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BA (Hons) Theology

More than a degree

Be part of a community. Grow academically. Reach your potential.

Be part of a community.

At Union, we focus on enriching the lives of our students by fostering a close-knit community within our college.

We are committed to providing outstanding academic prospects, inspired by leading educators with a global mindset and a collaborative approach to learning. We understand the significance of the bonds formed between students, faculty, and staff, and are committed to creating a supportive environment where everyone can flourish.

"It's not just about the knowledge our students will learn at Union, it's about the people they will become."

Dr. Olwyn Mark
Undergraduate Degree Programme Co-ordinator & Lecturer in Practical Theology.

Academic Excellence

Union Theological College is a leader in theological education and academic research, committed to academic excellence.

Community Focused

At Union, you become part of a diverse learning community. We are committed to investing in your personal and academic development, seeing you flourish and realise your unique potential.

Rich Heritage

Union continues to build on a rich heritage of theological education. Training has been provided at our Belfast home since 1853.

For All Faiths and None

At Union we welcome students from all faith backgrounds and none. Everyone is welcome to study with us.

Grow Academically.

"You are challenged and stretched but in a good way and in a very supportive environment."
Union Student

Reach Your Potential.

Building a foundation for a future full of opportunities

A theology degree opens the door to many future opportunities and careers. Whether you are interested in church and community work, teaching, research, or many other paths. The BA Hons Theology has been designed to include skills which will be useful for your future career. Skills such as digital literacy, independent and collaborative learning, presentation skills and critical evaluation. This course will prepare any student for a future full of career options.

Be part of a warm community focused on personal growth. Although Union is well known for it’s academic excellence, there is so much more to the Union experience than world-class learning. At Union each student becomes part of the warm college community, where all individuals are seen, heard, and nurtured to reach their potential academically, intellectually and spiritually.

The Course

This programme, validated and awarded by St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, welcomes students from all backgrounds, and from any faith and none, to study Christian theology. You will explore and engage with key areas of theology such as Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Church History, and Practical Theology.

Learning and teaching will be delivered through a high–quality, research–informed curriculum using a combination of lectures, tutorials and independent study. You will be equipped with a theological literacy that will enable you to understand and navigate the world in which you live, flourish as an individual, and make an impactful contribution to society.

Download Specification

Programme Structure and Modules

The programme is structured to provide a broad-based knowledge of theology, incorporating the three sub-disciplines of Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology/Church History and Practical Theology.

All students will study Biblical Languages in Year 1 (Level 4) alongside five other Core Modules. For Year 2 and Year 3 (Level 5 and Level 6), you will have the option of specialising as you wish in one or more of the sub-disciplines.

Year 1

Early Church History (Core)

This module provides an introduction to aspects of the history of early Christianity through the study of select figures, events, and texts. The module aims to introduce students to the study of Christian history, equipping them with knowledge and the skills necessary to engage in historically–engaged thinking.

God, Christ and Salvation in Early Christian Thought (Core)

This module deals with three main areas of doctrine in early Christian thought: God, Christ, and Salvation. The module aims to introduce students to the study of historical theology and systematic theology, equipping them with knowledge of some key doctrines and the skills necessary to engage with abstract theological ideas and their consequences.

Introduction to Biblical Languages (Core)

In this module, students will learn the basics of Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek, along with core knowledge of the Bible’s history and foundational skills for interpretation. Students will acquire facility in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary of Hebrew and Greek, and they will become familiar with key historical aspects of the transmission and shape of the Christian canon.

Introduction to Christian Ethics (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to the study of Christian ethics, equipping them with knowledge to understand what constitutes ‘the good life’. It also provides an opportunity to develop the skills necessary to engage in ethical reflection and decision–making about complex contemporary questions in ethics.

Introduction to Jesus and the Gospels (Core)

This module aims to help students understand Jesus in his first–century context and think critically, from a range of perspectives, about the contemporary relevance of his ancient portrayals. Students will also acquire the basic skills necessary for close reading and responsible interpretation of New Testament texts (notably, the Synoptic Gospels), in their English versions.

