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Undergraduate Programme Specification

BA Theology and Philosophy

Academic Year 2021/22

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance processes. All degrees are awarded by Queen's University Belfast.

Programme Title BA Theology and Philosophy Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)
Bachelor of Arts
Programme Code THE-BA-JS UCAS Code VV65 HECoS Code 100337 - Philosophy - 50
100340 - Theology - 50
ATAS Clearance Required No
Mode of Study Full Time
Type of Programme Joint Honours Single Length of Programme 3 Academic Year(s) Total Credits for Programme 120
Exit Awards available

Institute Information

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Institute of Theology

Quality Code
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code

Higher Education Credit Framework for England
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/higher-education-credit-framework-for-england

Level 6

Subject Benchmark Statements
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/qualifications-frameworks.pdf

Philosophy (2015)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Regulation Information

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

N/A

Programme Specific Regulations

A Single Honours student wishing to be admitted to the Joint Honours programme must have passed relevant modules at Level 1 in appropriate strands in Theology and have the approval of the adviser of studies for the programme.

Candidates will not normally be permitted to take more than 40 CATS of independent research in their final year of study.

Students with protected characteristics

N/A.

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

Educational Aims Of Programme

The Joint Programme in Theology and Philosophy is designed to provide students with an intellectual training in the two disciplines which, while discrete subjects, are also complementary and mutually enriching.

Each of the subjects provides a discipline-specific perspective from which students acquire knowledge and understanding of the inter-relationship between texts and contexts, a familiarity with debates surrounding theological and philosophical investigation and skills in synthesising and developing ideas and arguments from diverse philosophical, exegetical and theological discourse.

Together, these subjects equip individuals with the ability to:

• think critically, process and understand complex information;
• evaluate primary and secondary sources;
• interpret a variety of types of data and information;
• pursue independent learning;
• work well in groups and formulate arguments.

The programme is also designed to equip students with a range of skills which together increase the capacity to undertake independent learning in progressive degree Stages. Whilst certain skills are subject specific, many are mutually reinforcing, including the ability to evaluate critically primary and secondary sources, whilst others are designed to be transferable and thereby enhance the employability of students. Both disciplines offer enhanced appreciation of theological and philosophical perspectives as well as extended investigation of international debate on the fundamental issues of each. Furthermore, students benefit from a multi-disciplinary education which gives them a large skill set and opens a wide range of career options following graduation.

More generally, the Joint Programme in Theology and Philosophy aims to:

• attract students from local, national, and international contexts, through a variety of entry routes, and deliver the best possible learning and teaching experience in an environment of equality, tolerance, and mutual respect;
• provide students with the necessary intellectual, practical, and key skills to enable them to develop as independent, reflective lifelong learners and able employees;
• develop a broad context for future employment, in which graduates appreciate the continuing value of an education in these two disciplines.

The programme will thereby foster an atmosphere of intellectual inquiry in each discipline, by offering modules which encourage a stimulating interchange of ideas.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

