This is one of several specialist routes available in our BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (R14). The degree starts by developing your understanding of the world we live in through a variety of perspectives, periods and subjects – including art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, English literature, history, modern languages, music, philosophy, and religious studies itself. You’ll then take two specialist religious studies modules, exploring religions as an important aspect of human culture, society and politics and their role and significance in various debates and controversies. The modules cover many different contemporary and historical contexts. Your learning in this exciting subject will be supported by books, podcasts, videos and interactive materials.
Alongside your study of religious studies, you can choose to study a second specialism from the subjects listed above, entitling you to include both subjects in the name of your degree, or complete your degree with modules chosen from a wide range of options.
Key features of the course
- Specialise in religious studies within broad and flexible arts and humanities degree
- Study religions from a variety of approaches and perspectives and across historical and present-day contexts
- Develop a range of skills that will be valuable in the workplace and to further study
- Select a second specialism to complement and enhance your study of religions
This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
You’ll start Stage 1 with a broad introduction to the arts and humanities followed by up to two modules chosen from a variety of subjects.
Next, at Stages 2 and 3, you'll specialise in religious studies in combination with either a second specialism in arts and humanities or study modules from across the arts and humanities curriculum.
Stage 1 (120 credits)
In Stage 1 you will encounter a variety of different times and places and engage with some fascinating people, artworks, ideas and stories. This broad foundation will help you develop the skills and the confident, open approach you need to tackle more specialist modules at Stages 2 and 3.
You'll start your degree with:
- The arts past and present
We recommended you complete Stage 1 with this option module:
- Voices, texts and material culture
Alternatively, you can choose 60 credits from this list of modules.
If you plan to study French, German or Spanish as part of your degree, you should choose appropriate language modules.
Stage 2 (120 credits)
At Stage 2 you’ll investigate what is religion, how religion is studied and why. Looking at Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, as well as various indigenous religious traditions, the module explores the social, cultural geographical and historical contexts of religion.
Stage 3 (120 credits)
At Stage 3 you’ll focus on the intricate connections between religion and controversial issues, including politics, tradition, gender, multiculturalism, animism, atheism, violence, sex and capitalism.
The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- finding external/third party material online
- working in a group with other students
- working with a specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts
- using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music writing package)
- using and/or producing diagrams and screenshots
All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.
If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increase as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
Classification of your degree
The name of your undergraduate degree will reflect your chosen route. For example:
- Broad route – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Arts and Humanities
- With one specialism – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Arts and Humanities (History)
- With two specialisms – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Arts and Humanities (French and Classical Studies).
You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
How much time do I need?
Most of our students study part-time, completing 60 credits a year.
This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Counting the previous study
You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:
- already studied at the university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
- other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
Skills for career development
Employers greatly value the high-level critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills acquired by studying a humanities degree. You’ll sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills; and develop the ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information in constructing an argument. These are key skills in complex organisations, greatly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.
Study of the arts and humanities requires an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural environments and in very different historical circumstances. The breadth of study and range of cultural texts and objects analysed, combined with training in clear thinking and communication, make this degree course relevant to a wide variety of careers, including:
- public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
- advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
- legal work
- business, banking and retail
- human resources
- charities and campaigning.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- teacher (for secondary teaching, you will need at least 180 credits in the subject you plan to teach)
- museum curator
- civil servant
- advertising account manager
- public relations manager
- charity campaigner
- retail manager
- human resources manager
- information archivist
- media researcher
- local government and NHS management
- further education lecturer
- advice worker
- arts administration
- marketing officer
- tourist officer
- business manager.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated February 12, 2018