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Do you want to explore the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics? Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path? 

On the MA Philosophy of Religion and Ethics programme you will explore a variety of questions – for example: Are there shared human values? How do we negotiate different belief systems in pluralistic societies? Is there a conflict between science and religion? Do people with different religious views have the same morals? Is life without God meaningless? 

You will be taught by a vibrant community of philosophers, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics on which expert supervision is available.

We also offer an on-campus programme over one or two years – for more information, see Philosophy of Religion and Ethics MA.

Course details

You will study six modules in total, two of which are core Philosophy modules:

  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
  • Bioethics or Ethics and Global Ethics

You will also study a core module in theory and methods: Research Skills and Methods (for Philosophy) if you are writing a dissertation in Philosophy, or Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion if you are writing a dissertation in Theology and Religion.

Your remaining three modules are optional. Distance learning modules available in Philosophy and Theology and Religion typically include:

  • Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Contemporary Theology of the Holy Spirit
  • World Christianity in the Twentieth Century

You can also take Bioethics or Ethics and Global Ethics, if not taken as core.

You are permitted to choose one optional module outside your main discipline. 


Modules are assessed by written assignment; students are also expected to participate in online discussion. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation, with support from a supervisor.

Learning and teaching

Although much of the course is delivered through our ‘virtual learning environment,’ support is always available.

You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you have access to a wide range of online resources too.

You also have the opportunity to meet other students and academic staff through online chats and discussion forums.

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website


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 local support.

In addition to a range of campus-based events and workshops, Careers Network provides extensive online resources, and 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: Philosophy

Birmingham's Philosophy postgraduates develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in the job market, including: articulacy; precise analytical thought; clarity; rigour in formulating complex problems; and the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments.

Due to the transferable nature of their skills, Philosophy postgraduates traditionally enter a wide range of employment areas, from teaching and lecturing to publishing. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: BBC; Friends of the Earth; Birmingham Children?s Hospital; Highways England; and University of Birmingham.

Visit the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics (Distance Learning) - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!





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