• carry out time-limited reflection upon research projects/tasks
• express in fluent and appropriate written terms the results of research
• express in fluent and appropriate oral terms the results of research
• respond quickly to alternate views and challenges to propositions made in research
• set time-tables and targets for research- and project management
• engage with theoretical models of interpretation
• comprehend complex ideas
• be self-reflective;
• exercise sound, reasoned judgment;
• think independently, originally and in a constructively critical manner;
• appreciate a variety of philosophical and theological perspectives on academic enquiry;
• synthesise diverse primary evidence and subsequent academic comment;
• assess and appraise differing views on significant areas of academic debate;
• discriminate between what is central and what is peripheral to the issue in question;
• evaluate sources critically in their context;
• make judgments on the basis of varied and problematic evidence and according to the persuasiveness of the arguments or the reliability of the evidence used.
• gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources, so as to formulate and support a line of reasoning, or argument;
• identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems;
• synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement, primarily through essay writing;
• manage their own learning self critically;
• recognise the importance of explicit referencing and the ethical requirements of study, which requires critical and reflective use of information and information technology in the learning process;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching/Learning Methods used on the Theology and Philosophy pathway foster cognitive skills in the following ways:
Lectures and tutorials together provide the opportunity to discuss, evaluate and subject-specific knowledge
• They also expose students to specific contextual and theoretical information as well as offering practical examples of different critical approaches.
• Seminars offer a variety of tutor-led and student-led learning opportunities as well as a more sustained opportunity to debate and evaluate a breadth of knowledge gained independently from directed reading and from the sharing of resources and information.
• Group presentations are used to encourage students to pursue their own interests, collaborate with peers, negotiate the demands of teamwork and develop their understanding of a topic.
• Dissertation work is a programme of independent study agreed between student and supervisor designed to test the student’s capacity to manage independent study
• Through class discussions, students develop a comparative understanding of different approaches to material and the ability to formulate their own arguments and responses.
• Class presentations and student interaction in small group sessions (e.g. tutorials or seminars) develop communication and rhetorical skills.
• Student-centred learning situations encourage the ability to present and summarise knowledge to peers in a coherent, structured form, and to enhance further organisational and inter-personal skills.
• Writing skills tutorials and lectures develop essay-writing on stylistic, structural, rhetorical and bibliographical levels. The ability to collate and obtain information is developed through introductory training in the use of libraries and online resources.

Methods of Assessment

Assessments required of students on the Theology and Philosophy pathway test and develop capacity to demonstrate the following cognitive skills:
• To undertake time-limited reflection upon research projects/tasks
• To express in fluent and appropriate written terms the results of research
• To respond promptly to alternate views and challenges to propositions made in research
• To set time-tables and targets for research- and project management
• To engage with theoretical models of interpretation
• To comprehend complex ideas
• To be self-reflective;
• To exercise sound, reasoned judgment;
• To think independently, originally and in a constructively critical manner;
• To appreciate a variety of textual and cultural perspectives on academic enquiry;
• To synthesise diverse primary evidence and subsequent academic comment;
• To assess and appraise differing views on significant areas of academic debate;
• To discriminate between what is central and what is peripheral to the issue in question;
• To evaluate sources and academic comment critically in their context;
• To make judgments on the basis of varied and problematic evidence and according to the persuasiveness of the arguments or the reliability of the evidence used.
• To gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources, so as to formulate and support a line of reasoning, or argument;
• To appreciate the importance of and comply with the ethical requirements of study, which requires critical and reflective use of information and information technology in the learning process

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate an interrelated knowledge and understanding of each discipline.

In Theology, students will have acquired the ability to:
• undertake exegetical exploration and analysis of canonical Biblical texts,
• reconstruct the context of the production of ideas and evaluate their influence on society at different historical periods as well as in the contemporary world.
• Appreciate the ways in which theological thinking informs pastoral work and mission

By taking Philosophy and Theology modules together, students will have developed an understanding of the key concepts that are used to undertake philosophical analysis and pursue theological study.

In Philosophy, students will have:
• acquired knowledge and understanding of a range of philosophical subjects as well as numerous approaches, methods and theories which are employed to understand philosophical ideas and their contexts;
• developed an understanding of the key concepts that are used to undertake philosophical reflection and analysis
• explored major themes in the history of philosophy.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching and learning strategies used on the programme will have established:
• a knowledge of the core subject knowledge base for the academic study of Theology and Philosophy respectively

• an awareness of the most influential ideas shaping the academic discourse in each

• an understanding of how academic enquiry is conducted in each

• an understanding of academic dialectics

• an aptitude for researching, promoting and publishing ideas in an academic context

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods used on the programme will have achieved the Knowledge and Understanding outcomes by requiring students to demonstrate:

• Analytical and critical knowledge of the key theological and philosophical texts relevant to the disciplines as currently conceived
• significant engagement with influential contemporary and historical thinking on the subjects
• discipline-specific analytical techniques (exegesis, literary-critical analysis, historical analysis, comprehension of theoretical and methodological practice; philosophical speculation and enquiry in pursuit of scholarly objectives, theoretical rigour)
• clear, concise and informed presentation of ideas
• aptitude for academic debate and discussion in both written- and oral form

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

As discrete disciplines, Theology and Philosophy each seek to promote their own unique subject skills through developing students’ capacity to understand and reflect upon the nature of the different disciplines.

