This course is designed as a bridge from undergraduate to master’s study and may be used as a qualifying course for study at MA level. It offers a flexible structure where you can select modules from Theology, Religion in the Contemporary World and Religion, Philosophy & Ethics.
If you would like to study theology and religious studies at a postgraduate level, but do not have the academic background required, our course is perfect for you. It is specifically designed to ease the transition between subjects and provide you with the necessary skills and background to take your study further. You will only need to attend one or two days a week.
For applicants of graduate or equivalent status in areas of study other than Theology & Religious Studies. The Graduate Diploma may be used as a qualifying course to enable study at MA level, as it is especially designed to ease the transition to Theology & Religious Studies from another subject.
As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how faiths interact with each other and society. This MA creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.
On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.
A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this,you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.
Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.
The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.
On offer is specialised teaching in Hinduism and Islam as well as different aspects of Christian theology. You could study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or in Christian marriage and family life, also taking into account qualitative and quantitative data on marriage and family today, and the political and policy decisions that affect families.
As well as contemporary debates, you will look at historical issues, for example through the effect of Christian theology on art and culture throughout history. You will look at how depictions of nature and grace, suffering and redemption, and gender and incarnation, changed through the Reformation, and then how these new representations influenced modern art and philosophy.
The course also provides opportunity to investigate the relationship of religion and society through modules look at, for example, human rights and community engagement. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationship between the Church and the State, as well as the nature of Christian activism in public policy and public discourse.
Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.
This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to: pursue a PhD or conducting specific research; work in faith-based organisations, social services or education; work in international aid, the charity sector and community organisations.
The DTh is a professional doctorate programme in practical, ministry–focused theology. This programme offers strategic leadership training to senior level ministry personnel, seeking to broaden their applied theology in pastoral and missiological areas. The programme focuses on using research to develop theological practice.
There are two entry points for this programme. Stage 1A is for those with a good undergraduate degree and professional experience, and initially take a selection of preparatory taught modules. The second route, Stage 1B is for post-Masters applicants, and is an accelerated form of the course.
Regardless of entry point this programme will help those already engaged in Christian Ministry to develop the advanced research, evaluative and reflective skills necessary to further their professional and career profile. Students will prepare for more senior level, national or international roles, as leaders, advisors or consultants in ministry-related fields. As a practitioner of Practical Theology, this course will encourage you to reflect technically and theologically on your ministerial practice, and on the application of scholarship and research to a range of ministerial contexts.
In order to develop your research skills, the programme will provide you will extensive knowledge and understanding of areas of Practical Theology and the critical methods practiced at the forefront of the discipline. Students will then be able to reflect on these research methods in looking at their own practice, and you will be capable of producing findings that satisfy peer scrutiny and are deemed to be of publishable quality, making an original contribution to knowledge.
There is a wide range of areas in which students will develop their skills on this programme. You will enhance and apply your ability to handle written sources and empirical data, using appropriate advanced critical methods and controls. A further key skill is your ability to marshal coherent and effective arguments and communicate conclusions in oral and written form. The programme will moreover enable you to demonstrate a competent grasp of a range of technical skills arising within the discipline, including a range of approaches to textual historical, hermeneutical and cultural issues. You will also look at quantitative and qualitative approaches to the investigation of individual and social experience and behaviour, and be able to respond critically to their use by others.
Throughout the course, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of practical theology, alongside formal academic and practical skills.
Stage 1A: This introductory stage of the course offers a variety of taught modules on topics in contemporary ministry and religious studies taken from our Masters’ programmes in Christian Ministry and Theology and Religious Studies, respectively. Tutors will assist any student taking this phase of the course to make an appropriate selection of modules.
Stage 1B: In the first year of this stage, you will study advanced methods and approaches to practical theology, as well as undertaking a major literature review relevant to your proposed area of research. During this in–depth investigation, you will identify gaps or problems in the literature and identify one or more research questions around which you can structure your research project.
In the second year, you will conduct an in–depth study of a more focused topic, developed to the level of a publishable article, before going on to draft and present a full project proposal which must be approved before transition to the dissertation phase.
Stage 2: The final phase of the course will allow you to work closely with staff members with particular expertise in your chosen research area, developing an original and substantial investigation of potential significance both to academic inquiry and professional practice. The thesis, which will build upon your work in years one and two, will typically run to 50–60,000 words, and will be defended in a viva voce examination. Departmental research strengths include empirical, pastoral and public theology across a range of UK and global church traditions and mission contexts, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Pentecostal. We also have a particular strength in Black Majority Churches.
Stage 1A: (representative selection)
The DTh is intended to enable existing professionals working in church ministry, mission, education, development or the para–church sector, move into senior or national positions within visionary research–led organisations.
This MA is designed for lay and ordained Christians with significant experience of working (paid or volunteer) in churches, mission agencies, or not-for-profit organisations (faith-based or secular), enabling you to engage theologically and strategically with the contemporary world.
The course will provide you with the opportunity to integrate biblical, theological, and empirical studies in the context of Christian spirituality. The aim is to engage faithfully and practically with existing and emerging challenges to Christian ministry and mission in the twenty-first century.
