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BA (Hons) History and Religious Studies

UCAS code: 
Institution code: 
West Suffolk College


Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.


The History element of this degree is designed to develop students understanding of historical processes through the study of a range of periods and geographical contexts, promoting awareness of continuity and change.  Modules span the early modern period to the present and embrace two identifiable strands: British Social and Cultural History and Family and Community History, aspects in which religion has played a key part, therefore providing a wider context in which Religious Studies may be more fully understood. The course explores a number of world religions both ancient and modern, examining their underpinning theology, cosmology and their historical development. There are no assumptions that any student has to be religious, and the course takes a balanced look at many religious outlooks, including Judaism, Sikhism, Christianity, Islam, Paganism, Buddhism and Shintoism.   Teaching methods used on this course include lectures, seminars, debates, group-work and field visits to historical and sacred sites. Students will be assessed through a variety of essays, presentations, seminar reports, diaries, heritage site-reports. 

There are opportunities to visit historical and sacred sites and these may incur a charge for entry. The proximity of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and local groups such as Suffolk Interfaith may offer further opportunity to enhance the Religious Studies modules. In addition to their respective subject content, each discipline will have its own theoretical underpinning and academic conventions. Each subject within a combination is of equal weight, meaning that the degree is a joint degree in the chosen subjects. However, there are opportunities to give additional weight to one of your chosen subjects. The core modules Research Methods at Level 5 and the Undergraduate dissertation module at Level 6 provide such an opportunity, although you may wish to combine your two subjects in an interdisciplinary fashion.


Course modules

Year 1 Students begin by developing their skills of historical research, analysis and effective communication via the module, Cradle to Grave in England: 1560-1720.  This period study encourages an awareness of continuity and change, historiographical debate and interpretation of source materials related to the period.  Introduction to Political Ideas establishes some of the key philosophical and political underpinnings of Western European societies since the sixteenth century and particularly relates to the Religious Studies module Heresy and Dissent.  Having gained hands on experience of studying History, Introduction to Historical Studies is designed to foster reflection on the nature of History and an appreciation of its development. Students also examine the development of religious thought by looking at the earliest documented expressions of religion in human history. The module The Emergence of Monotheism looks at the early development of mainstream religions that believed in one deity, whilst the module Classical Polytheism explores the belief in a multitude of deities. The module Heresy and Dissent looks at those beliefs and practices that did not make it into the orthodox versions of mainstream religions, mainly focusing on monotheist beliefs. Year 2 Second year modules enable students to explore deeper questions that all key religions grapple with, together with an opportunity to examine selected non-Western religions in more detail. Modules include The Question of Evil; South East Asian Religion; and Indian Religions and Culture. Students have the opportunity to compare and contrast this with the study of British society and culture in the nineteenth century via the modules Britain in the Nineteenth Century and Mentalities of Empire, with more specific focus on imperial attitudes and actions and the cultural and political implications of Britain s imperial past. The oral history module, Listening to the Past, together with Research Methods will build on methodological approaches and knowledge of theoretical perspectives and will prepare students for the Level 6 undergraduate Dissertation. Year 3 The final year critically analyses key issues in The Philosophy of Religion, looking at some of the major philosophical issues that have been touched upon throughout the course in the first and second years, and seeks to develop the students capacity to argue these issues in an informed and insightful fashion.  Contemporary Christianity looks at some of the developments and challenges facing the various denominations of Christianity in the 20th and 21st centuries, subject matter that may be related to more thematic focused history modules The Spanish Civil War and Families in England, 1600-2000.       

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Historical Studies
From Cradle to Grave in England, 1560-1720
Introduction to Political Ideas
Classical Polytheism
Emergence of Monotheism
Philosophy of Religion
Dissertation/Project Preparation

This is a mandatory module pre-requisite for the final year undergraduate Dissertation. For the remaining modules at Level 5, choose two modules from one subject and three modules from the other.

Listening to the Past
Mentalities of Empire 1750-1950
Britain in the Nineteenth Century
Indian Religions and Culture
The Question of Evil
Dissent and Heresy
Undergraduate Dissertation/Project

The undergraduate Dissertation is mandatory.

It is not possible to register for a History Dissertation in this combination

If Dissertation is to be in Religious Studies, choose one Religious Studies module and all three History modules

If Dissertation is to be interdisciplinary, i.e. in History and Religious Studies, choose both Religious Studies modules and any two History modules

Families in England 1600-2000
Aspects of East Anglian History and Heritage
The Spanish Civil War
Contemporary Christianity
East Asian Religions

Career opportunities

Combining the study of two subjects is both challenging and rewarding and graduates of combined honours degrees are more likely to maintain a broader academic viewpoint providing the valuable opportunity to develop more versatile skills and perspectives. Self-motivated, independent-minded and intellectually ambitious students have the opportunity to make interdisciplinary connections, using ideas from each area to enhance understanding and enjoyment of the other. They should also develop valuable transferable skills: Graduates of the BA (Hons) History and Religious Studies are well prepared for a range of occupations and their particular knowledge and skills are increasingly relevant to careers paths such as teaching (primary and secondary subjects, for example history, citizenship, cultural studies and R.E.), advice worker, youth and social work, charity officer, archivist and counsellor.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £10,080 p.a.


Subject to approval of maximum fee by parliament                    

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £11,500 p.a.

Further Information

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs.


Entry requirements



Subject Leader Access and Combined Routes

Route Leader History