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History & Archaeology×

Masters Degrees in History of Religions, United Kingdom

We have 39 Masters Degrees in History of Religions, United Kingdom

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The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is in the first place a rewarding cultural and human experience. It is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is in the first place a rewarding cultural and human experience. It is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

It typically suits students falling into one of the following three categories:

- students planning to pursue further research, which may involve at a subsequent stage the acquisition of a doctoral degree and a career in higher education;

- students willing to pursue a career or professional activity, for which advanced knowledge of the religions of Asia and Africa and of the theoretical and practical issues involved in their study is essential: arts, media, teaching, NGOs and charities, interfaith dialogue, consultancy for governmental agencies or the private sector, religious institutions, museums, and more.

- students who wish to pursue the academic study of religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments: religious ministers and clerics from all confessions, believers, yoga and meditation practitioners; anyone interested in specific religious traditions or in religion as an essential dimension of life, and in the critical and experiential enhancement that their academic study may offer.

The two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language course will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa at SOAS is the premier postgraduate curriculum in the U.K. for the study of the religions of Asia and Africa. It covers a wider range of religious traditions than most comparable programmes, whether in the U.K. or abroad: Buddhism in nearly all its doctrinal and regional varieties, Asian and African Christianities, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism as well as the local religious cultures of Asia and Africa. It is strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, offering advanced learning in the theory of religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions.

It provides a unique opportunity to tap cutting-edge academic expertise and library facilities on Asian and African religions as part of a spirited, cosmopolitan student community and within the intense religious and cultural scene of London.

It can also be taken with an intensive language pathway over two years, therefore making this programme unique in Europe.

For the Japanese pathway please see the webpage for the Japanese pathway of the programme and contact the MA convenor of that pathway for further information on the language component. Further information on entry level language requirements can be found on the programme page at: http://www.soas.ac.uk/japankorea/programmes/ma-and-intensive-language-japanese/

The Korean pathway is designed for beginner learners of Korean. Students with prior knowledge of Korean are advised to contact the programme convenor, Dr Anders Karlsson (). Students will take four course units in the Korean language, one of them at a Korean university during the summer after year 1.

The Arabic pathway is designed for beginner learners of Arabic. Students will take four units of Arabic, one of them at the Qasid Institute in Jordan or another partner institution during the summer after year 1. Programme convenor: Dr Mustafa Shah ()

Email:

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-religions-of-asia-and-africa-and-intensive-language/

Structure

Students are generally required to follow taught units to the equivalent of three full courses (which may include one language course), and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words.

In the two-year language pathway, students take 2 intensive language units and one discipline unit in their first year. During the summer, they will participate in a summer school abroad (location dependant on language). Upon their return, they will take one intensive language unit in their second year and two discipline units.

Programme Specification

MA Religions of Asia and Africa and Intensive Language Programme Specification (pdf; 300kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/ma-religions-of-asia-and-africa-and-intensive-language/file93574.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Aims and Outcomes:

- Advanced knowledge and understanding of selected approaches, methods and theories in the study of religions, with particular reference to the religious traditions of Asia and Africa.

- Advanced skills in researching and writing about topics in religious studies, also as a platform for further research at doctoral level.

- Advanced skills in presentation or communication of knowledge and understanding of topics in religious studies.

- Specialisation in one area from among those covered by the units listed in the programme structure.

- In the two-year pathway, the student will also be provided with a near proficient ability in a language.

Knowledge:

- Students will learn how to assess data and evidence critically, locate and synthesise source materials, critically evaluate conflicting interpretations and sources, use research resources (library catalogues, journal databases, citation indices) and other relevant traditional sources.

- Subject specific skills, such as manuscript transcription, textual bibliography, the editing of texts; familiarity with the study of religions as an academic field of study and its varieties.

- Aspects of literature in the Study of Religions, philosophy, learning, iconography and history, the impact of religion on society.

- Acquisition of language skills.

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

- Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.

- Students will develop the capacity to discuss theoretical and epistemological issues in an articulate, informed, and intellectual manner.

- Students will learn to become precise and critical in their assessment of scholarly arguments and to question interpretations, however authoritative, in order to reassess evidence for themselves.

