The research interests of academic staff and graduate students in Ethics and Practical Theology encompass a range of theoretical and practical approaches to ethics, religion and theology, including environmental ethics, peace-building and reconciliation, ethical theory, and pastoral and practical theology.
You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School of Divinity’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. In the Ethics and Practical Theology research area, projects are often interdisciplinary. If this is the case, you may be jointly supervised with a subject specialist from another School in the University.
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 ofWorld 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.
If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the Masters by Research may interest you. This programme can be taken either as a ‘Master of Theology by Research’ or as a ‘Master of Science by Research’ – the difference is only in the name. You can study full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation. Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path. All students receive research training.
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.