Many subject-specific skills are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and students should develop the ability to research, gather, sift and deploy relevant information and concepts, discriminating between what is central and what is peripheral to the issue in question; to evaluate sources critically in their context; and to make judgments on the basis of varied and problematic evidence.

Students should also be able to understand, discriminate between, and evaluate critically conflicting theoretical and interpretative positions, and form a judgment on their validity according to the persuasiveness of the arguments and the reliability of the evidence used.

Philosophy is concerned with key debates within the field of philosophical enquiry: theories of knowledge, ethics and meaning.

More specifically, students on the Joint Honours Degree will acquire the ability to:

• read philosophical and theological texts with a developed awareness and appreciation of their formal, structural, stylistic, and culturally specific properties;
• bring knowledge to bear on critical interpretation of the ways in which different cultural and historical contexts inform the reading and writing of texts, as well as subsequent theological interpretations;
• analyse the forms, function, and development of philosophical and theological language;
• conduct critical debate, drawing on and engaging with different critical perspectives in the analysis of texts;
• be aware of key debates concerning the development of the disciplines of philosophy and theology;
• write coherent, structured and intellectually rigorous essays in answer to specific questions on scholarly philosophical and theological literature;
• comprehend and highlight key primary texts as a fundamental feature of academic debate, engaging with influential modern critical analysis;
• develop the key skills of academic presentation of work: fluency of expression, citation protocols and bibliographical conventions

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching and learning strategies used on the programme will have established:
• a substantial familiarity with the core knowledge base for the academic study of Philosophy and Theology respectively

• an awareness of the most influential ideas shaping the academic discourse in each

• an understanding of how academic enquiry is conducted in each

• an understanding of academic dialectics

• an aptitude for researching, promoting and publishing ideas in an academic context both written and orally

Methods of Assessment

The assessment regime on the programme is comprised of by a variety of traditional and innovative methods, including timed unseen written examinations, data analysis, essays, critical book/article reviews, portfolios, individual and group presentations, and seminar and tutorial reports and contributions. These vary in accordance with the specific learning outcomes of particular modules as set out in the individual module descriptions. Formative written work assists the development of understanding, critical judgment, and independent thought, both through the feedback given, and through the process of writing itself. Analytical, discursive, interpretive and critical exercises – both formative and summative – test students’ ability to engage with, analyse, contextualise, interpret and criticise relevant material.

All these assessment methods require students to demonstrate the subject skills which are detailed in each School’s criteria for marking undergraduate work. While these teaching and assessment methods deliver information to students and test their knowledge of that information in each subject, students are encouraged to assimilate and apply knowledge of both disciplines discretely to become independent, self-reflective learners. Module guides and BA Handbooks inform students in their choice of, access to, and citation of relevant secondary materials.

The different methods of assessment serve different, but complementary, purposes:

• Examinations and essays require that students demonstrate coverage of material, appropriate methods of analysis, the ability to discriminate between arguments, and the ability to form an independent argument.
• Written exams help students gain a knowledge of a topic that can be readily and directly applied to a set problem or question, and also test their ability to select relevant information and to write clearly and concisely within a set time.
�� Group presentations are used to encourage students to pursue their own interests and develop their understanding of a topic.
• Extended essays test their ability to order and shape information, and to recognise ways in which to present and prioritise material.

• Coursework is required to be submitted in a specified form and to fixed deadlines, thus teaching students to learn to prioritise assignments and objectives and to hone their organisational and time-management skills.

