What Will You Study

This fascinating new degree is offered by Lancaster University’s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion (PPR). It is designed for the growing number of politically and culturally aware students who are interested in politics, religion, ethics, philosophy, and who recognise the close links between these subjects. You will have the opportunity to spend year three on a placement with a public, private or voluntary organisation in the UK or overseas.

In the first year, you will take two core modules that give an overview of politics, philosophies, religions and values across the world. They introduce core concepts, methods, and examples from around the world – including Europe, the Middle East, India and China. A third first-year module can be chosen from options within the PPR department or other departments.

In the second year, a core module ‘Exploring Politics, Religion and Values’ introduces major theories about these three areas and their relations. The theories are tested against real-world examples from the past and the present. Such examples might include, for example, religious nationalism in India or Burma; ‘culture wars’ in the USA; the Brexit debate; controversies about gender and sexuality. In the fourth year, you will also write a guided dissertation on a topic relevant to the intersection of religion with politics and/or religion with values. You will be able to propose a topic that interests you.

For the other modules in the second and fourth years of your degree you will have a choice from within the PPR department and other departments. This means that you can tailor the scheme to match your particular interests, whether in religion, politics, or values or some combination, with the core modules providing overall coherence.

In year three there is the opportunity for a placement with a public, private or voluntary organisation in the UK or overseas. This experience should boost your employment prospects and help you to decide on your career direction and the kind of organisation in which you want to work once you graduate. You will be doing a real, responsible job – with all the satisfaction that brings.

Applying for a placement is a competitive process and our Placements Team will support you in finding and applying for a suitable placement. The preparatory modules you will complete in years one and two are designed to give you the best chance of success in both your placement applications and the placement itself.

One of the aims of the placement year is to enhance your understanding of the connections between theory and practice which could benefit your final year of study. Placements provide an exciting opportunity to build up experience and transferable skills, as well as to make contacts with potential employers, which can place you a step ahead in the graduate recruitment market.

The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills.

If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and would continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year. The University offers a range of shorter placement and internship opportunities for which you would be welcome to apply.

The degree will provide the opportunity for you to think critically and independently about value debates, complex political issues and religious controversies and apply that understanding to real world examples – as well as to your own deepest commitments. It offers in-depth understanding of different cultures and values, while supporting you to realise your creative and academic potential and enhance your employability in a competitive global marketplace. You will have the opportunity to gain disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transferable knowledge and skills that will enhance your contributions as a citizen, employee and interested participant in the world.