Introduction to the Pentateuch (Core)

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the study of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The module will involve a broader study of the themes that unify the Pentateuch, as well as a close reading of selected passages. Students will also be introduced to the various critical methods by which the Pentateuch has been approached in the past three hundred years.

Year 2

Biblical Hebrew Texts (Option)

This module is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge of biblical Hebrew, building upon their prior knowledge of the language. Students will further develop language and exegetical skills through the study in Hebrew of selected books (or portions of books) from the Hebrew Bible.

Letters of Paul (Option)

The aim of the module is to help students further develop their interpretative skills as readers of New Testament texts in their English versions. Students will explore some of Paul’s ancient communicative contexts and their dynamics, including the values, virtues and ethics in play, to understand key debates that have arisen in the history of the reception and influence of Paul’s letters, and to consider how Paul’s letters can be relevantly and responsibly read today.

Christian Doctrinal Tradition (Option)

This module aims to provide a carefully–sequenced learning experience, characterised by both breadth and depth, in historical theology and systematic theology, dealing with material as an integrated theological inheritance which can be adapted and applied in a creative manner to a variety of different contexts. The module will survey the major lociof Christian doctrine, structured around the Apostles’ Creed, and pay attention to both the tradition and application of those doctrines.

Philosophy of Religion (Option)

Many of the world’s major religions claim to believe in a God. In this module the student will engage with the perennial question of whether such a divine being really does exist or not, using the logical tools and analytic skills from philosophy. Central arguments both for and against the existence of God are examined, along with different overall frameworks in approaching this fundamental question.

Spirituality and Worship (Option)

Throughout the history of the Christian church, patterns of spirituality have had both important commonalities and significant differences. This module will explore the nature and varieties of Christian spirituality, with special emphasis on the place and practice of worship. The study is set in the context of other religious traditions as well as secular perspectives, engaging with contemporary understandings of spirituality. Students will evaluate the orientational and formative aspects of worship, assessing the relationship between worship and spirituality.

Thinking and Singing: An Introduction to the Wisdom and Lyrical Books of the Old Testament (Option)

This module provides an introduction to the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. These books differ noticeably in content and style from all the other books of the Old Testament and even from one another. They are the principal representatives in the Old Testament of what is now known as wisdom and lyrical literature. “Wisdom” applies to Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and “lyrical” relates to Psalms and Song of Songs.

New Testament Greek Texts (Option)

This module aims to help second–year students acquire proficiency in Koine Greek and to read key NT Texts in Greek with confidence. Students will develop their knowledge acquired in the Introduction to Biblical Languages, acquiring further elements of essential Greek grammar and vocabulary. As their proficiency develops, students will engage in detail with the Greek text, reading and translating from Greek set texts and grasping how the Greek is used.

Christianity in Ireland since the 16th Century (Option)

This module provides an overview of the religious history of Christianity in Ireland from the sixteenth century to the late nineteenth century, through the study of select figures, movements, and events. This module aims to provide a carefully–sequenced learning experience, characterised by both breadth and depth, in order to cultivate a more historically–informed and sophisticated understanding of how religion has shaped modern Irish Christianity.

Life together – the Church as a community (Option)

This module is primarily concerned with the internal life of the church, both as an informal fellowship and, to varying degrees, as a well–structured institution. Both aspects have Biblical roots and a range of historical expressions. This module will enable students to appreciate the variety of legitimate ways of ‘being church’ and, in particular, to explore the theology and practice of pastoral care and discipleship.

The Major World Religions (Option)

The module surveys the four main non–Christian religions and their interaction with each other and with the contemporary western world. Students will develop a sympathetic and critical understanding of the significance of religion as a world–wide phenomenon and of the place of individual religions in the contemporary world. They will be able to outline the basic teachings of the four major non–Christian world religions. Students will also be able to assess non–Christian religions from the perspective of the majority religious culture in the UK and Ireland. Students will be enabled to wrestle with the lived tension between making universal truth claims and living in peaceful harmony.

