The MA introduces you to conceptual and theoretical approaches to the history of Christianity, as well as grounding them in key events and processes of Christianity’s past. The degree culminates in a dissertation research project in the field of your choice, overseen by a member of staff from one of our departments.
You will study two core modules [full descriptions available below]:
Writing the History of Christianity
You will also choose two or three optional modules and complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation.
You will complete two core modules:
Writing the History of Christianity (40 credits)
This double module provides a grounding in the methods and concepts required to study the History of Christianity while paying close attention to how this relates to the history of religion more generally. Key approaches will be introduced, including Church history, the cultural history of religion, anthropologies of Christianity, intellectual history, the history of Christian architecture and archaeology. In the first term (20 credits) these themes will be introduced through 'classic' secondary texts covering periods from early Christianity to the present, each of which employs one or more of the above approaches. In the second term (20 credits) we investigate these themes through primary sources ranging from Lives of Constantine to oral history interviews. This core module provides a wide range of concepts and approaches to choose from in embarking on your own research. They also provide grounding in key historical events and processes, from the spread of Christianity in the ancient world to the crusades, the emergence of African Christianities and globalised movements such as Pentecostalism. The precise details of the module may vary, depending on staff availability.
Historical Methods (20 credits)
This module introduces you to approaches, theories and concepts that have shaped historical practice since the Second World War. These include developments such as the Annales School, historians’ response to Marxism and to anthropological theory, the linguistic turn, gender and critical social theory. The focus is on the application of ideas to historical practice, investigating how medievalists, early-modernists and modernists have adapted these approaches to their particular field of study.
You will also complete 60 credits’ worth of optional modules – one 40-credit module and one 20-credit module, or three 20-credit modules. These can be language modules, including Latin or Biblical Hebrew; or they can be chosen from the Masters level (or third-year) provision of departments including History, Theology or Classics and Ancient History. This includes a wide range of the core modules for other MA courses (for instance, Reformation, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies or Philosophy, Religion and Ethics) but also includes a longer list of stand alone modules, typically including the following:
The Bible and Sacred Space
Contemporary Christian Thought
Dead Sea Scrolls
Historical and Contemporary Debates on the Holocaust
History of Evangelical and Pentecostal Movements
Prejudice and Persecution: Catholicism and Religious ‘others’ in Western Europe and the Latin East, 1050-1320.
Byzantine Art and Architecture
Heresy and Heretics in the Middle Ages
Holy Men, Holy War: the Cistercians and the Crusades
Protestants, Papists and Puritans: Religious Change under Elizabeth I and James I
Religion in Contemporary Global Politics
Religious Reformations in Early Modern Britain and Europe
Saints and Storm Troopers: Catholicism in Early-Modern Europe
Science, Religion and Empire: Rediscovering the Ancient Near East
Please note that optional modules vary from year to year.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
University of Birmingham graduates may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.
Before you make your application
You may wish to
register your interest with us
to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.
Making your application
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages