The PGDip/MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World is a part-time distance learning programme aimed at both lay people seeking personal development and clergy seeking continued professional development.
Find out more about studying Bible and the Contemporary World.
Each semester begins with a residential study week held at St Mary's College, the School of Divinity at the University of St Andrews. A typical residential study week includes lectures, seminars, sessions on using the Moodle and MMS internet platforms and study skills training. It is also a good opportunity for you to meet your distance learning peers and tutors in person.
Attendance is required at each study week from Monday through Wednesday, but students are encouraged to stay for the remainder of the week. You will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation costs to attend these mandatory study weeks.
Both MLitt and PGDip students take three taught modules over the course of their programme. Each module comprises 15 weeks of study (typically divided into four units) and focuses on independent learning.
In each unit of a module, students are supplied a number of scholarly articles and extracts from books which are supplemented by two written lectures available online in digital format; you will also have access to the library's extensive online subscriptions of journals and ebooks. In lieu of seminars, you will participate in online bulletin board discussions with your peers (not held in real time).
Students typically write four essays for each module (one for each unit) and receive written feedback. Students will have one personal tutorial (usually via online video messaging or telephone) with a tutor per module where they can discuss their recent essay.
The MLitt programme is followed by a 15,000-word dissertation submitted at the end of two years study. Students are assigned an individual supervisor for their dissertation, and meetings with supervisors are normally held via online video messaging or telephone.
Each module typically comprises:
Students will take the modules in different orders depending on their point of entry.
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018/2019 entry.
The MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity.
Each semester begins with a residential study week held at St Mary's College, the School of Divinity. A typical residential study week, which is shared with the distance learning part-time students, includes lectures, seminars and other learning activities. Attendance is required at each study week from Monday through Wednesday, but students are encouraged to stay for the remainder of the week. You will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation costs to attend these mandatory study weeks.
After the study week, students take one residential module and two Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) modules, which are shared with students on the part-time, distance learning version of this programme.
Each VLE module comprises 15 weeks of study (typically divided into four units) and focuses on independent learning. In each unit of a module, students are supplied a number of scholarly articles and extracts from books which are supplemented by two written lectures available online in digital format; you will also have access to the library's extensive online subscriptions of journals and ebooks. In lieu of seminars, you will participate in online bulletin board discussions with your peers (not held in real time). Students will have one personal tutorial (usually via online video messaging or telephone) with a tutor per module.
Assessment comprises four essays for each VLE module and a combination of essay and written examination for the campus-based module.
The taught portion is followed by a 15,000-word dissertation written over three months during the summer and submitted mid-August. Students are assigned a supervisor who gives guidance on the topic and provides academic support during the research and writing phases.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a PhD. Its emphasis is on adding depth and breadth to expertise in biblical languages.
Finely-honed language skills are central to the programme’s engagement with the Bible, the world that produced it, and its later readers. It provides expert in-depth study of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, the wider ancient Near East and Mediterranean World, and related extra-biblical literature including the Dead Sea Scrolls.
You will be taught by leading academics with research interests in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, early Judaism and early Christianity.
You will benefit from weekly research seminars in biblical studies, and from our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.
This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.
This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.
Compulsory courses comprise two biblical language/reading courses, in Greek or Hebrew/Aramaic, and two in research methods. Many scenarios for language study can be chosen in consultation with the Programme Director. If you have only one year’s prior biblical languages study you may take Intermediate Biblical Hebrew or Intermediate New Testament Greek.
You will choose three options. At least two must be from courses in biblical studies, of which the following are examples:
The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes in the School or University, and from advanced undergraduate courses such as Historical Jesus or Jesus in Film.
This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.
The MRes Theology and Religion is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.
Research expertise includes the study of Christianity, the Bible and Christian thought, including, for example, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Queer and Intercultural theologies; biblical hermeneutics; gender and religion; philosophy of religion and philosophical theology; and approaches to Hebrew Bible or New Testament studies drawing upon literary, ideological, reception-focussed, historical or cultural methodologies.
Times Higher Education ranked the Department of Theology and Religion second in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
This programme may be followed as an end in itself, but also provides an excellent foundation for subsequent doctoral research.
The programme comprises four components; a compulsory Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion module; two optional modules from the range available in the Department of Theology and Religion; and a 20,000-word thesis on a topic of your choice.
Your thesis can focus on any aspect of the study of Christian thought and theology or of Biblical Studies that interests you, but among the Department’s strengths are areas such as hermeneutics, contextual and intercultural theologies and other approaches to biblical interpretation; the Dead Sea Scrolls; contemporary and philosophical theology; Evangelical/Charismatic, queer, liberationist and Asian feminist theologies/approaches to the Bible and Theology; and historical, cultural-critical, reception-critical and literary approaches to the Bible.
As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, the department has a programme of research seminars, conferences and workshops which you can attend, so you’ll be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers from across the department.
You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: Theology and Religion
Birmingham’s Theology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.