- Students will learn to present complex theoretical arguments clearly and creatively.

- Those students who take a language option should be able to assess primary sources in foreign languages and critically evaluate interpretations proposed by different scholars.

- Students will acquire both theoretical and regional expertise in order to develop and apply self-reflexive approaches to the issues raised by the cross-cultural study of religions.

Subject-based practical skills:
The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:

- Academic writing.

- IT-based information retrieval and processing.

- Presentational skills.

- Examination techniques.

- Independent study skills and research techniques.

- Reflexive learning.

- In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language

Transferable skills:
The programme will encourage students to:

- Write concisely and with clarity.

- Effectively structure and communicate ideas (oral and written).

- Explore and assess a variety of sources for research purposes.

- Work to deadlines and high academic standards.

- Assess the validity and cogency of arguments.

- Make judgements involving complex factors.

- Develop self-reflexivity.

- Develop an awareness of the ethical complexity of representational practices.

- Question the nature of social and cultural constructs.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

It typically suits students falling into one of the following three categories:

- students planning to pursue further research, which may involve at a subsequent stage the acquisition of a doctoral degree and a career in higher education;

- students willing to pursue a career or professional activity, for which advanced knowledge of the religions of Asia and Africa and of the theoretical and practical issues involved in their study is essential: arts, media, teaching, NGOs and charities, interfaith dialogue, consultancy for governmental agencies or the private sector, religious institutions, museums, and more.

- students who wish to pursue the academic study of religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments: religious ministers and clerics from all confessions, believers, yoga and meditation practitioners; anyone interested in specific religious traditions or in religion as an essential dimension of life, and in the critical and experiential enhancement that their academic study may offer.

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa at SOAS offers the premier postgraduate curriculum in the U.K. for the study of the religions of Asia and Africa. It covers a wider range of religious traditions than most comparable programmes, whether in the U.K. or abroad: Buddhism in nearly all its doctrinal and regional varieties, Asian and African Christianities, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism as well as the local religious cultures of Asia and Africa.

The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, offering advanced learning in theories and methods in the study of religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions. It ensures students can benefit from the unique opportunity to tap cutting-edge academic expertise and library facilities on Asian and African religions as part of a spirited, cosmopolitan student community and within the intense religious and cultural scene of London.

Email:

Phone: 020 7898 4217

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/

Structure

Overview:
1. Students take taught courses (half and/or full units) equivalent to three units in total from the list of taught courses.

2. The 4th and final unit is a Dissertation.

3. Languages: Students in the MA Religions of Asia and Africa may substitute one of their taught courses for a language course (most are taught in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures).

Note: Students wishing to take other SOAS courses relevant to their studies but taught outside the department may do so with the written approval of the tutor of the relevant course, the Department's MA Convenor and the Faculty's Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

Programme Specification

MA Religions of Asia and Africa Programme Specification 2012-13 (msword; 223kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/file80695.doc

Employment

An MA in Religions of Asia and Africa from SOAS equips students with important knowledge and understanding of different cultures, history and beliefs across the regions of Asia and Africa. As well as subject expertise, students develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional careers in the private and public sectors as well as essential skills necessary to pursue further research. These include: the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources - often both in the original or other relevant languages; analytical skills to assess critically the materials relevant to a specific issue; written and oral communication skills to present, discuss and debate opinions and conclusions; and problem solving skills. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at SOAS, University of London. The Faculty is home to the departments of Anthropology & Sociology, Art & Archaeology, History, Music, Study of Religions and the Centre for Media Studies, as well as a number of subject specific Centres.

The study of arts and humanities has been central to SOAS activity since 1917. All Faculty staff are specialists in regions as well as disciplines, and all subjects taught at undergraduate level within the Faculty can be combined with other disciplines across the School. Indeed, the range of course options and combinations is a distinctive characteristic of studying at SOAS, with the option of studying language units included within all our degrees.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Music, which was already ranked highly, has risen to 5th in the UK, with over half of its publications judged ‘world-leading’; History of Art and Archaeology has seen a dramatic rise up the league tables, from 17th to 8th (out of 25), coming in the top 5 nationally for the quality of its publications. This is just one indication of the international importance of the research activity carried out by academic staff, and staff research provides the basis of teaching activity in the Faculty.

