Theology and religion is a diverse subject area, employing a wide variety of methodological approaches in its discourse.
It is not only growing in academic significance, but it is also a living, active area of study that engages communities of faith, politicians and those working in non-academic contexts.
The MA in Theology and Religion reflects this complexity and is designed to prepare you for professions which depend upon an advanced awareness of issues of theology and religion, and allow you to better appreciate the significance of these issues in contemporary society. It also provides ideal preparation for further research.
Depending on your module choices you could become critically acquainted with the ‘sources’ of theology, such as scriptural writings, historical traditions and theologies and ethics issues.
You will also examine the importance of the sociological and cultural background; for example, in terms of new ‘readings’ of theology that have emerged out of gendered and ethnic contexts, and new insights into biblical scholarship which have arisen from contemporary culture.
You will also be encouraged to interrogate and critically analyse your own, and others’, presuppositions and approach your studies in ways that show sensitivity to the multi-disciplinary nature of the issues under discussion.
You will study one core module - Research Methods - and five optional modules, in addition to completing a 15,000-word dissertation.
You will choose your optional modules from a range of modules which typically includes the following (for descriptions, see 'modules' below):
Modules are assessed by written assignment. MA students will complete their programme with a 15,000-word dissertation, or a placement-based dissertation.
As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, the Department of Theology and Religion has a busy 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.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
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.
Visit the Theology and Religion - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!