Theology & Religious Studies at university encompasses a wide range of degrees. When you are looking for university courses, they may be described as Theology, Theology & Religion, Theology & Religious Studies, Religious Studies, Divinity, Philosophy Ethics & Religion, or any variety of these! Sometimes TRS is offered in conjunction with other subjects, such as History or Politics.
Theology & Religious Studies at university encompasses a wide range of degrees.
Theology & Religious Studies courses involve the academic study of religious beliefs and practices. You may focus on one religious tradition or many, and you’ll learn a variety of methods to help you in your study. You’ll be trained to take an empathetic, yet critical, approach to religious beliefs and the cultures in which they’ve developed.
All TRS degrees involve the study of religious texts, philosophy, history, anthropology and sociology, and ethics. You may have the opportunity to study languages, politics, music, or history in more detail, as they apply to the study of religion.
TRS degrees generally have lots of options, to allow you to specialise in what interests you the most. Most degree courses will have some compulsory modules – especially in the first year – and some optional modules.
You’ll be assessed in a range of ways, depending on your university, but you can usually expect some essays and some presentations. Essays help you to develop your independent research skills, identifying, critically evaluating, and summarising relevant information, while presentations ensure that you are confident sharing your ideas with other people
Things to think about when choosing your course
You need to think carefully about what excites you about studying TRS at university. Is it the study of the religious traditions of the world and different world views? In this case, you may want to look for a course focusing on Religious Studies. Are you more interested in the history and teachings of Christianity and Judaism? If so you may want to look for a course called ‘Theology’ or ‘Divinity’. You should think too about the other aspects of a TRS degree: are you interested in designing questionnaires to ask people about their beliefs, or in facts and figures about attendance at religious services? This might lead you towards a degree which offers modules in sociology, anthropology, or ethnography. Do you enjoy learning languages? You might look closely at degrees which offer the opportunity to learn languages such as Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, or Sanskrit