Explore significant dimensions of public and private life such as political thinking, contemporary issues in religion and critical philosophical enquiry on this distinctive degree programme.  

Studying BA Politics, Religion and Philosophy at the University of Newcastle allows you to develop your intellectual curiosity and understanding of critical issues at the borderlands between politics, religion and philosophy to address some of the most important issues of our time. You will encounter different viewpoints regarding the place of religion in wider society, the political theories, powers and practices that have formed communities, and the philosophical thinking that continues to challenge private and public assumptions.


Why Study this Course?

  • Highly-rated departments – The Department of Philosophy is ranked in the Top 5 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, which is the fourth consecutive year that we have been ranked in the Top 5. We are also ranked in the Top 30 for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
  • Culturally-diverse city – All faiths are well-represented in Newcastle, with more than 650 churches, mosques, synagogues and temples across the city. Outside London, Newcastle has the UK’s largest Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist communities, the second largest Hindu community and the seventh largest Jewish community.
  • Excellent employability development – Boost your employability skills by completing the optional second year placement module, where you have the opportunity to spend time in a school, charity or even abroad.
  • Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds in Politics, Religion and Philosophy. Times Higher Education ranked the Departments of both Theology and Philosophy 2nd in the country for their performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
  • Be a part of an exciting community – You will have a variety of opportunities to enhance your student experience including regular coffee mornings for staff and students, visiting speakers, specialist lectures, and a variety of trips.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

BA Politics, Religion and Philosophy

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 Years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Year 1

Compulsory modules: 

Introduction to the Study of Religion (20)


This module surveys wider theories and debates in sociology, cultural studies and anthropology as a basis for the study of religion, focussing especially on the social and cultural analysis of religion.


Problems of Philosophy (20 credits)

This module introduces a range of key philosophical problems most of which practically everyone with a philosophical temperament has puzzled over before:

  • Scepticism (how can I know anything at all about the world?)
  • Free will (how can I think and act freely, if all my thoughts and actions are determined by the laws that govern the Universe?)
  • The existence of God (does S/He exist?)
  • Realism vs. antirealism (to what extent is reality distinct from how it appears?)
  • The mind/body problem (is the mind just the brain?)
  • Personal identity (what is it about you that makes you the same person as you were years ago?)
  • Utilitarianism vs. Deontology (are actions morally right and wrong ‘in themselves’, or are they so just because of the effects they have on people’s happiness etc?)
  • Ethical obligation (do we have obligations to others?)
  • Moral relativism (are moral values absolute or do they vary from one culture/person to others?)
  • The requirements of justice (who should have what?)

Understanding Politics (20)

This is an introductory course designed to familiarise students with a broad spectrum of theories, approaches and issues related to the concept of power and contemporary political ideas.

The aim is to provide students with a solid foundation of key skills and knowledge upon which they can build their own perspectives on a number of themes and issues which they are likely to encounter over the course of their degree programme.

The course is divided into two main parts – the first part looks at different conceptions of politics and power, whilst the second half of the course examines a number of contemporary ideas and political issues.


Example optional modules may include (choose 20 credits in each group): 

Group A (Theology and Religion)


  • Defining Jews, Jewishness and Judaism(s) (10)

  • Introduction to Islam (20)

  • Introduction to the Study of the Holocaust (10)

  • Themes in Christian Theology (10)

Group B (Politics)


  • Classical Political Thought (20)

  • Introduction to International Relations (20)

  • Introduction to Political Economy (20)

Group C (Philosophy)


  • Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle (10)

  • Ethics: How should we live? (10)

  • Philosophy of Religion (10)

  • Political Philosophy: Can power be legitimate? (10)


Year 2

Compulsory modules:

Religion in the Public Sphere (20)


This module is a compulsory second year module for all students on the BA Politics, Religion and Philosophy programme. It consolidates learning about the three subjects gained in the first year and continues to bring their concerns, insights and methods into dialogue by focussing on issues and regions of concern in the contemporary world. A main aim of the module is to ensure that students leaving the Politics, Religion and Philosophy programme can offer analysis and advice in public arenas on religious, political and philosophical issues in an informed and robust manner and can explain the value and skills of their degree studies to prospective employers. 