At postgraduate level the Faculty is committed to providing stimulating courses that enable students to study particular countries or regions in depth, and to explore comparisons and contrasts across the major areas of Asia and Africa. The programmes are designed to provide students with the knowledge they need to understand the nature of other societies and cultures, and to form ideas about the past, present and future of the complex and multicultural world in which we all live.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. Read more
This is the only history of art and archaeology degree in Europe focused on the great religious traditions of Asia. It includes within its scope diverse countries, regions and time periods from antiquity to the present, with a particular emphasis on Buddhism in South, Central and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea and Japan. Hinduism, Shinto and animistic and syncretic practices are also studied. Students consider iconography, ritual, faith and pilgrimage in their multiple regional and historical guises. They study temple buildings, statues and paintings, formal, informal and popular.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of Asia, many of whom are principally concerned with religious art. Their ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students working in other related fields, such as music and religion in Asia, historically and in the present. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the religions, languages, history and cultures of Asia.

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/maraa/

Teaching & Learning

- Teaching
Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

- Assessment
For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

- Learning Resources
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Employment

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Asia House
Bonhams
British Museum
Christie's Hong Kong
Design Museum
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Hong Kong Museum Of Art
India Foundation For The Arts
Museum of East Asian Art
National Gallery National Museum of Singapore
People Projects Culture & Change
Schoeni Art Gallery
Sotheby's
Taiwan Embassy
The Alliance for Global Education
The British Embassy
The Chester Beatty Library
The National Museum Of Korea
The Royal Collection

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Manager of Communications
Culture Programme Coordinator
Research Assistant
Social Anthropology Lecturer
Specialist - Indian Art
Architect
Art Historian
Development Specialist
Archivist
Gallery Director Innovation Programmes Learning Manager
Creative Director
Organisational Consultant
Travel writer
Art Collector
Chinese Painting Specialist
Professor of Silk Road History
Rights and Reproductions Officer
Public Education Coordinator
Senior Curator of Photographs

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This programme explores religious, social, economic, political and cultural developments in the early modern world (c.1450-c.1800). Read more

Introduction

This programme explores religious, social, economic, political and cultural developments in the early modern world (c.1450-c.1800).

Early modern history is a core strength of the the Warwick University History Department. Approximately one-third of the Department's academic staff are scholars of the early modern period, from Britain and Europe to the Americas and China.

Course Structure

The first term core module Themes in Early Modern History provides a critical perspective on key themes and introduces you to a range of expertise at Warwick. This runs alongside a module taken by all MA students exploring theories, skills and methods. In the second term you have a choice of two taught modules - each one taking a different topic and exploring it across time and space. These will help you place your early modern interests in religion, gender, empire, consumption or medicine in a comparative framework as well as deepen your acquaintance with relevant ideas and approaches from outside early modern scholarship. These modules enable you to focus on your early modern interests (you can write all your assessed work on early modern themes) whilst situating them in a wider context that will enrich your studies. The final key element is the dissertation - here you have a large amount of freedom to develop a project of your own choice with help and guidance from your supervisor.

MA students are encouraged to engage with the lively early modern research culture at Warwick - you can find out more about the programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences hosted by the department, and about the research projects being undertaken, in the right hand column.

The programme will also help you to acquire the conceptual and practical skills needed to conduct PhD research in Early Modern history.

All our MA courses can be followed on a part-time basis over two years. For further information, please contact the MA Director, Dr Sarah Hodges or the director of the early modern course, Prof. Mark Knights.

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The MA in Contemporary Art Theory is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and an aptitude for theoretical work in the subject- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-contemporary-art-theory/. Read more
The MA in Contemporary Art Theory is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and an aptitude for theoretical work in the subject- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-contemporary-art-theory/

The programme offers a challenging and advanced scheme of study, which explores a range of theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art in the late 20th/early 21st centuries.

