Theology and Religion MRes

Start date
September
Duration
Full time: 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2020/21: £6,120
International: £17,880
More detail.

The MRes Theology and Religion is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.

This programme is suitable for a wide range of interests. Students can pursue various approaches to religious thought and practice, including Pentecostal, Evangelical, Queer and Intercultural theologies; gender and religion; religion and culture, philosophy of religion and philosophical theology; religion and politics, and a range of approaches to religious texts such as literary, ideological, reception-focussed, historical or cultural methodologies. In addition students can undertake research projects in areas such as religion and society, practical theology, and ethics.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of Theology and Religion second in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

College of Arts and Law postgraduate scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

Why Study this Course?

  • The MRes is an excellent transition into research for applicants who already have a Theology or Religious Studies background and are exploring the possibility of future doctoral studies, a research or other academic career, or simply want to explore in detail a topic that they find particularly fascinating.
  • The University of Birmingham is an excellent centre for the study of religion and culture.  It has built up good relationships and partnerships with Birmingham's many different communities, and such a rich cultural mix means that it provides an ideal setting to study the relations between Religion and Culture. 
  • Times Higher Education ranked the Department of Theology and Religion second in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, with over 50% of our research judged to be ‘world-leading’. 
  • The University of Birmingham has also been ranked as one of the world's top 30 institutions to study Theology and Religious Studies in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.

Modules

The programme comprises three components:

  • One core module: Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion
  • Two optional modules from the range available in the Department of Theology and Religion
  • A 20,000-word thesis on a topic of your choice.

Core module

You will study one core module:

Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion

This module consists of a series of formal discipline-specific sessions taught by members of the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion. Topics that will be addressed may include: conceptualising religion, doing fieldwork, insider – outsider debates, working with space and place, working with archives, researching comparative religion, postcolonial perspectives, gendered approaches, writing skills, research ethics, research design, and research rigour and validity.
Assessment: A 4,000-word written assignment

Optional modules

You will then choose two optional modules from a range of modules in Theology and Religion that typically includes:

  • Approaches to Studying Islam (modern)
  • Approaches to Studying Islam (traditional)
  • Auschwitz in History and Memory
  • Contemporary Issues in Sikhism
  • Feminism in the Muslim World
  • God in Christian Philosophy
  • Historical and Contemporary Debates on the Holocaust
  • Holocaust and Genocide: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
  • Islam in Europe
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Jewish Religious Responses to the Holocaust
  • Muslim Thinkers of the Western World
  • Political Islam
  • Religion in Contemporary Global Politics I
  • Religion in Contemporary Global Politics II
  • Religious Nationalism
  • Sikh Perspectives on Interreligious Relations
  • The Bible and Sacred Space
  • “Women” and Wellbeing: Soulful Dimensions

For more information, see our Theology and Religion postgraduate modules.

Thesis

The programme is completed with a 20,000-word thesis, which you will complete with the support of an expert academic supervisor.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £6,120 full-time; £3,060 part-time
  • International: £17,880 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

Eligibility for UK/EU or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

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.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students to apply is Wednesday 1 July 2020. The deadline for UK/EU students is Thursday 10 September 2020.

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

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

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


Our main areas of research expertise, associated staff and  supervision areas in the Department of Theology and Religion are included in the links below for each research area:

We have a wide range of research expertise in the Department. However, if you can not find your area of interest in our research areas, you can email our admissions tutor Dr Deryn Guest for further advice. Please send details of your qualifications, any relevant experience and a short paragraph summarising your proposed research project to d.p.guest@bham.ac.uk. Alternatively, please see our staff page for a full list of staff specialisms.

As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, the department has a programme of research seminars, conferences and workshops which you can attend, so you’ll be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers from across the department.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Theology and Religion

Birmingham's Theology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Over the past 5 years, 94% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 - 2017). Many of our graduates go into careers in churches of various denominations. Other students use their transferable skills in a range of employment sectors, including publishing, education and social work. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include Church of England, Methodist Church, NHS and University of Birmingham.