Year 3

Advanced Hebrew (Conditional)

This module is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge of biblical Hebrew, building upon their prior knowledge of the language. It will enable students to consolidate their grasp of Biblical Hebrew grammar and to sharpen their reading and writing skills.

Prophetic Texts (Option)

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the study of Old Testament prophetic texts. This module looks at the Old Testament prophetic books of Isaiah and Jeremiah from a historical, literary, and theological perspective. It explores the interpretative issues arising from them. It will attempt to situate the prophetic oracles in their presumed original historical context, as well as in their current literary and canonical contexts.

Christianity in the 16th Century (Option)

This module aims to provide a carefully–sequenced learning experience, characterised by both breadth and depth, in order to cultivate a more historically–informed and sophisticated understanding of how the phenomena of the sixteenth century European Reformations have shaped modern Christianity. This module consists of an overview of the religious history of the European Reformations in the sixteenth century through the study of select figures, movements, and events.

Trends in Modern Theology (Option)

This module is principally concerned with some of the main developments in Protestant and Roman Catholic theology during the twentieth and twenty–first century. The course will explore the literature and ideas of important modern theologians and theological trends and movements, particularly those relevant to the study of modern Protestant and Roman Catholic Trinitarian theology.

Reconciliation Studies (Option)

Rooted within the Biblical mandate of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5: 11–21), this module seeks to develop a fuller understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to reconciliation. It explores the key challenges in transforming personal, social and structural relationships that have been damaged or destroyed by conflict. The module draws on South Africa as its primary case study but also engages with other post–conflict societies including Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and Nigeria. This will create a fuller, more systematic understanding of the principles and complex dynamics involved in transforming the social and structural relationships that have been damaged or destroyed by violence and conflict.

Extended Essay (Option)

The extended essay provides an opportunity for students to produce an extended piece of original research (8,000 words) that will utilise the knowledge and skills accumulated through their earlier studies. Students are able to explore a theological topic in significant depth, under the guidance of an experienced supervisor. Topics may come from any theological discipline or be open to analysis from within any theological discipline.

Advanced Greek (Conditional)

This module aims to complete students’ understanding of elementary Greek grammar, to lay a foundation for advanced analysis of Greek texts, and to engage in detailed exegesis of select Greek texts. Students will further enhance their skills and tools for translation, analysis and exegesis of Greek already acquired at level 5.

The Gospel of John (Option)

This module aims to enable students to engage comprehensively with John’s Gospel as a complex narrative; to understand, interact with and evaluate approaches to this Gospel in the history of interpretation; and to consider the place of John’s Gospel in New Testament theology and its relevance for contemporary readers.

The Church in the Contemporary World (Option)

This module seeks to reflect on the way in which the Christian church, both locally and globally, relates to its culture and context. The lectures and tutorials will deal with contemporary challenges to the mission and ministry of the church and the various models of cultural engagement pursued by the church. Students will study one local Christian initiative that works for the benefit of its community. Students will be expected to show flexibility and initiative as they participate in the module and as they investigate the relationships between churches, mission, ministries and local communities.

Programme Fees

Fees for entrants in 2024–25 are as follows:

Full-time students annual tuition fee:

- UK & International students: £4,920.

Part Time students:

- Fees charged pro rata.

- UK / ROI / International

Registration Fee:

- £325 annual registration to be paid before course commences.

- All fees and charges are subject to annual inflationary increases.

Entry Requirements

Please check you meet all the entry requirements for this programme before you submit an application.

  • BBB at A-Level or equivalent

  • There is no subject requirement

  • Two Advanced Subsidiary (AS) GCE qualifications will not be acceptable in place of one A–Level

  • A minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language)

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: 3H3 + 2H4

  • Access Course Requirements: 65% average

  • International students (and for whom English is not their first language) must be able to demonstrate their competence in written and spoken English.

  • We welcome students from any faith or none. As part of the process, applicants may be asked to attend for interview.

Request Information

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BA (Hons) Theology

More than a degree.

Be part of a community. Grow academically. Reach your potential.

More than a degree

Be part of a community. Grow academically. Reach your potential.