Every time I am asked what I study, I reply with the acronym RPS and I always get a quizzical stare in return. When I see the perplexed expressions on people’s faces, I let them guess what the acronym stands for and it always amuses me how people can be creative (or perhaps not!). RPS stands for Religion, Politics & Society; it is a BA degree within the Theology & Religious Studies (TRS) Department. I am currently a second year student heading towards my final year. I personally enjoy how insightful, original and interdisciplinary my degree is.
Allow me to take you through what my typical day looks like. Be warned: the word ‘typical’ here, is used for convenience and it is used in a loose sense. Although I try to regulate my week with a routine, you can never anticipate what is to come. My schedule and study pattern change throughout the week, but Mondays are my most intense days of the week.
My first lecture starts at 9am and there is no denying that it has been a challenge waking up some mornings! Nonetheless, I do like this module. It is called ‘Faith & Enlightenment’ and its main aim is to analyse and question whether religion can be rationally explained. I find it very engaging and stimulating.
After this module, I have an hour gap followed by an AKC lecture. According to the King’s College London website, ‘The Associateship of King’s College London is the original Award of the University, dating back to its foundation in 1829 and reflecting its first motto: sancte et sapienter (with holiness and wisdom).’ The AKC welcomes students from across all King’s Departments and Faculties. The lectures are mainly run by professors from my department, but there are also distinguished guests speakers and field experts from other universities.
At this point of the day, with my head is loaded with information, I take a break, chat to friends and eat lunch. After lunch is my ‘Faith & Enlightenment’ seminar. Seminars are smaller classes that are aimed at helping students become more engaged and truly interact with the course material. We are given a set of texts to read in advance and study guide questions to answer. It is always very interesting to discuss a diverse range of topics with like-minded students.
After my ‘Faith & Enlightenment’ seminar, I have two hours until my next class. During this period, if the weather is on my side, I go for a walk in Lincoln Inns Field park in Holborn, or walk along the river embankment, right behind the Strand campus.
My last class for the day is ‘Leadership in Religion & Politics’. I particularly love the layout of this module because each week we have guest speakers who are in positions of leadership. They are podcasters, authors, journalists, KCL alumni or political advisers. As part of this class, I particularly enjoyed a visit to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. We had the chance to talk to politicians as we saw them in working in their contexts; we could challenge them, debate and dialogue with them.
After class, I walk from the Strand Campus across the bridge to get to Waterloo Campus where my Monday extra-curricular activities are held: King’s Gospel Society and Choir. I am part of the committee and in charge of leading our study sessions. My favourite part is when we break into smaller groups according to our ‘vocal category’ and start singing. There are three groups: sopranos, altos and tenors. I love ending my day singing, it is very liberating and rewarding when after hours of rehearsals the three vocal ranges blend together to create beautiful harmonies.
The beauty of the university experience is that it is far from static and there are multiple ways to use resources King’s has on offer. Some days are eventful, other days a bit less, but this is a peek in the life of a TRS student. In fact, it is not the sequence of events that make the day, but one’s attitude towards the day.
Do you want to know more about the TRS department? Read Faith’s blog to find out more.