Invigorated by current research, the programme encourages you to explore conceptually and creatively the ways in which contemporary artistic practice and critical theory interrelate. It aims to expand your knowledge of contemporary artistic developments as well as to deepen your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of academic discourses on visual culture.

The programme draws variously upon the fields of performance studies, art history, philosophy, museology, queer theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies in addressing the critical challenges posed by artistic practice.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Mark Fisher.

Overview

The programme comprises a non-assessed introductory module, the Common Core Module Readings/Processes, and four assessed components: two Special Subjects, the MA Symposium and the MA Dissertation. Students also attend the guest lecture programme. You have the option of auditing another special subject should you wish to do so, subject to availability and in agreement with the course tutor.

The taught part of the programme runs from the end of September to the end of March, with additional guest lectures or workshops in May and June. It offers a framework to help you focus and develop your own understanding of contemporary art practice and its wider cultural significance. It is designed to develop your understanding of a range of critical and theoretical approaches that inform the heterogeneous field of visual art production whilst, at the same time, enabling you to identify and prepare the area of independent research you will carry out in your dissertation project.

Thematic pathways through the MA will be offered on a yearly basis. These will connect the annually changing themes of the core courses with the annual roster of special subjects. In any specific year three themes will be operative. They may include Global Arts; Sound; Politics and Aesthetics; Performance and Live Art; Critical Thought.

Full-time students attend on Thursday and one other day each week (determined by the choice of special subject); part-time students attend on one day each week in the first year and on Thursday in the second year.

Assessment

Having already produced an assessed oral presentation on your topic you work on your dissertation over the summer and submit your completed project for assessment early in September. Assessment: one 12-15,000-word dissertation.

Requirements

If you have little or no formal training in art history or a related humanities discipline, you may need to take a preparatory year of study on the Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History. You may also be required to attend an interview.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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Your programme of study. You have come to the right place in every respect to learn about Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Read more

Your programme of study

You have come to the right place in every respect to learn about Medieval and Early Modern Studies. The campus and university were initiated in 1495 so there are plenty of architectural wonders and history to interest you whilst you study in 'Old Aberdeen.'  The architecture is truly stunning and totally unexpected as you enter the university from the centre of Aberdeen. As you would expect in a university of this age and rich heritage there are also special collections hosting a variety of cultural artefacts. If you haven't visited University of Aberdeen it is well worth a tour to understand just how much history you get whilst you study. There are obvious connections from the university with many of the periods of medieval and early modern eras you study. 

This is an interdisciplinary programme which allows you to connect our contemporary world with the past. You can study a great range of areas in terms of courses that make up your programme and you have the ability to really understand ancient kingdoms and civilisations from the past. You may want to study further after this programme or you may be able to advise within heritage tourism, museums and tourist sites. You may also like to get involved in writing and publishing or a wide range of other careers. Aberdeen provides you with a great teaching experience in an even greater setting which is medieval in origin.

The courses reflect research interests drawn from various disciplines including History, Church History and Divinity, Celtic, English, French, History of Art, Law, Philosophy and Scottish and Irish Studies and is supported by highly specialised teaching and research staff. The MLitt provides ample opportunity to use the large depository of late medieval and early modern materials in the University's Special Collection, which has new state of the art rooms in the new Library.

Courses listed for the programme

Introduction

You must acquire 180 credits (105 credits from courses, 75 dissertation)

Optional Potential areas for study:

  • The Enlightenment in Comparison: Scotland, Ireland and Central Europe 
  • The Scottish Wars of Independence
  • The Three Kingdoms of The Seventeenth Century
  • Crime and Society in Early Modern England and Scotland
  • Back in the Viking Homelands
  • Jacobites: War, Exile and Politics of Succession in Britain
  • Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Studies
  • Introduction to Old English Language
  • Controversy and Drama: Marlowe to Revenge Tragedy
  • Art and Society in Eighteenth-Century England
  • Seventeenth-Century Netherlandish Art
  • Medieval Manuscripts: Illustration of Medieval Thought
  • Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
  • Scottish Legal history, 14th - 18th century

Optional Courses

  • Special Subject
  • Engaging with Historiography
  • Old Norse1: Language, Literature and Culture
  • Palaeography
  • Latin 1

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You develop a strong understanding of culture and history within the UK and Scotland joining a lively research environment
  • You are taught by experts in their specialist areas of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, if you specialise in renaissance and early modern periods you can attend seminars from the Centre of Early Modern Studies

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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Programme description. This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a PhD. Read more

Programme description

This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a PhD. Its emphasis is on adding depth and breadth to expertise in biblical languages.

