You are here

Courses Default Image

BA (Hons) Religious Studies and Ethics

Open days

Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an Open Event.

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
Institution code: 
West Suffolk College


Three years full-time.

Five to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

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

Please see entry requirements below.


The disciplines of Religious Studies and Ethics go together especially well. Both subjects address fundamental issues of human existence such as: Why are we here? How should one resolve moral dilemmas? What makes for a good life?  Whilst ethics exist independently of religion, the two have much to say about each other and prove the ideal combination for students who wish to expand their debating skills. The course explores a number of world religions both ancient and modern, examining their underpinning theology and cosmology. 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.   The study of Ethics explores a number of challenging moral dilemmas, for example within scientific research, the legal system, personal relationships and the ways we treat both our own bodies and those of other species. The course also includes critical study of the underpinning ethical and philosophical concepts, covering prominent thinkers in moral philosophy.  Each of the subject areas has its own theoretical underpinning and academic conventions and the study of both disciplines provides a valuable opportunity to develop more versatile skills and perspectives, as well as an appreciation of interdisciplinary connections.

You will be taught by experienced subject specialist teachers in small groups. Tutors are easily accessible and each student is allocated a personal tutor. Teaching sessions normally total nine hours weekly over two twelve- week semesters for full-time students.  Part-time students select the modules they wish to study and may complete the degree in five to nine years, depending on the number of modules selected (up to a maximum of 80 credits per academic year).  There are opportunities to visit sacred sites and the proximity of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and local groups such as Suffolk Interfaith may offer further opportunity to enhance your study. 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.

Teaching methods used on this course include lectures, seminars, debates, group-work and field visits where appropriate, such as visits to sacred sites.  Students will be assessed through a variety of essays, presentations, seminar reports and the use of real-world case studies in time-constrained assignments.

Course modules

Year 1 
Sets the agenda for 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 focussing on monotheist beliefs. In Ethics, the module Introduction to Ethics seeks to explain how the understanding of moral behaviour has developed over the course of human history.  Modules entitled The Ethical Body and The Ethical Mind explore ways in which both the human body and psyche has become a battleground for competing ethical, political, and religious views.

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. Second year study also includes exploration of how humans treat other types of living and non-living beings via the module Beyond Humanity. The module Media and Ethics applies moral arguments to the various forms of mass media, such as newspapers, the Internet, television, radio etc.

Year 3
The final year critically analyses key issues in The Philosophy of Religion, and Contemporary Christianity. Cyber Ethics examines the way newer technologies of the Internet and social media pose moral dilemmas and questions seldom encountered within more traditional styles of communication. The module Legal Ethics examines the way in which morality can be applied within the courtroom and related legal arenas, from divorce court disputes through to compensation cultures and on to murder, rape and treason.  In year 3 all students complete a 10,000 word undergraduate Dissertation which may focus on either Religious Studies or Ethics, or may be interdisciplinary.

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.

Classical Polytheism
Emergence of Monotheism
Philosophy of Religion
Introduction to Ethics
The Ethical Mind
The Ethical Body
Dissertation/Project Preparation

This is a mandatory module and will count towards one of your combined subjects.

For the remaining modules at Level 5, choose two modules from one subject and three modules from the other.

Indian Religions and Culture
The Question of Evil
Heresy and Dissent (Optional)
Media and Ethics
Beyond Humanity
Dissertation (Mandatory)
Contemporary Christianity
East Asian Religions
Cyber Ethics
Legal Ethics

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 Religious Studies and Ethics 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 such as citizenship, cultural studies and R.E.), advice worker, youth and social work, charity officer, archivist and counsellor. Knowledge and understanding of Religious Studies and Ethics can be useful in many professional roles, for example teaching, civil service, the legal profession, journalism, charity work and counselling, where a capacity for reflective and analytical thought is important. Many people find the subject of morality fascinating in itself. 

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

Academic Requirements

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Also see How to Apply.

International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.


Route Leader for Religious Studies and Ethics

Route Leader Applied Psychology