Why study Theology or Religious Studies?

Find out the importance of studying our Theology and Religious Studies programmes.

Belief systems, rituals, mythology, iconography, practices and ethics and the part they play in human culture: these are at the heart of Theology and Religious Studies. Studying them gives you an insight into humanity's history and its present. This also helps you develop essential skills in critical thinking, debate and analytical writing.

If you are fascinated by big ideas, how people's beliefs influence their lives, or by sacred texts and their interpretation, then Theology and Religious Studies are the subjects for you. Both focus on an aspect of human experience that has been fundamental to humanity's understanding of itself and, in all its variety, continues to be important today.

Literacy in religious thinking and practice is a crucial skill with the potential to foster respect and tolerance based on knowledge rather than supposition. Whether you come to the subjects with a particular faith perspective or none, there will be much that will engage you intellectually and challenge your assumptions.

  • Theology offers the opportunity to focus on religious belief in detail through the study of scriptures, the history of religious thought, its critical thinkers, its influence on ethical debates and the actions of its believers.

  • Religious Studies offers breadth and depth in its study of the world's religions from various perspectives, including the interpretation of religious texts, the sociology and psychology of religion and the impact of ancient and modern religious movements.

Studying Theology and Religious Studies will allow you to analyse writing, concepts and arguments in various contexts. The disciplines demand rigorous thinking and the ability to interpret data concisely. Also, you will learn to debate key concepts and evaluate their relevance and validity with other students. Respect for the beliefs of others and the skill to enter into dialogue with those who hold opposing views are developed in the academic environment of the School of Divinity.

Taster lectures

Get a taste of some of our lecture content with these short films and audio recordings by some of our lecturers.

Taster lectures

Sample background reading

Whether you're considering applying to our School as an undergraduate or have accepted a place, if you would like to do a little background reading on Theology and Religious Studies, we have provided some resources below. We asked our teaching staff to recommend books that potential undergraduates might find interesting.

Please note these resources are for your general interest only.

Check out our undergraduate degree programmes