Understanding Political Worlds (20)

This module uses classic and contemporary research about substantive political issues to introduce you to a range of key theories, concepts and debates within Political Science. The module thus allows you to consider a range of approaches to political analysis, to the nature and distribution of power, and to state-societal relations in the contemporary world. 


Example optional modules may include (ensure you have at least 20 credits in each group):

Group A (Theology and Religion)


  • Dissertation Preparation (20 credits)

  • Placement (20)

  • Religion and the Arts (10)

  • Religion in Contemporary Society (20)

  • Theological Ethics (20)

Group B (Politics)


  • British Politics (20)

  • International Political Economy (20)

  • Politics and Policy (20)

  • Public Choice Theory (20)

Group C (Philosophy)


  • Sex, Ethics and Philosophy (20)

  • Speaking of Things (20)

  • The Ethics of Killing (20)

  • The Mind-Body Problem (20)

Final year

Compulsory module (choose one of the following):

Dissertation (Theology and Religion) (40)

This is a major piece of independent work for which a topic is identified and research is carried out with supervisory help to produce a 12,000-word essay.


6,000-word Dissertation (Theology and Religion) (20) 

The 6,000-word dissertation is a piece of substantial independent research on a subject in Theology and/or Religion chosen by the individual student, but subject to approval by the Department. 


Placement-based Dissertation (Theology and Religion) (40)

The placement-based dissertation is an extended piece of substantial independent research (9,000 words) on a topic in Theology and/or Religion linked to a specific placement context chosen by the individual student, but subject to approval by the Department. Students negotiate a placement involving a minimum of 100 hours in a setting of their own choice, subject to approval from the Department. 


Philosophical Project (20 or 40)

This module allows you to conduct independent research into and write on a particular philosophical issue of your choice, with assistance from a project supervisor with expertise in your chosen topic.


Dissertation (Politics) (40)

The dissertation is your chance to study a topic of particular interest to you. You decide on the topic which should have some relevance to politics or international studies.

The aim is to apply the knowledge (theory and techniques) you have acquired over the past two years. It gives you a chance to demonstrate your ability to work on your own, acquire knowledge about a specialised area of study, use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material, undertake a thorough review of the literature, draw appropriate conclusions and present a clear, cogent argument. The dissertation may involve the presentation of new knowledge or the use of primary sources, but this is not an expectation.


Example optional modules may include (choose at least 20 credits from each group):

Group A (Theology and Religion)


  • Jewish Religious Responses to the Holocaust (20)

  • Politics in the Name of God (20) 

  • Thealogy: Transgressive Travels with the Goddess (20)

Group B (Politics)


  • Contemporary US Foreign and Security Policy (20)

  • European Union Foreign and Security Policy (20)

  • Topics in British Politics (20) 

Group C (Philosophy)


  • Being Good and Doing Right: Issues in Contemporary Moral Theory (20)

  • Global Bioethics (20)

  • Nietzsche (20)

  • Prejudice, Race and Gender (20)

  • Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20)

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a US university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements,. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. 


USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Your Newcastle degree

Employers target Newcastle students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.


Student Research Internships

Each year on this International Relations degree we offer up to 10 research internships to undergraduates in DETC. These are open on a competitive basis to all second year students. These are fully supported, paid internships that give students the opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with a member of academic staff in DETC on a research project.


Careers Events

In addition to the extensive careers support that Newcastle University offers all of its students, we offer bespoke employability and careers workshops to all students on our International Relations degree. These workshops run in each year of your programme and are tailored to support you with the information you need to plan should you wish to pursue employment or postgraduate study.


Professional development module

In the final year of your studies of our International Relations degree you will have the opportunity to take our Professional Development module. This module is based around a work placement and will help you bridge the gap between your academic studies and your future career.


Year Abroad

Even if you haven’t applied for our 4-Year Study Abroad International Relations degree you can transfer onto this track during your time at Newcastle (grades depending) and benefit from the increased confidence and different academic perspective gained by studying in a foreign country. We have exchange partners across Europe, as well as in Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Vietnam and Uruguay.