Finely-honed language skills are central to the programme’s engagement with the Bible, the world that produced it, and its later readers. It provides expert in-depth study of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, the wider ancient Near East and Mediterranean World, and related extra-biblical literature including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

You will be taught by leading academics with research interests in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, early Judaism and early Christianity.

You will benefit from weekly research seminars in biblical studies, and from our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.

This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.

Programme structure

This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses comprise two biblical language/reading courses, in Greek or Hebrew/Aramaic, and two in research methods. Many scenarios for language study can be chosen in consultation with the Programme Director. If you have only one year’s prior biblical languages study you may take Intermediate Biblical Hebrew or Intermediate New Testament Greek.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least two must be from courses in biblical studies, of which the following are examples:

  • Hebrew Bible in Historical Critical Perspective
  • Hebrew Scripture Theology
  • The New Testament in its Graeco-Roman Context
  • Science and Scripture

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes in the School or University, and from advanced undergraduate courses such as Historical Jesus or Jesus in Film.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.



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This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early church to modern times. Read more

This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early church to modern times.

The programme will enable you to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed.

Our approach is interdisciplinary: instructors include historians, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians. Your work will be enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in theology and ethics, and the history of Christianity.

This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.

Programme structure

This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Creeds, Councils and Controversies I: Patristic and Medieval; Creeds, Councils and Controversies II: Reformation and Modern; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least one must be a theology in history course, such as:

  • Byzantine Theology
  • Calvinist Theology and Piety
  • Church, State and Civil Society
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Muslim-Christian Relations
  • History of Christianity in Africa
  • Reformation in Sixteenth Century Britain and Ireland
  • Religion and the Enlightenment: the Birth of the Modern

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.



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The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching. Read more

The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching.

Course Structure

  • Choice of one of the three core modules
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • One of the following: The Bible and Hermeneutics, Classic Texts in Christian Theology, Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian 
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Literature and Religion
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Doctrine of Creation.

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study).

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.

Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course focuses on the context and interpretation of biblical and pseudepigraphal texts, along with the study of biblical languages. Read more

This course focuses on the context and interpretation of biblical and pseudepigraphal texts, along with the study of biblical languages. Durham has a long tradition of outstanding biblical scholarship, providing a wide range of distinctive approaches to biblical studies, including historical, critical and theological.

Course Structure

  • The Bible and Hermeneutics core module
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional Modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • Gospels and Canon

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Literature and Religion
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology. Read more

This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology.

Course Structure

  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology core module
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Gospels and Canon
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Literature and Religion
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Doctrine of Creation

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course looks at religion from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Read more

This course looks at religion from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Durham has particular strengths in the study of Mormonism; death, dying and disposal; religion and emotion; religion/faith and globalisation; religion and politics; contemporary evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism; and religion and generational change. It also boasts the Centre for Death and Life Studies and the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health.

Course Structure

  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion core module
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion 
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Literature and Religion
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.

Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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The programme offers a high quality student experience through a strong programme of study within the field of Church History, encouraging the student to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the history of the Christian church from its inception to the present. Read more
The programme offers a high quality student experience through a strong programme of study within the field of Church History, encouraging the student to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the history of the Christian church from its inception to the present.

Course Overview

The School is part of a university which was established in 1822, with Church History having been a core subject in the theological curriculum from the beginning. Drawing on expertise throughout the Faculty of Humanities, our staff has an international profile in scholarship with published expertise in monasticism and medieval Christianity, Protestant nonconformity, nineteenth century and twentieth century religious thought as well as Christianity in Wales.

The School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies has a vibrant research culture and MTh students are encouraged to participate in research seminars.

