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St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Full Time MA Degrees in Theology & Religious Studies

We have 3 St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Full Time MA Degrees in Theology & Religious Studies

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Please note. this programme is subject to validation. The MA in Biblical Studies offers excellent scholars who will help you learn, think and reflect about interpreting the Bible in today's world. Read more
Please note: this programme is subject to validation.

Why study Biblical Studies?

The MA in Biblical Studies offers excellent scholars who will help you learn, think and reflect about interpreting the Bible in today's world. You will engage with Scripture in its ancient and modern contexts, by reading the texts in conversation with high-quality scholarship and in relation to a wide range of issues.

This MA is suitable for many kinds of people:

- the MA will prepare you well for doctoral study in Biblical Studies, and includes opportunities to engage with biblical texts in the original languages, or to learn one of the languages which you have not previously studied
- if you serve in Christian or Jewish leadership, the MA will deepen and strengthen your engagement with Scripture in your preaching, teaching and ministry
-the MA is open to you if you have completed suitable prior theological study, to enable you to grow in understanding, reflection and thoughtful engagement with the Bible.

You can focus your MA in different ways through your choice of options and your dissertation topic. In your dissertation you will dig deep into a topic of your choice with the supervision and support of one of our team of outstanding biblical scholars.

Why St Mary's?

Whilst studying the MA in Biblical Studies at St Mary's you will:

- learn from our team of world-class biblical scholars who bring their own research into the classroom
- grow in skills and understanding through first-hand engagement with the Bible in our text-focused modules
- reflect on how others read the Bible in relation to a wide range of issues today, in society, politics, and in faith communities
- have chance to study with fine visiting scholars from elsewhere in the world, who will offer 'intensive' modules focused in a two-week period on their specialism
- be part of a university committed to treating Scripture seriously as part of its mission to serve faith communities
- have access to a good library, including electronic access to many books and journals
- have opportunities to attend the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible's conferences, and research seminars on biblical themes and topics

Course content

Full-time students take two modules each semester, plus the dissertation. Part-time students take one module each semester for two years, and write their dissertation in the third year.

Every module is not offered every year, to ensure that class sizes are sufficient for a good student experience. To gain the MA, you must take the core module, Aspects of Biblical Interpretation, plus three options and the dissertation.

All modules can be seen on our website:

Career opportunities

The MA will enhance employability in a number of roles where advanced skills in interpreting the Bible, and reflecting critically on such interpretation, are key elements, including:

- school teaching
-work with Christian or Jewish charities and agencies, including churches and synagogues
-educational roles with Christian and Jewish communities
-pastoral ministry in church or synagogue; senior leadership within churches and the Jewish community regionally, nationally and internationally

In addition, the MA is designed to lead naturally into doctoral study and the opportunities which such study provides.

The programme will also provide an education which sensitises students to engaging with religious texts from other times, cultures and places, and thus will equip them for work engaging with cross-cultural situations, such as NGOs in the UK and overseas, international relations, and the Civil Service in both the Home and Foreign Offices.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

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'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton. Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. Read more
'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton

Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. As well as teaching the theoretical aspects of the faith, our postgraduate theology programmes have always placed a special emphasis on the application of theology to specific practical situations and the preparation and formation of people for Christian ministry in a fast moving age:

'Theology has importance for the Church in every age so that it can respond to the plan of God "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4). In times of great spiritual and cultural change, theology is all the more important.' (Donum Veritatis, 1)

Why St Mary's?

At St Mary’s we are particularly concerned that academic theology should be in the service of the churches, the world, and wider society. For over a decade we have worked directly with numerous Roman Catholic Dioceses to deliver a comprehensive training in ministry. Consequently we now offer three specialist postgraduate theological pathways:
• Chaplaincy and Ministry
• Christian Spirituality
• Systematic Theology

It is possible to study for three postgraduate qualifications in Theology: the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master's Degree. Each builds on the other so having completed the two core modules of the course you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Certificate. If you successfully complete the Optional Modules you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma and if this is followed with the Dissertation you will be eligible for the Master's degree.

St Mary’s now has agreements with the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Northampton, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, and the Southern Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme. We teach the MA at Saturday classes in Ashburton (Devon), Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire), Winchester (Hampshire) and - for those training for Catholic diaconal ministry - Wonersh (Surrey).

A Student View

Teresa (London)
"One of the great benefits of this MA Course is the opportunity the oral and written assignments have given me to reflect theologically on, and relate the issues discussed in the lectures to, my work as a School Chaplain... I also greatly appreciated the opportunity the lectures afforded to meet regularly with a group of fellow Chaplains and to share our own experiences and reflections on Chaplaincy."

Career Prospects

The study of Theology develops students intellectually in a way that fits them in particular for pastoral work. It is an excellent preparation for any profession that involves working with people in a pastoral context.

In addition to the more general employment opportunities that require graduates with a breadth of human understanding, critical and social skills, and an awareness of current affairs, there are some professional openings in which expertise in biblical, theological and pastoral skills is an integral part of professional training.

These include the various forms of pastoral work and pastoral ministry, chaplaincy in schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, armed forces, prisons, retreat work, spiritual direction and guidance, teaching, catechesis and adult formation.

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This highly regarded postgraduate degree will be of interest to all who hold or are aiming for leadership positions in Catholic schools and colleges. Read more
This highly regarded postgraduate degree will be of interest to all who hold or are aiming for leadership positions in Catholic schools and colleges.

About one-third of the 150-plus students are senior leaders - headteachers and college principals; deputies and assistant heads. The other two-thirds are subject or pastoral leaders, primary curriculum coordinators, classroom leaders or aspiring school leaders.

All are welcome and will enjoy participating. Securing quality leaders committed to modelling leadership on Christ constitutes one of the key challenges for Catholic and indeed all Christian schools.

This course aims to promote a vision that sees the maintenance of a balance between school improvement and Catholic distinctiveness as a feature of the mission of schools and colleges.

Why St Mary's?

Several students have cited the flexibility of this degree as a particular advantage since it is possible to complete the programme within one to five years.

The variety of modes of delivery, including blended and full-distance, also makes the programme especially attractive. The combination of personalised learning and tutorial support - together with the excellent reading materials and online resources - is noted by students as distinctive.

The course helps students understand the core aims and values of a Catholic school while encouraging them to reflect upon the reality of practice within their schools.

Course Content

The aim is to provide a vocationally oriented programme of academic rigour, which enables students to integrate a Catholic philosophy of education with the principles and practice of school leadership. Students should, as a result of following the course, demonstrate greater confidence and competence in articulating and implementing the principal features of Catholic education in their work, and it will provide students with the theological literacy welcomed by appointing bodies.

The modules for the Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice have been constructed to ensure that they are relevant to school and college leaders at all levels and in all phases of Catholic education.

The modular course allows students to build credits towards the 60 required for a Postgraduate Certificate, the 120 required for a Postgraduate Diploma or the 180 required for the full MA.

The five modules studied are as follows:
1. Catholic Education
2. Leadership and Management
3. Spiritual and Theological Foundations
4. Leadership and Learning
5. Research Methods and Dissertation

Each of the first four 30 credit modules contains two strands to ensure that principles and practice are addressed in each module.

Please note: All information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career Prospects

The MA in Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice is the only postgraduate course of study available in the UK that specifically supports the distinctive leadership development needs of leaders and aspiring leaders at all levels and within all phases of Catholic education. NPQH is no longer a requirement for headship, so aspiring headteachers will find that this course offers the ideal alternative qualification.

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