Students on this course become highly learned and educated professionals capable of providing intellectual leadership in, and adapting to the needs of, contemporary churches. You will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the contribution that theological, and biblical studies can make to the effective provision of Christian ministry in the community, and be equipped with the knowledge and critical skills to bring advanced academic expertise to professional work in church and ministerial practice.
The course will provide you with an integrated framework for theology and biblical studies in the context of Christian ministry and mission, which you can use to transform your ministerial practice. You will also develop the critical faculties of analytic and research skills, to enable you to create and interpret new knowledge in theological and ministerial studies, and extend the reach of the discipline in society.
Our networks with other local universities and places of learning will give you regular access to a range of extra-curricular seminars and other educational events relevant to the study of Christian ministry. The University’s proximity to the centre of London with its rich religious history, its diverse religious communities, and its many museums, art galleries, libraries and places of worship, makes it an ideal venue for those who are interested in exploring the histories, interactions and influences of religious communities in contemporary culture as part of their studies.
You will first of all reflect theologically and strategically on the character, nature, purpose, and practice of Christian ministry in church and society. You will be equipped to research the practices of ministry and mission, through study of key Missiological texts.
You will study ministry across a range of denominations and traditions including Pentecostal, Charismatic, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist and Catholic. You will explore and evaluate the language, secular/sacred ideas, rituals and cultural norms that nourish spiritualities, ministerial formation, and ministry practice within different historical and cultural contexts. In particular, you will examine how forms of Christian worship, such as prayer, scriptural readings and sacraments, influence conduct, moral behaviour and patterns of life, in order to develop your ministerial abilities within different political, social and economic environments.
You will also be able to take modules which look at the theological ideas from both classical and modern periods, which are of greatest relevance to church ministry and mission in the contemporary world. Using this theoretical grounding, you can pursue your interest in practical areas of ministry such as marriage and family life, or community work. In these complex and demanding areas, the Christian minister and theologian are faced with new challenges. These modules will give students the historical and academic understanding to be able to offer fresh Christian perspectives, and encourage you to develop your own responses.
There will also be the opportunity for you to reflect deeply on a particular aspect of ministerial practice through the dissertation module.
Students of this course include ordained ministers wanting to pursue continuing ministerial education (CME), and lay Christians seeking careers as practitioners in faith-based or secular organisations. Students may go on to pursue further academic study.
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.
Christianity and the Arts is taught in association with the National Gallery in London.
The course investigates how Christian scripture, beliefs and practices have found expression in art over 2,000 years. It traces the idea of beauty in Western theological tradition; makes use of examples in London.
Leads to further research or careers in teaching, journalism or the church.
Our MA in Christianity and the Arts will investigate how Christian scripture, beliefs and practices have found expression in the arts over 2000 years. The course features a required module on the Idea of Beauty in Western Theology and a wide range of optional modules looking at different forms of artistic expression, different artistic periods with a focus on specific elements of the Christian narrative. You will also have the opportunity to explore a topic in detail through your dissertation.
Wherever possible the course draws on examples and case studies here in London, particularly the collections at The National Gallery, The Courtauld Institute and The Victoria and Albert Museum. We will help you to work across disciplinary and specialism boundaries, and in particular to explore both the art-historical and theological dimensions of Christian art – approaches which are generally pursued in isolation from one another.
To enable students to work across disciplinary and specialism boundaries, and in particular to explore simultaneously the art-historical and theological dimensions of Christian art – approaches which are generally pursued in isolation from one another.
If you’re a full-time student, each week we’ll provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We’ll expect you to undertake 34 of independent study.
If you’re a part-time student, each week we’ll provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We’ll expect you to undertake 17 hours of independent study.
Typically one credit amounts to 10 hours of work.
We assess the majority of our modules through coursework and/or examination, although other departments may differ. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word thesis.
Our graduates use the skills and knowledge that they develop with us to pursue careers in teaching, journalism, media, museum work and the church, or other religious institutions. Others have continued their studies with further research.
This programme provides a unique interdisciplinary, broad social science perspective on the study of religion. It offers you the opportunity to investigate the increasing prevalence of religious and secular dynamics across the globe and how concepts of religion interweave with aspects of today’s society, in theory and practice.
The programme tackles topics of key importance, from policy-relevant connections between religion and public life, and religion and politics, to more theoretical debates about the nature of belief, ritual, and questions of being. It allows you to explore the role of religion in the developing world, and illuminates Western models of religion and secularisation through comparison with those in the global south. The Department’s strong tradition of fieldwork is an important element of the programme, with the core course giving you an in-depth knowledge of case studies based on your lecturers’ own expert primary research on religion.
The programme is intended for graduates of the humanities and social sciences, but will be of interest to those with a traditional theological background, or with pastoral or vocational training, or careers in journalism, charity or NGO work, or teaching, as well as those who would like to consider religion from an alternative and complementary perspective.
The programme is an ideal preparation for research work in the study of religion. Many graduates from the Department go on to complete PhDs. It will also provide a foundation for those wishing to find employment in the civil service, policy and diplomacy, education, social work, journalism and NGOs.