The Religion, Philosophy & Ethics (RPE) degree course is for people who like to think. It engages the most important ideas from Philosophy, from religious traditions and from a range of emerging spiritual perspectives on the world: then looks at how they impact on our lives, and how we impact on the lives of others.
We examine philosophy as it emerges in Ancient Greece, but also Hindu and Buddhist traditions as they arise in India, and the advent of Islam and the history of Judaism. This is partnered with the latest research on how religion is manifesting on the internet, through UFO cults, fan-based popular-culture spiritualities, Pagan traditions, and various esoteric traditions. Alongside, and often intertwined, is the study of the philosophical tradition in the West: as well as an overview of historical developments, there are close-readings that familiarise you with key thinkers like Descartes, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Kuhn and Sartre.
Lectures and seminars exist alongside more innovative teaching methods, and we make full use of video podcasts, e-texts, Skype Q &As with external experts, and students are actively involved with these resources. We have a strong commitment in RPE to tutorials, and working with our students, one-to-one and in small groups, to help them produce the best work, and best ideas, that they are capable of.
A period of study abroad is also possible as part of the programme, via the Erasmus scheme, as well as our international Field Trip module that investigates the religious significance of the Spanish city of Cordoba, and the relation between Islam, Christianity and Judaism in Europe. We also run day trips, such as our visit to the Diwali festival in Leicester, and make the most of being in Cheltenham – with its International Literature Festival, Science Festival and more.
- wide range of topics, from new-age religion, to European philosophy – taught by experts
- innovative teaching, using podcasts, social media and more – combined with small group, discursive models of debate
- a course that goes beyond the classroom: lectures and seminars are supplemented by field trips, philosophy film club, guest speakers and more
- New Religious Movements
- Love,Sex and Death
- Religion, Philosophy & the Visual Arts
- Women, Men and Religion
For a full list of modules see the Course Map.
- this course prepares you for life with philosophical skills to last a lifetime, allowing rigorous and clear thinking – whatever you do with your life
- teaching and academia
- working in publishing and writing
- working across faiths and traditions
How will the course be assessed?