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MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies

Course Description

The M.Phil. in Theology and Religious Studies is a nine-month Masters course. The M.Phil. offers the opportunity for advanced study in Theology and Religious Studies across the full range of disciplines and with a strong focus on research. Students can draw on the expertise of leading scholars from a wide range of subjects, which allows both for specialisation and for interdisciplinary approaches. The M.Phil. is designed for students who wish to study their subject interest at an advanced level for nine-months, but also to enable those who wish to undertake further research at doctoral level to acquire the necessary skills and understanding.

Candidates submit a thesis of between 15,000 and 20,000 words and two pieces of submitted work of not more than 5,000 words which will be an essay or an equivalent exercise. Candidates then chose to do one of the following: a three-hour language examination; an exercise; or an alternative exercise within the candidates's chosen subject area if one has not already been offered.

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/dvdvmpmtr

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the M.Phil. students should have acquired:

- an introduction to research methods and skills appropriate to a chosen sub-discipline of the subject, such as will serve both: as a preparation for more advanced research or as offering skills of value to potential employers;
- more advanced and specialised knowledge of some fundamental issues and literatures at the forefront of research in that sub-discipline;
- the ability to construct a substantive, if preliminary, contribution to research on a particular issue within that sub-discipline, through the writing of a thesis.


Teaching is by seminars, supervisions, and, as appropriate, classes and lectures. Each module shall normally be taught by four seminars of two hours duration in one term (though some subject areas may provide one-and-a-half hour seminars where there is no essay work being assessed during the seminar itself). Teaching for the exercises varies according to the nature of the exercise. Students may be required to submit preliminary written work for seminar presentations, or practice essays or exercises ahead of their submitted essays or exercises.

The seminars themselves constitute the teaching for the essays arising from the seminar course.

Other essays will be supervised individually. The norm is 2 hours of supervision (distributed between 2 or 3 meetings) per essay.

For theses, the norm is 4 hours of supervision, though that time may be distributed in various ways.

Feedback will be given on essays or exercises related to the seminar modules when the marks and comments are available. Feedback will be given regarding progress in the thesis during the supervisions given for it. There will also be termly reports on CGSRS.


A thesis of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. The examiners may at their discretation request an oral examination in any aspect of the work submitted by the candidate.

Two pieces of written work, each of which shall be an essay of not more than 5,000 words, or an equivalent exercise related to a student's chosen seminar modules.
If a student does not choose to study a language, a further written exercise.

One three-hour language examination (if a student chooses to study a language).


In order to be eligible to continue to the Ph.D., students must achieve at least a mark of 71 for the thesis and an overall average of at least 71% in the M.Phil. as a whole.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

- Burney & Gregg Bury Studentship (Philosophy of Religion & Christian Theology)
- Peregrine Maitland Studentship (Spread of Christian Religion, comparison between Christianity & other religions, the contact of Christian & other civilisations)
- Philosophy of Religion Studentship
- Polonsky-Coexist Studentship in Jewish Studies
- Shapiro Fund (Jewish Studies)
- Theological Studies Fund Studentship

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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