Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (BA Hons)

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

BA (Hons)

Open your mind

Explore "the big questions" on this landmark course, the first of its kind in the UK.

Read Jess's Story

Amazing experiences

Unique opportunities to focus on questions, not answers.

John Lee receiving tilak blessing on the banks of the river Ganges.

Joe Lee, RPE student receiving tilak blessing on the banks of the river Ganges.

Muslim devotee at Nizamuddin Shrine in New Delhi.

Student taken photo of Muslim devotee at Nizamuddin Shrine in New Delhi.

Being Human Journal of Philosophy.

Being Human Journal of Philosophy written and produced by RPE students.

Space to think

A stunning and inspiring backdrop for studying.

More info

Be inspired by their passion

William Large, Course Leader in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.

Martin Wood

Course Leader in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

"My love of the subject stems from a number of years spent travelling through India, South East Asia the Middle East and Australasia. The experiences that I had along the way made me realise how central religion is to most peoples lives on a day to day basis whether it is expressed through food and activism or politics and contemplation.

As a teacher of the study of religions, in a world where walls are going up and borders being closed, I encourage students to value open dialogue, put aside assumptions and develop qualities of empathy and insight.

I teach Hinduism and Buddhism as well as New and Non-Religious Movements and my research and publishing to date has focused upon contemporary Hindu movements in the U.K. and India. I also have an interest in examining the current relationship between religion, populism and national identity."

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See some of the places and meet some of the people that make our courses so relevant and exciting.

Course details

Visit our course blog for all the latest Religion, Philosophy and Ethics updates.

A painting of a religious scene.

Course outline

Our Philosophy courses are ranked 9th in the UK for student satisfaction according to the Complete University Guide 2021

The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) degree is for people who like to think about what really matters in life. You’ll examine philosophy as it emerges in ancient traditions and observe the latest global research on religion in the digital age. From the thinkers of Ancient Greece, the advent of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and the ancient traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism, you will examine a range of perspectives on the purpose and meaning of life. We also engage in the fine-grained study of specific, important thinkers and their work, such as Descartes, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Kuhn and Sartre.

You’ll learn from lecturers who are published authors, internationally-recognised for excellence within their specialist fields. You’ll also hear from high-profile subject experts, through seminars, Skype , and invited speakers. Our students develop expertise through a global network of research scholars, exploring live research with contemporary scholars across the world. Recently students have studied how religion is manifesting on the internet through UFO cults, popular-culture spiritualties, Pagan traditions and North American Satanism with experts from across the UK and Europe.

You’ll be inspired on field trips with past visits to Delhi and Rishikesh in Northern India, in addition to the beautiful Mezquita Cathedral in Córdoba, Spain. There are also local trips to places including Leicester’s Diwali festival, a world-famous event that celebrates Hinduism and its history, the Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir in London and the ancient heart of Christianity in Glastonbury, which is also contemporary home of the New Age and Paganism.

Learning through interactive workshops, debates, presentations and portfolios you’ll develop expert knowledge and transferable skills that are in high demand by employers.

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Study style

Lectures and seminars exist alongside more innovative teaching methods. 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 to tutorials, and work with our students, one-to-one and in small groups, to help them produce the best work and ideas that they are capable of. The course encourages an open forum with small group discussions to exchange ideas. Tutors talk you through classical philosophical and religious texts. You'll also learn through seminars, field trips and online resources such as podcasts and videos.

Course modules

You'll study a variety of modules from 'Beyond Good and Evil' to 'Emergent Spiritualities'.

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Industry links

We have developed excellent relationships with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Wales), the post lineage yoga community and the Glastonbury Heathen and Pagan communities. We also offer a number of field trip opportunities, for example to India, the United States and destinations in Europe and more locally to Glastonbury, the Leicester Divalli celebrations and the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden.


  • Teaching
  • Media
  • Social media
  • Publishing
  • Third Sector/Fundraising
  • Ethical Technology Development
  • Local and National Government
  • Green and Environmental Industries
  • Social Services

    Study mode

    Full-Time or Part-Time


    3 Years (Full-Time)
    4 Years (Integrated Foundation Stage)


    Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

    Entry requirements

    Tariff information for 2020 entry

    96 tariff points

    Not enough tariff points? This course is available with an integrated foundation stage to help you prepare.

    Typical offers

    BBC at A levels, DMM at BTEC or use a combination of your qualifications to achieve the required tariff total.

    Mature Applicants: We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants.

    International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country.

    Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required. If you don't meet your tariff points total we may still consider your application. Please contact our admissions team if you have a question.


    See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

    UCAS Codes

    UCAS codes available for this subject
    BA (Hons) - 3 years full-timeVV65
    BA (Hons) - 4 years integrated foundation stageVV66

    School of Education and Humanities

    Our School of Education and Humanities will help you graduate as a well-rounded, innovative and passionate individual. You will work with experienced practitioners, engage with active researchers and be inspired by published authors.

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    Our next virtual open day is on Saturday 26 September 2020

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