance of religion within human experience
  • the relationship between the study of religion and other branches of the humanities and social sciences
  • the main approaches and methodologies characterising the critical study of religion, and its influences, as defined by the secular context of the University.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • evaluation of empirical data
  • analysis and interpretation of relevant textual resources
  • assessment of alternative theories and interpretations
  • ability to construct and defend arguments and conclusions in a coherent manner.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • sensitive and critical evaluation of religious data within their proper historical and cultural contexts
  • sympathetic appreciation of the ideas and practices of other groups and individuals
  • ability to articulate the multiple connections between experiences, ideas, practices and institutions in the appreciation and understanding of religion and religions.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • research and writing
  • computing and IT
  • effective formal and informal communication
  • working creatively and flexibly, on your own or with others
  • time management, especially under pressure
  • performance evaluation.

Independent rankings

Of final-year Religious Studies students who completed the National Student Survey 2021, 89% were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course.

Religious Studies at Kent scored 89% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021

Over 86% of final-year Religious Studies students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2020.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Recent graduates have gone into areas such as:

  • teaching
  • publishing
  • travel
  • advertising
  • personnel
  • diplomacy
  • social work
  • journalism
  • media
  • marketing
  • the legal profession.

Many of our students choose to move on to further study at Master’s or PhD level.

Help finding a job

The School of European Culture and Languages runs its own employability programme to help you develop your professional skills. This includes paid and voluntary work opportunities.

The University also has an award-winning Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

As well as an excellent grounding in your subject, you also develop the key transferable skills that graduate employers look for. These include:

  • excellent communication skills
  • organisational and research skills
  • the ability to analyse problems
  • teamworking.

You can also gain additional skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a new language or volunteering.

If you choose to take the year abroad option, you further increase your skills by gaining experience of living and studying in a different culture.

Those who decide to take a placement year gain valuable workplace experience, which will impress prospective employers.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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