There are two parts to the MTh. Part I consists of six taught modules, on completion of which the student progresses to Part II, a 15,000 word dissertation. The MTh comprises three compulsory modules and three options, devised in such a way as to equip the student with essential knowledge of key aspects of the Christian tradition, along with a dissertation on a specialist topic of the student’s choice.

The Compulsory modules comprise Study Skills which introduces students to the basic skills needed to be a successful researcher including how to access and utilize bibliographical resources. Two further modules at the start of the programme provide the student with an overview of two key epochs in Christian history, namely the patristic or early church period, and the Protestant Reformation. The Church Fathers and the Making of Doctrine introduces the way in which Christian faith developed and was formularized by its leading theologians and thinkers during the first five centuries while The Reformation provides an insight into the way in which Christian Europe responded to the challenge of renewal during the sixteenth century and beyond.

The student is required to complete three of the four option modules which cover medieval Christianity (Cîteaux and the Growth of the Cistercian Order and St Thomas Beckett: Archbishop, Martyr, Saint), popular Protestantism during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (The Evangelical Revival in England and Wales), and religion and society during the twentieth century (Christianity, Culture and Society in Twentieth Century Britain).

Modules

-Study Skills for Theology and Religious Studies
-The Church Fathers and the Making of Christian Doctrine
-The Reformation
-The Cistercian World 1: Citeaux and the Growth of the Cistercian Order
-Thomas Becket: Archbishop, Martyr, Saint
-The Eighteenth Century Evangelical Revival in England and Wales
-Christianity, Culture and Society in Twentieth Century Britain
-Dissertation

Key Features

The programme is based upon an established pool of expertise in related concerns, and covers a range of projects undertaken over a number of years:

Staff are research active and regularly attend academic conferences.

Study cutting edge areas of academic interest

The staff expertise represents a considerable bank of knowledge and skills that will underpin this programme and will ensure student experience a high quality educational experience.

In addition Students will benefit from the:
-Opportunity to specialise in the chosen area of Church history
-We have a long and distinguished tradition of specialist teaching in church History
-Vibrant research culture

Assessment

Assessment is usually based on written work in the form of long and short essays, reports, book reviews and reflective pieces.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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About the MSc programmes. These programmes study international relations from a theoretical perspective. They are suitable for those intending to proceed to a research degree and an academic career, as well as those seeking to gain a conceptual grasp of contemporary international relations. Read more

About the MSc programmes

These programmes study international relations from a theoretical perspective. They are suitable for those intending to proceed to a research degree and an academic career, as well as those seeking to gain a conceptual grasp of contemporary international relations. They explore ways in which people think about IR, how international relations are theorised and why they act the way they do when conducting international relations as a field of practice. The compulsory course covers the main explanatory and normative approaches in the international relations theory: realism liberalism, the English School, constructivism, normative theory, gender and feminist writings and post colonial perspectives. It explores international relations as knowledge, as a social science and as a practical discipline.

The research track shares the same core course, Theories of International Relations, but also includes a compulsory course in social research methods

Graduate destinations

Most of our former MSc students go on to work in government, international organisations, financial institutions, journalism and corporations, but some continue on to research degrees and the academic profession.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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About the MSc programme. This programme gives you the chance to understand and appreciate both the theoretical and the empirical approach to the study of international relations. Read more

About the MSc programme

This programme gives you the chance to understand and appreciate both the theoretical and the empirical approach to the study of international relations.

This is a joint degree with the International Relations Department and based in the International History Department. It allows you to benefit from the expertise of two highly-rated Departments, sampling courses in both. You will therefore gain an understanding of both international relations theory, taught by leading experts in the field, and recent international history.

The structure of the degree is intended to ensure a good balance between international history and international relations. This means it is an excellent preparation for those contemplating further research in either area, as well as being accessible to those who are making the transition from related disciplines such as political science, modern languages, economics, law or journalism.

The programme provides you with the opportunity to specialise in a wide range of geographical regions or other aspects of international relations including world wars, East-West conflict, European integration, the role of political doctrines and ideologies, revolutions and national liberation struggles.

Graduate destinations

The programme provides an excellent preparation for careers in business, consulting, government, international agencies, the media, politics and law, or for advanced academic research.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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