You will study two core modules:
Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion
This module unpacks the core issues of researching in theology and religious studies.It addresses debates surrounding the design, conduct, ethics and evaluation of research in a multidisciplinary subject area. It prepares you to carry out independent research and to critically assess others’ research across a wide spectrum of approaches.
Assessment: 2500 word essay (50%) AND 2000 word Dissertation Proposal (50%)
Dissertation Preparation and Guided Reading
Following the relevant research methods module for your programme, where you will have identified your dissertation project, this module is designed to aid your planning and research for this dissertation, by further developing the relevant skills and knowledge in a structured way in the form of a literature review and study skills sessions.
Assessment: 4,500 word essay (Literature Review)
You will choose four optional modules from a range which typically includes:
- Religion in Contemporary Global Politics 1
- Special Study - Autumn
- Inter-Faith Relations and Issues
- Approaches to Islamic Studies (modern and traditional)
- Critical Thinkers of Modernity, Science, Society and Religion
- Gender, Sexualities and Religion
- Atheisms: From Voltaire to Dawkin
- Conceptualising God in Christian Theologies
- Theology and Economics
- Special Study - Spring
For more information, see our Theology and Religion postgraduate modules.
UK/EU students also have access to two additional options offered by Al-Mahdi Institute in Birmingham, as part of their collaboration with the Department of Theology and Religion:
Mediaeval Arabic Thought
Focussing on the philosophical and theological ideas of mediaeval Arabic thinkers, this module provides you with an opportunity to study a range of thinkers and their ideas, ranging from topics such as the Graeco-Arabic translation movement during the so-called Islamic ‘Golden Age’, to the impact of Neoplatonism on Islamic philosophy, the proofs of God’s existence, political philosophy, theological reactions to Hellenistic philosophy, ethics and philosophical Sufism. It aims to give you the ability to navigate original texts in their historical context, the ability to unpack and assess philosophical arguments, to appreciate the ecumenical nature of shared philosophical and theological concerns among Jews, Christians and Muslims, and the ability to assess the compatibility or lack thereof of faith and reason during the Islamic middle ages.
Assessment: 4,000-word essay
Thematic Study of Shi’ism: History, Doctrines and Religious Authority
This module will you with an opportunity to review an extensive list of Western scholarship (in English) on key themes that have formed and continue to form the unique identity of Shi’ism within Islam. These themes could include: beginnings of Shi’ism; theological doctrines of Shi’ism; legal doctrines of Twelver Shi’ism; authority structures within Shi’ism; and contemporary issues of the Twelver Shi’i world.
Assessment: 4,000-word essay
In addition to your taught modules, you will conduct a piece of independent research with the support of a supervisor. Students taking the MA Theology and Religion MUST take ONE of the following two Dissertation modules:
Dissertation (15,000 word dissertation) or
Placement-based Dissertation (Completion of 100 hours on Placement + either (a) a 10,000 word dissertation critically analysing and evaluating reflecting on an aspect of the approach and/or work of the institution hosting the Placement. OR (b) write a report or conduct a piece of relevant research, or produce another form of media output for the Placement host).
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.