You will join academic staff and graduate students who represent a variety of nationalities and theological perspectives. This intellectual diversity is strongly encouraged.
Recent projects have included research into Augustine, medieval theology, the history of Reformed theology, Dutch Neo-Calvinism, Edwards, Schleiermacher, Barth, Wittgenstein, Torrance, Levinas, Balthasar, Pannenberg, Adams, contextual theology, theology of religions, providence, theological anthropology, ecclesiology, pneumatology, eschatology and puritan theology. The interests of academic staff range across philosophical, historical and systematic theology.
You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School’s staff profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.
You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.
At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.
You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.
The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.
A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.
The School of Divinity, one of the largest centres for the study of religion in the United Kingdom, is located in the historic setting of New College, close to Edinburgh Castle and overlooking Princes Street.
Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, and the nearby National Library of Scotland. New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.
The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study of World Christianity.
You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term time.
This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology.
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.
This flexible programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of theories and methods at the forefront of Theology and Religious Studies. You’ll study diverse religious traditions in the UK and beyond, as well as their impact on the world around us.
Core modules explore the relationship between religion, theology and the public sphere in areas such as human rights, wealth and wealth creation, terrorism and social justice. You’ll also gain an understanding of research methods in the humanities and social sciences.
Then you’ll select from optional modules focusing on topics that suit your interests such as philosophy of religion, the links between religion and global development or gender, multiculturalism and more.
With the support of leading researchers, including those working in our Centre for Philosophy of Religion and Centre for Religion and Public Life, you’ll develop a wide range of skills while exploring a subject that is vital for understanding the world we live in.
You’ll find plenty of resources at Leeds to inspire and inform your studies. The Special Collections housed in our world-class Brotherton Library include extensive collections of archive and early printed material, including hundreds of theological works from the 17th century onwards.
We also hold the library of Ripon Cathedral and the archives of the Dean and Chapter, spanning from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century, as well as extensive archives relating to Quaker history. There are even a large number of early printed books and manuscripts connected with Jewish theology and history. All the major world religions are also fully represented in our excellent library resources.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months. You can also study for a postgraduate certificate (PGCert) or diploma (PGDip) qualification, where you take fewer modules overall.
Your first semester will equip you with the knowledge and skills to study theology and religion. You’ll take core modules introducing you to research methods in the subject, using approaches from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as exploring the relationship between theology and public life. You’ll learn about political, urban, systematic and practical theologies among many others, focusing on issues such as racism, criminal justice and social cohesion.
This foundation will enable you to gain specialist knowledge in the areas that suit your interests. You’ll choose two optional modules from the range we offer, allowing you to focus on topics such as Muslims and multiculturalism, or philosophical approaches to spirituality.
During the programme you’ll acquire skills in research and interpretation and good social and cultural awareness. You’ll demonstrate this with your dissertation – an independent study on a research topic of your choice – which you’ll submit by the end of the programme in August. You can even go into greater depth if you swap one optional module for an extended dissertation.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
If you study for the PGCert or PGDip qualification, you’ll take fewer modules. You’ll also specialise in either theology or religious studies, depending on the modules you choose.
There are three compulsory modules throughout the year including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose two optional modules, or just one if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits).
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials where you can discuss the issues arising from your reading in greater depth. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.
To help you gain and demonstrate a range of skills, you’ll be assessed using a range of different methods. These include essays and assignments as well as literature reviews, project reports and presentations.
This programme will give you a range of in-depth subject knowledge, as well as valuable transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation, communication and cultural awareness. All of these qualities are valuable in a wide range of careers.
Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors including the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early church to modern times.
The programme will enable you to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed.
Our approach is interdisciplinary: instructors include historians, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians. Your work will be enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in theology and ethics, and the history of Christianity.
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.
Creeds, Councils and Controversies I: Patristic and Medieval; Creeds, Councils and Controversies II: Reformation and Modern; and two courses in research methods.
You will choose three options. At least one must be a theology in history course, such as:
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, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.
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.
In this distinguished MA degree, students can tap into our rich tradition of excellence in textual, theological and philosophical study while also gaining perspective on ways religion shapes and is shaped by the contemporary world. Attracting students from around the globe, the MA in Religion offers an outstanding range of teaching from internationally leading scholars, with the option to follow one of four pathways of study or to forge your own path.
The MA in Religion is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. Under the umbrella of a single MA, you will have the choice of four pathways that can be tailored to your interests.
If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of religion in the contemporary world from political, sociological and anthropological perspectives, follow the Religion in Contemporary Society pathway.
For a comprehensive understanding of Christian thought and practice as it has been reasoned and debated over the centuries, take the Systematic Theology pathway.
The Biblical Studies pathway introduces students to the world, text and context of the Bible in antiquity and in the modern world, reading it as literature and as a theological text.
The Jewish Studies pathway opens up the richness of Jewish texts and experience from antiquity to modern times, with particular attention to current issues in multi-religious societies.
The final option available to you is to not follow a pathway and to instead forge your own path, choosing the MA-level teaching you desire from across our diverse and interdisciplinary Department of Theology and Religious Studies and beyond.
We strongly believe that teaching and research should be closely related. All our teaching staff are therefore research-active, many enjoying international reputations as leaders in their fields. Our commitment to original research means that we can introduce students to new discoveries in a diverse range of fields being explored by our staff.
If you are a full-time student, each week we will provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study.
If you are a part-time student, each week we will provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 17 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Methods of assessment vary between modules, but typically involve the submission of some coursework (usually an essay) and a written examination. A few modules are assessed through only one of these methods.
Our graduates use the skills and knowledge that they develop with us to pursue careers in teaching, journalism, media, civil service, policy consultancy, museum work, community organisations and the church or other religious institutions. Others have continued their studies to further research.