Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The programme provides an excellent opportunity to study major world religions, philosophical traditions, and ethical schools of thought in a systematic and critical way. Students will develop a capability in correlating religious ideas and values, as well as philosophical and ethical thought with both the personal quest for meaning in life and the reflection of contemporary socio-cultural issues, such as life and death, gender equality and social justice. They can understand more about the human person itself and human culture through a comparative and interdisciplinary study of different religious and philosophical traditions, showing the vast range of human response to various life problems, such as life and death, meaning of life, social justice from ancient times to the contemporary world.

Unique Features

First-Ever RPE Programme in Asia for the World

The programme, specializing in three different but closely related disciplines of religion, philosophy and ethics, is the first-of-its-kind not only in Hong Kong but also in Asia. RPE is a multidisciplinary programme and in fact one of the flourishing programmes in the international trend in recent decades. Examples include the RPE programme at King’s College London and the University of Nottingham in the UK.

Four Study Areas

Foundational courses covering key areas of religion, philosophy and ethics are covered in the second year. Starting from third to fourth years, students can choose major electives among the four study areas, namely Philosophical Studies, Christian Studies and Comparative Religion, The Interdisciplinary Study of Religion, as well as Ethics and Society. The multiple foci of the programme would be able to cater to the diverse interests of students. Students can choose to declare or not a concentration in one of the four study areas at the end of their second year of study.

Critical Thinking

We emphasize nurturing students’ abilities in critical thinking, justifying arguments and evaluating claims, which help to enhance their reasoning and analyzing skills. These are transferable skills which are essential to many professions.

Value Analysis

We emphasize the analysis of underlying moral values, social values, political values and cultural values in current issues, which are diverse, complex and often in conflict with one another.

Excellence in Liberal Studies

Our programme provides a channel for achieving the higher goals of Liberal Studies, namely, (a) the cultivation of the ability to analyze complex human problems with intellectual rigour, and (b) the cultivation of practical wisdom for moral reasoning and impartial value analysis.

127096_photo-1505664194779-8beaceb93744.jpg Giammarco Boscaro / Unsplash


To encourage and reward REL Major students who have worked hard and excelled in their studies, our Department offers a number of scholarships to students according to their GPA in that academic year:

  • Department of Religion and Philosophy Scholarships for Major Students.
  • Luk Yin Memorial Scholarship.
  • Dr Stephen Chan Christian Spirituality Scholarship.

Overseas Exchange Programme

Students have opportunities to study abroad in partner institutions by joining the University's Overseas Exchange Programme.

Summer Exchange and Study Tour

The Dunhuang-Xinjiang Study Tour is a special joint programme co-organized by the Department of Religion and Philosophy, HKBU and the School of History and Culture, Lanzhou University. The ten-day tour offers a unique opportunity through which students learn about and experience a variety of religious and intra-cultural traditions.

The Europe Study Tour, which aims to provide an excellent way for students to get first-hand information about religious issues and enjoy a unique learning experience, broadening their horizons of understanding western European countries and enriching their knowledge of the different historical period of Christianity.

Besides the above summer tours, we also organize short trips outside Hong Kong during the semesters, such as Guangzhou and Macau, to explore different religious activities in the neighbouring region.

Summer Internship Programme

The Department organizes Summer Internship Programme for our students since 2002 to work in NGOs (Non-governmental Organisations), social enterprises, offices of Legislative Councilors, and institutions from public and private sectors. Students can widen their exposure through working, relate the real-life with their studies, gain valuable working experience and be able to identify their career path after graduation.

Career Prospects

The programme provides high-quality training which enables students to engage in independent academic research. Graduates in RPE will be well-equipped for postgraduate studies. Graduates can also expect to find a career not only in the field of teaching in Ethics and Religious Studies and Liberal Studies, but also in cultural affairs, publication business, in religion-related social service agencies, or going to the administration sector in the civil service as well as in the business sector.

Medium of Instruction

The medium of instruction for formal classroom teaching is English, except for those courses that are granted exemption.

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Arts is an essential part of Hong Kong Baptist University, an institution that is firmly committed to being ”a leading liberal arts university in Asia for the world delivering academic ... Read More

The Faculty of Arts is an essential part of Hong Kong Baptist University, an institution that is firmly committed to being ”a leading liberal arts university in Asia for the world delivering academic excellence in a caring, creative and global culture.” Read less