Many of our graduates go into careers in churches of various denominations. Other students use their transferable skills in a range of employment sectors, including publishing, education and social work. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Church of England; Methodist Church; NHS; and University of Birmingham.
How is meaning attributed to biblical texts? By following Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis you will be well-equipped with analytical instruments to discern the crucial decision points in giving meaning in a text. Core concepts in Bible texts are explored in connection to their cultural and historical context.
Students will also investigate and discuss the relation between Bible texts and ethics. How do the texts aim to change the behaviour of their readers? These texts are a crucial point of reference for theological reflection and provide direction in contemporary society and church.
Students are expected to read the Old Testament and the New Testament in their original languages and will be taught to understand these books in the original context in which they were written. They will be handed the necessary tools to study the biblical texts, focussing on such aspects as grammar, sentence structure, literary devices and plot construction. And since these texts function in distinct cognitive environments, students will get acquainted with various ancient Near Eastern and ancient Eastern Mediterranean frameworks of experiencing and thinking.
Although heavily focussed on the Old and New Testament, students will learn skills that can be used to analyse any kind of text. This programme can therefore be compared to other academic literary subjects in that students are taught the general skills of literary criticisms as well as contextualisation. Important to note is the academic approach; students will be able to critically and thoroughly analyse texts. Graduates of Biblical Exegesis will be able to provide explanations and give meaning to the foundational texts of Judaism and Christianity, whether they do that in their role as researcher, spiritual caregiver, pastoral care worker, journalist, policy maker, or educator.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biblicalexegesis
- This Master’s specialisation offers a beautiful mix of literary criticism and theological reflection.
- A distinctive characteristic of Biblical Exegesis at Radboud University is the unique combination of cognitive linguistics with literary criticism.
- Attention is equally given to both the Old and the New Testament and the relationship between their language, cultural framework and historical context.
- Thanks to electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (History of Church and Theology, Practical or Systematic Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.
- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.
Students of the Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis are taught critical engagement with the Bible. Engagement because students are invited to involve themselves in these texts and in their academic examination. Critical because the analyses will often open up their minds to the fact that Jewish and Christian traditions of interpretations have developed over time, sometimes in ways that distance themselves from the biblical texts’ meanings in their original contexts. Students will get an in-depth understanding of Christian traditions and values and will be encouraged to analyse them thoroughly. They will come to understand that things came to be as they are due to choices made in the past. Students will see that both Bible and tradition have been and will be formative for our present engagements.
In a globalising world more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Biblical Exegesis students know how to analyse important texts. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the strong empirical skills to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way Christian doctrine can give meaning contemporary issues.
The Master’s programme Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.
The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts that are analysed in this Master’s specialisation found their origin in cultures of the ancient Near East and the ancient Eastern Mediterranean. These cultures differ greatly from our present day cultures. It is, therefore, a challenging task to understand the meanings of these texts in their contexts of origin and their original conceptual frameworks, to acknowledge their textual composition and aims, as well as their intended social and religious functions. It requires linguistic, literary, cultural, social, ethical, historical, and hermeneutical research. That is why the development and application of research methods plays such an important role in biblical exegesis.
How is meaning is attributed?
In the Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis, students learn how to apply the instruments of textual explanation at an advanced level. Both diachronic analysis (text criticism, historical linguistics) and synchronic analysis (literary criticism) are taught and applied. The central question students engage with is how meaning is attributed in a text. Students will therefore become well equipped to discern the crucial decision points in attributing meaning.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biblicalexegesis
During the MA in Screenwriting for Television and Film (in Retreat) you will cover writing for feature film and television as well as new developments such as web drama. You will develop a range of ideas, then go on to write film and television outlines, and several drafts of a feature film screenplay, a TV single drama, or a TV series or serial bible and sample episodes.
Commencing in September, you will be taught through a mixture of intensive writing retreats and distance learning techniques, including Skype and our dedicated online learning environment, Moodle. The course includes four week-long residential retreats throughout one year (full time), with some taking place in Central London and others at our beautiful Egham Campus, near Windsor. This structure immerses you in a creative atmosphere conducive to concentrated learning and group interaction, with Development Lab as a core module, where you will present your work in progress to the group for criticism and feedback, and experiment with co-writing.
Between retreats the course is run via distance-learning with a website, chat room and e-tutorials. This makes it possible for those living outside the UK, and those with busy working lives, such as freelancers and those in full-time employment, to take time out to attend. The course attracts a wide variety of students including those wishing to make a career change from other sectors through to established actors, comedy writers, editors, producers, novelists and many others.
You will also meet and work with industry and independent producers, directors, agents, writers and actors to provide a production context.
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including script outlines and scenes, a completed feature film screenplay and/or TV series episode and ‘bible’, and marketing and pitch documents.
You'll be set for a career in television and feature film screenwriting and script development. Graduates with work in film and TV include:
Other students from our department have gone on to work in independent television and film production, for broadcasters like the BBC and ITV, and for distributors, exhibitors, talent agencies and entertainment lawyers.
The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching.
Optional modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
Plus up to 1 choice from:
Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.
Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.
The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.
A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.
Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.