BA Theology and Religion

If you have an enquiring mind and are passionate about asking the fundamental questions of human and divine nature, a BA in Theology and Religion might be the course for you.

This programme offers a broad and balanced curriculum. You will enjoy thinking critically about the complex relationship between religious texts and their social, political and cultural contexts.

Engaging with a wide variety of texts will develop your critical, analytical and comparative skills. You will acquire competence in at least one of six languages and be able to read sacred texts in their original language, a deeply pleasurable and satisfying experience.

On completion of this course you will have gained knowledge and understanding of several religious traditions. You will have thought about what a religion is and how to approach learning about it. You will have studied the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the development of Christian doctrine in its historical context, and the thought of modern theologians.

You will be able to form your own judgment on the main themes in Theology and Religion. Your ability to think independently, critically, and to read with sensitivity texts from different ages and traditions will equip you well for life in our diverse and challenging world.

Please find more helpful information on Oxford University's Undergraduate Admission pages.


The following is an overview of the course structure. More detailed information on the first year course can found on Weblearn.



Students take four papers



All students take eight papers over two years, normally four in each year.

All students must submit a thesis (Paper 3000) in the third year as one of their eight papers.





All students study four papers, one language and three others




Students choose one of the following languages:


1001 New Testament Greek

1002 Biblical Hebrew

1003 Church Latin

1004 Qur’anic Arabic

1005 Pali

1006 Sanskrit





All students must study:




1101 Introduction to the Study of the Bible

1201 The Figure of Jesus through the Centuries

1301 Religion and Religions







* Indicates that the paper will be available every year. Other papers may not be offered or may not run if they do not recruit enough students.


Students must choose four papers (Senior Status Students may choose up to 5) from the lists below.




(1)Biblical Studies

2101* The Narrative World of the Hebrew Bible
2102* The Poetic World of the Hebrew Bible

2103* The Gospels



(2)Systematic Theology and Ethics

2201 History of Doctrine

2202 Ethics I: Christian Moral Reasoning
2203 Themes in 19th-century Theology & Religion
2204* Key Themes in Systematic Theology



(3)History of Religions

2301* History and Theology of the Early Church (64-337AD)

2302 Medieval Religions

2303* Early Modern Christianity 1500-1648

2304 Formation of Rabbinic Judaism

2305 Islam in the Classical Period

2306 Foundations of Buddhism

2307 Hinduism: Sources and Formations



(4)Religion and Religions

2401 Modern Judaism

2402 Islam in Contemporary Society

2403 Buddhism in Space and Time

2404 Modern Hinduism

2405 Science and Religion


* Indicates that the paper will be available every year. Other papers may not be offered or may not run if they do not recruit enough students.

Students must choose three papers (Senior Status Students may choose two papers

if they have chosen 5 second-year papers) from the lists below.

No student may choose more than two papers from (3303); (3305); (3306); (3307); (3308); and (3405).



(1)Biblical Studies


3101* Hebrew of the Hebrew Bible

3102* Paul and the Pauline Tradition


Further Studies in the Hebrew Bible

3103 Biblical Interpretation: Perspectives from Social Sciences

3104 Gender and Power in Biblical Texts

3105 Worship and Liturgy in the Hebrew Bible

3106 Prophecy and Revelation in the Hebrew Bible & Beyond

3107 Law, Teaching, and Wisdom in Biblical Tradition

3108 Early Interpretation in the H.B. & Ancient Judaism


Further Studies in New Testament

3109 New Testament Theology

3110 Study of a New Testament Book

3111 The Afterlife of the New Testament

3112 The Old Testament in Early Christianity


(2)Systematic Theology and Ethics


3201 Contemporary Theology and Culture

107* Philosophy of Religion (Philosophy Faculty)

3203 Analytic Philosophy and Christian Theology

3204 Ethics II: Religious Ethics

Further Studies in a Special Theologian (* a selection will be available each year from the list below)


3208 Origen

3209 Augustine

3210 Anselm

3211 Aquinas

3212 Luther

3213 Calvin


3214 Kierkegaard

3215 Newman

3217 Barth

3218 Tillich

3219 Bonhoeffer

3220 Rahner




Further Studies in Systematic Theology and Ethics

3221 Liberation Theology and its Legacy

3222 Postliberal Theology

3223 Radical Orthodoxy

3224 Modern Debates concerning the Trinity

3225 Modern Debates concerning Christology


  1. History of Religions


3301* From Nicaea to Chalcedon

3302 Saints and Sanctity in the Age of Bede

3303 Faith, Reason, and Religion from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Age

3304 Eastern Christianities from Constantinople to Baghdad


3305 Further Studies in Judaism

3306 Further Studies in Islam

3307 Further Studies in Buddhism

3308 Further Studies in Hinduism

3309 Studies in the Abrahamic Religions

3310 Varieties of Judaism 100BCE – 100CE

(4)Religion and Religions


3401 The Nature of Religion

3402 Psychology of Religion

3403 Sociology of Religion

3404 Further Studies in Science and Religion

3405 Mysticism

3406 Feminist Approaches to Theology and Religion


Preliminary examination (Trinity term):  Each of the four papers will be assessed by a three-hour written examination.


Final Honour School examination (Trinity term): Theology papers will be assessed by a thesis, three-hour written examinations or assessed essays, or a combination of written

examinations and assessed essays, depending on the requirements of individual papers The compulsory thesis (paper 3000) is submitted in 9th week of Hilary term of the final year.


Undergraduate Open Days

We participate in the annual Oxford University Open Days in late June or early July, and in September.  We publish information about our Open Day programme on our website about a month in advance.

Most colleges and Halls that offer degrees in the Faculty of Theology and Religion also participate in the main University Open Days. When visiting Oxford, please take the time to look around at least one college, in addition to attending the Faculty’s own events. Some colleges hold their own College Open Days at other times of year. These colleges offer our courses.

UNIQ Summer Schools

The Faculty is a committed partner of the UNIQ programme of free summer schools at the University of Oxford. If you are currently in Year 12, at a UK State-maintained school, and want to experience what it’s like studying in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, then you should consider applying for a UNIQ course next summer.



Your application

Your application will be assessed against clear criteria. Tutors are primarily interested in previous academic achievements as demonstrated, for example, by GCSE or other examination results, and in the quality of submitted written work, but will also take other information on your UCAS application into account (such as your personal statement and reference). A subject involving essay-writing to A-level, Advanced Higher or Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent can be helpful to students in completing this course, although this is not required for admission.

In interviews tutors will look for interest in the proposed fields of study, your ability to think clearly, form sound arguments and to listen and respond to counterarguments; your openness to learning; evidence of your enthusiasm and motivation for the course, and your oral communication skills. Please check the University website for more information on interviews, and how best to prepare.


Stage 1: UCAS forms due by 15th October

Stage 2: You will need to submit one piece of written work. Criteria vary, so check requirements on an annual basis

Stage 3 Interviews. The majority of applicants are interviewed. 

Good luck with your application!


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