Feedback is provided for each type and instance of assessment and students may seek dedicated feedback sessions with course tutors.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

From each discipline, students will acquire a repertoire of skills which are transferable to each other as well as other areas of endeavour and enterprise, including in their future careers, specifically the ability to:

• work under time-pressure and to deadlines;
• digest material from various sources;
• evaluate and judge evidence and the quality of information
• present high-quality analysis cogently and succinctly;
• make oral and group presentations using appropriate skills;
• understand the role and use of feedback in assessing and improving performance;
• reflect on intellectual and professional priorities;
• collate and process information from an array of sources, including electronic media;
• use their knowledge in cogent, communicable ways to present arguments and clarify complex issues in both oral and written forms;
• present ideas and arguments orally in both formal and informal contexts;
• work effectively both independently and in a team setting;
• manage time efficiently;
• respond constructively to criticism;
• take notes and summarise accurately and effectively;
• use libraries and online resources;
• use IT skills (word processing, use of internet resources);
• communicate and interact effectively;
• show self-reliance, initiative, adaptability and flexibility.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures and tutorials expose students to the tasks of:
• comprehending and evaluating new and complex information within a time-limited context
• observing the techniques of expert analysis and presentation of research data

• Seminars:offer a variety of tutor- and student-led learning opportunities as well as a more sustained opportunity to debate and evaluate a breadth of knowledge gained independently from directed reading and from the sharing of resources and information.

• Group presentations:encourage students to pursue their own interests, collaborate with peers, negotiate the demands of teamwork and develop their understanding of a topic.

• Dissertations: Test the capacity of students to undertake a programme of independent study agreed between student and supervisor

• Class discussions: Allow students to develop a comparative understanding of different approaches to material and the ability to formulate their own arguments and responses.

• Class presentations:Encourage student interaction in small group sessions (e.g. tutorials or seminars) and develop communication and rhetorical skills.

• Student-centred learning situations: encourage the ability of students to present and summarise knowledge to peers in a coherent, structured form, and to enhance further organisational and inter-personal skills.

• Writing skills tutorials and lectures: develop essay-writing on stylistic, structural, rhetorical and bibliographical levels. The ability to collate and obtain information is enhanced by introductory training in the use of libraries and online resources.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment on the programme establish and refine key transferable skills:

• Written examinations:
• Ask of students high-level skills of thorough familiarisation with specific subjects
• Time-limited exposition of analysis of specific subjects
• Swift structuring and presentation of ideas
• Distillation of essentials and exclusion of information of marginal importance


• Seminars require: Interaction with subject experts and peers in analysing subjects, themes and ideas within a group or team context


• Group presentations: encourage students to collaborate with peers and negotiate the demands of teamwork.

• Dissertations: Test the capacity of students to take ownership of independent study projects
• They demand discipline, maturity and high-level skills of academic organisation

• Journalling: Encourages sustained reflective and evaluative practice

Module Information

Stages and Modules

Module Title Module Code Level/ stage Credits

Availability

Duration Pre-requisite

Assessment

S1 S2 Core Option Coursework % Practical % Examination %
Romans THE3085 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Issues in the Philosophy of Science PHL3001 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Double CATS Dissertation THE3073 3 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Old Testament Prophetic Texts THE3009 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 60% 0% 40%
Trends in Modern Theology THE3043 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Dissertation THE3071 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Current Issues in the Philosophy of Religion THE3054 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Philosophy for Children PHL3068 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Topics in Epistemology PHL3013 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 90% 10% 0%
Contemporary Political Philosophy PAI3025 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 90% 10% 0%
Applied Ethics PHL3064 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Dissertation PHL3099 3 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 90% 10% 0%
Philosophical Theology PHL3034 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%

Notes

At Stage 3, students must take 60 CATS from the Theology options and 60 CATS from Philosophy. Students are permitted to take a maximum of up to 40 CATS from the independent research modules in Theology and/or Philosophy.