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Durham University

UCAS Code: VV56 | Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons)

Entry requirements

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About this course

Course option

3years

Full-time | 2024

Subjects

Philosophy

Theology and religious studies

Studying Philosophy and Theology allows you to confront and study the big questions concerning human life – questions such as ‘What does a flourishing human life look like?’ and ‘What do people believe about the world and their place in it?’ With numerous areas of overlap, these complementary disciplines are particularly suitable to study alongside each other.

The philosophy element of your degree will equip you with the skills needed to think carefully and deeply about what matters in a good life, and how individual happiness is related to friendships, relationships, family, society, the political system and culture. At Durham, you will also follow one of the widest-ranging philosophy degrees in the country equipping you with expertise in Anglo-American analytical philosophy and continental philosophy.

Within the theology modules, you will study how human beings have always had, and always will have worldviews and fundamental beliefs about the Universe, and their role in it. This part of the human condition will be studied from a range of methodological and disciplinary perspectives. You can also apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.

Philosophy is a new subject for many students, so in your first year you will follow a range of introductory courses, introducing the fundamental philosophical subject areas. You will also take a number of comparable introductory modules in theology.

In your second year, you will further increase your knowledge by taking two core modules in philosophy and theology. You will also have a wide selection of optional modules to choose from for both subjects.

The third year includes a dissertation that allows a deep, independently driven, exploration of a topic of your choice.

Modules

Year 1
Core modules:
Ethics and Values provides a structured introduction to moral philosophy, including applied ethics, by exploring key moral concepts and showing how they influence moral practices and theories. This module lays the foundation for more in-depth learning in the areas of moral theory, issues in contemporary ethics and political philosophy.

Knowledge and Reality introduces philosophical problems in epistemology (the study of knowledge), and metaphysics (the study of reality and ourselves).

Reading Philosophy gives you an understanding of the issues of interpretation and comprehension through a detailed study of four thematically related texts including, for example, Plato's Protagoras, Hume's Of the Standard of Taste, Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism and Murdoch's The Idea of Perfection.

Introduction to Christian Theology will equip you with a comprehensive map of the major figures, ideas and debates which function as a minimal context for intelligent work in Christian theology. The module also introduces the method of thinking theologically, by habituating you in the thoughts of leading theologians.

Introduction to the Bible: Texts, History, Culture introduces important passages and themes in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament. This module models some of the ways in which biblical scholars approach texts.

Examples of optional modules:
Biblical Hebrew; New Testament Greek; God and Evil; God and the Good: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics; Islam Observed: Ethnographic Accounts of Muslim Practice; Worldview, Faith and Identity; Introduction to the History of Christianity.

Year 2
Core modules:
Philosophy of Religion enables you to acquire an understanding of philosophical issues raised in religion including, for example, arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, and the relation between reason and faith.

Atheism, Belief and the Edge of Reason introduces key philosophical thinkers from the early modern period to the present and allows you to develop a capacity for philosophical analysis that is theologically sensitive.

Examples of optional modules:
Philosophy of Mind; Language, Logic and Reality; Early Modern Philosophy; Moral Theory; Creation and New Creation: Imaging God; Science and Theology: Exploring the Interface; Early Christian Doctrine: Trinity and Christology; Topics in Christian Ethics.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement year or year abroad)
The final year includes a Dissertation on a philosophy or theology topic of your choice in which you research a topic in depth and present your findings and conclusions. The dissertation topic is chosen in consultation with a supervisor, who you will then meet for guidance throughout Year 3.

Examples of optional modules:
Applied Ethics; Issues in Contemporary Ethics; Metaphysics; Issues in Old Testament Studies; The New Testament and Christian Ethics; Religion and Film; Emotion and Identity in Religion.

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed by essays, some by an end-of-year examination and some by a combination of the two.

Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on self-directed learning and you will be provided with reading lists, handouts, suggestions for preparation and other online materials to guide you in your independent research.

In your final year, you will submit a dissertation, which gives you the opportunity to engage at an advanced level with creative cutting-edge research at the forefront of the discipline, working on a topic of your choice.

The Uni

Course locations:

College allocation pending

Durham City

Department:

Philosophy

Read full university profile

What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

77%
Philosophy
84%
Theology and religious studies

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Philosophy

Teaching and learning

83%
Staff make the subject interesting
92%
Staff are good at explaining things
88%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
64%
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

67%
Library resources
80%
IT resources
83%
Course specific equipment and facilities
63%
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

81%
UK students
19%
International students
52%
Male students
48%
Female students
99%
2:1 or above
5%
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

A
A*
A

Theology and religious studies

Teaching and learning

87%
Staff make the subject interesting
91%
Staff are good at explaining things
96%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
77%
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

90%
Library resources
95%
IT resources
87%
Course specific equipment and facilities
74%
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

95%
UK students
5%
International students
41%
Male students
59%
Female students
94%
2:1 or above
5%
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

A
A
A

After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Philosophy

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

£24,000
high
Average annual salary
92%
med
Employed or in further education
69%
high
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

23%
Business, research and administrative professionals
16%
Business, finance and related associate professionals
12%
Other elementary services occupations

Although there aren't a lot of jobs around for professional philosophers, philosophy degrees are a relatively popular option, with more than 2,000 students graduating in a philosophy-related subject in 2015 - a little down on previous years, but still healthy. Nearly a quarter of philosophy graduates take a postgraduate qualification, and it's a relatively common subject at both Masters and doctorate level — so if you think academic life might be for you, think ahead about how you might fund further study. For those who go into work, philosophy grads tend to go into teaching, accountancy, consulting, journalism, PR, housing, marketing, human resources and the arts while a few go into the computer industry every year, where their logical training is highly rated.

Theology and religious studies

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

£22,000
med
Average annual salary
98%
high
Employed or in further education
69%
high
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

32%
Welfare professionals
13%
Teaching and educational professionals
10%
Business, research and administrative professionals

Theology can actually be a very vocational subject —by far the most common move for theology graduates is to go into the clergy and at the moment we have a serious shortage of people willing to go into what is one of the oldest graduate careers. If you want to study theology but don't want to follow a religious career, then there are plenty of options available. 2015 graduates went into all sorts of jobs requiring a degree, from education and community work, to marketing, HR and financial analysis. Postgraduate study is also popular — a lot of theology graduates train as teachers, or go into Masters or even doctoral study - where philosophy and law are very popular postgraduate subjects of study.

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Philosophy

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.

£24k

£24k

£31k

£31k

£34k

£34k

Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

Theology and religious studies

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.

£24k

£24k

£31k

£31k

£34k

£34k

Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Course location and department:

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

We've received this information from the Department for Education, via Ucas. This is how the university as a whole has been rated for its quality of teaching: gold silver or bronze. Note, not all universities have taken part in the TEF.

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for undergraduate students only.

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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