Religion and theology

Analyse and understand the impact of religion on history and society.

Studying these subjects allows you not only to understand the world’s religions but also their impact on public life and culture. As a religion and theology graduate, you’ll have experience in critical and creative thinking, independent thought, research, and analysis, as well as excellent written and communication skills.

You could work in the church or religious organisations, or in education, the civil service, charity sector, NHS, or journalism, to name a few. You could also go on to study for a master’s or PhD. Graduates are highly desirable for their transferable skills, and their ability to understand other people and what drives them.

The impact you could make
  • Work as a chaplain in a prison or hospital and help people going through some of their most difficult times.
  • Join the diplomatic service – forging good relationships in other countries, and protecting British interests abroad.
  • Become a secondary school RE teacher and inspire the next generation to understand and empathise with one another.
What you could study
  • The study of religions
  • Research skills in theology
  • Interpreting the Hebrew bible
  • Morals and ethics
  • Philosophy and religion
  • Religious history
  • Living religions
  • Women in Islam
  • Global Christianity
  • Human rights in religion

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
“I like when we focus on particular gods and goddesses within particular traditions and learn about the mythical/mystical qualities of them. I have also loved learning about the afterlife in a variety of religious and non-religious traditions.”
Second year religious studies student, University of Kent
Example assignment
"I enjoyed an essay on the impact and threat that female mystic visionaries posed on the Catholic Church. I also really enjoyed learning about witches in the medieval period."
Second year religion and theology student, University of Bristol

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some religion and theology courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

English literature
Religious studies
82% of students
are highly likely to recommend religion and theology to others
(UCAS subject guide suevey 2023)
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Ethical and cultural understanding
  • Philosophy
  • Writing and presentation skills
  • Mental health awareness
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Communication
  • Analytical skills
  • Independent thinking

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying religion and theology. The following information is based on a typical clergy-related role.

Available jobs
39,633 vacancies in the past year
2.43% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £37,920

Career options

Religious or aid sector
Education and journalism

What is a… mediator?

You may not have heard of a mediator, but they work with people outside of the courts to help them manage a breakdown in relationships. You could work with separating couples around child custody arrangements, or with people going through financial or employment disputes or on justice resolution. Your skills in empathy, your ability to remain calm, and to reflect different viewpoints will be essential in this type of role. 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study religion and theology at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from religion and theology applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.

  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.
  5. Find out more

A day in the life of a Public Health apprentice

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around religion and theology with the following:
  1. TRS-UK YouTube channel

    Watch these videos about the different careers theology and religion graduates are doing, from TRS-UK (theology and religious studies in higher education).
  2. All Things Considered

    Listen to this religious affairs programme which looks into everything from religious burial traditions to racism to wellness. 
  3. Faith in the modern world TED Talks

    Watch these TED Talks exploring different aspects of religion and faith’s role in today's societies. 

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter, our application advice will help you get ahead in your religion and theology journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Express what it is that appeals about studying these subjects, and give examples of content you’ve watched or read that has further sparked your interest.
  • Religion and theology require a lot of reading and self study. What subjects have you already studied, or hobbies do you have, that show you have the discipline for this style of learning?
  • You’ll also need to be organised and manage your time well – show how you’ve balanced a part-time job or hobby like a team sport or swimming competitions with your current studies.
  • Critical thinking and analysing texts will also be important. Can you critique a book or piece of philosophy you’ve read? This is your chance to show off your writing and communication skills.
  • When have you worked with people from different backgrounds or viewpoints to you? Maybe you’re part of a book club, voluntary work or community organisation where you've had to listen and learn from others’ views? What have you taken from these experiences?

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