BA (Hons) in Religious Studies


Program Description


The Department of Religious Studies is part of Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages. Staff in the department have a range of interests in the field, including expertise in Asian Studies, which means they can offer you an insight into world religions.

Our campus is in Canterbury, a well-known center in world religion, and the University has strong links with the Cathedral library and archives.

Our degree programme

Religious Studies at Kent is a varied programme covering world religions and also other areas such as psychology and film.

In your first year, you take one compulsory module, which asks ‘What is religion?’

You can choose options from introductory modules in Judaism and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, Christianity, or assess religion in contemporary society.

In your second and final years, you can choose to study particular world religions in more depth and can also take modules that look at areas such as religion and film or explore how different writers, from ancient times right up to the present day, have read the Bible as a temporal or political code.

At all stages of your degree, it is possible to choose ‘wild’ modules from across the Faculty of Humanities. You can also apply to take a placement module, where you can gain teaching experience in a secondary school. The placement modules are subject to a selection process.

Year abroad/placement year

You can apply to spend a year abroad as part of your degree programme. 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. It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enroll at Kent but certain conditions apply. It is also possible to undertake a placement year in industry.

See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details, or the Placement Year information from the Faculty of Humanities.

Independent rankings

For research quality, Religious Studies and Theology at Kent was ranked 6th in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 6th in The Times Good University Guide 2018.

Of Religious Studies students who graduated from Kent in 2016, 96% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

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.

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 a 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 characterizing 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 flexible, on your own or with others
  • time management, especially under pressure
  • performance evaluation.


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 Ph.D. 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
  • organizational and research skills
  • the ability to analyze 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.

Independent rankings

Of Religious Studies students who graduated from Kent in 2016, 96% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Last updated Aug 2018

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About the School

The School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) is one of the largest academic schools at the University of Kent, offering an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes covering ... Read More

The School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) is one of the largest academic schools at the University of Kent, offering an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes covering all aspects of European cultural life Read less
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