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Undergraduate studies: Catholic Theological Studies (CTS)

What is Catholic Theological Studies (TR030)?

Theology is a fascinating, vital subject that challenges students to reflect critically about God, human existence, the world we live in, and the role of religion in our lives. The Catholic theological tradition has been shaped by some of the greatest minds and movements globally. It has influenced culture, art, literature and ethics in Western thought for centuries. The study of theology challenges students to think critically and holistically across a wide range of disciplines. It encourages students to think for themselves about the big questions of today. It enables them to be at the leading edge of contemporary engagement with these issues.

Download the undergraduate brochure on CTS here

What our students have to say about studying Theology

There are two ways you can study Catholic Theology as an undergraduate:

  • A Moderatorship in Catholic Theological Studies  (CAO: TR030)
  • Two Subject Moderatorship (TSM). TSM is a two subject, joint honours, undergraduate arts degree course with honours degrees being awarded in both subjects. With the TSM programme you can combine your course in Catholic Theological Studies with:
  • Early Irish [TR186]
  • History [TR187] 
  • Italian [TR189]
  • Modern Irish [TR188]
  • Philosophy [TR190] 

The Course For You?

This course is designed for all students interested in the big questions of today. If you are interested in analysing the moral and religious questions lying at the heart of today’s world you will find this a stimulating and challenging course. This degree will equip you with the skills to get employment in today’s marketplace, and to make a positive difference in the world we live in. At the Loyola Institute in Trinity you will find a lively and welcoming community. Our small class sizes offer ample opportunity for questions, vibrant discussion and acquiring the skills of dialogue and debate. Consistent tutorial support provides you with ready access to guidance and advice for each of your four years at Trinity.

Eoghan Stanley


“I’m learning the skills to enable me to think critically and present my opinions both verbally and in writing.”
Eoghan Stanley, Slane, Co Meath, 3rd year CTS student

“I’m loving studying theology. I’m fascinated about the history of thought… We learn about why people did things, not just what they did.”
Imaani Keogh, Wexford, 2nd year CTS student

A unique aspect of the Catholic Theological Studies degree is a 3rd year module on social activism, in which students have the opportunity to learn through immersion experiences in agencies, such as those working with homeless people.
Trinity is home to the Book of Kells. Another unique aspect of this degree is the opportunity to study this marvellous manuscript from a theological perspective. 
At the Loyola Institute we take a special interest in Irish theology through the ages, and the course includes field-trips to places of historic and theological importance such as Clonmacnoise.


Cardinal Marx

Visiting international student Megan M. Ayers (Yale University) on a Loyola field trip. Megan has now returned to Loyola, and she is undertaking doctoral research on the Irish High Crosses.

Students at Loyola chatting with Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, during the Loyola international conference on The Role of Church in a Pluralist Society: Good Riddance or Good Influence?

The Loyola Institute regularly hosts major international speakers who are world leaders in their fields. Students are encouraged to attend these events.
Loyola’s lecturers have worked internationally in universities such as Yale, Edinburgh and Cambridge. They are regular contributors to the media and also sit on the boards of various educational and not-for-profit organisations.

CAO Change of Mind until 1st July


Come and talk with us about studying Theology, either on its own or as part of TSM (with History, Irish, Italian or Philosophy). We are happy to meet any students until 5pm, 1st July when CAO change of mind closes. Email Loyola EO on or call on (01) 896 4790 to set up a visit.

Undergraduate Student Grants via Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)

For further information on Undergraduate Student Grants go to their website.

Graduate skills and career opportunities:

CTS is a brand new degree course in Ireland and has no graduates as yet. Current students aspire to a wide range of occupations, including journalism, law, teaching, academics and work in human rights. Surveys in other countries show that graduates of theology have developed flourishing careers in these areas, and in a wide range of other occupations.
A degree in theology equips students to think clearly and logically, to see the big picture and address a problem from many angles. These are skills that 21st century employers are seeking. The small size of CTS classes means that students get ample opportunities for teamwork, debating, and making presentations to their peers.

The Skills you will learn

The skills of critical and analytical thinking you will acquire in the course are much in demand in the marketplace.

Study abroad and internships opportunities: 

During the third year of the degree programme, we encourage students to gain experience of studying and living abroad for a semester or a year. Erasmus and other exchange relationships are in place to facilitate you to live and study at EU universities. At present Trinity College has exchange agreements with over 130 institutions and these can be viewed here.The Loyola Institute also has an association with the University of Notre Dame in the USA, and further US associations are being developed.

So what will you study?

The degree in Catholic Theological studies includes modules on:

First Year

  • Biblical studies
  • Theological ethics
  • Theological Anthropology (which examines aspects of being human today)
  • Philosophy
  • Liturgical theology

Second & Third Years

  • Christianity in Europe through the ages
  • Systematic theology
  • Cultural expressions of Christianity – Art / Architecture / Literature / Film
  • Option of language studies in Latin, Greek and Hebrew
  • Social activism – including work in the field
  • Book of Kells – examined from theological perspective

Fourth Year

  • In-depth study of selected topics
  • Research dissertation on a selected area (under guidance)

Broad Curriculum

Students may also take a module from outside this course via the Broad Curriculum (see details here). The Broad Curriculum allows students to take modules from a great variety of other disciplines within the University.