Theology and Religious Studies MA


Fact file

MA Theology and Religious Studies
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.1(Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
Other requirements
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


Ideal for RE teachers and Christian (or other) religious ministers who would like to upgrade or update their undergraduate studies.
Read full overview

This course will give you the opportunity to follow specific pathways in Philosophical Theology; Theology, Philosophy and Literature; or Biblical Interpretation and Theology. Alternately, you may choose a General Pathway, which encourages you to understand and analyse aspects of biblical texts, Christian theology and religious studies at a significantly deeper level than in your undergraduate studies.

It is very suitable for RE teachers and Christian (or other) religious ministers who would like to upgrade or update their undergraduate studies.

It is also an ideal degree if you wish to pursue a one-year MA as preparation for a research degree (either MPhil or PhD), as suggested by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). 

Key facts
  • The REF2014 confirmed that Nottingham had retained its place in the top 10 elite theology departments across the UK: this reflects the research culture of the department, the high quality of publications produced by staff and their public dissemination beyond academia.
  • You will be part of a thriving postgraduate community that welcomes students from all over the world.

Course details

Biblical Interpretation and Theology Pathway: You will study topics such as the Jewish world in the Hellenistic-Roman era, the Hebrew Bible in history, theory and practice and central issues in New Testament theology. You may study Greek or Hebrew at all levels.

Philosophical Theology Pathway: You will study areas such as Continental Philosophy of Religion, Phenomenology, Theology and Postmodernism, Justice, Twentieth-century theology, Islamic Theology and Reform.

Theology, Philosophy and Literature Pathway: You will study ways of integrating these disciplines in such areas as the poetry of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Jewish readings of Greek tragedy, and gothic literature. There is considerable overlap possible with the Philosophical Theology pathway.

General Pathway: You may choose from the areas in the other pathways.
With the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator, up to 30 credits may be chosen from our extensive range of distance learning modules, from another department or from third year undergraduate modules.
Please note that all details are subject to change, please see our module catalogue for up to date information.
This course can be taken on a full-time basis over one year (September to September) or part-time over 2 to 4 years. 

You will be required to take 120 credits of taught modules, as well as undertaking a 60-credit Dissertation on the subject of your choice. 

Modules are typically assessed through a written piece of coursework.


You will take four modules, each counting for 30 credits: Texts, Methods, Themes, Debates and write a 7,000 piece of coursework for each module. While the course is taught in small seminar groups on topics from the pathway that you choose (see the Course Details), for your essay you will choose one of the four modules: Texts, Methods, Themes, or Debates. For example, someone studying Dante might choose to look at debates about how negative his theology might be; another might concentrate on close analysis of one particular text; a student might explore the theme of penitence; another might explore the methodological implications of studying religious ideas through a literary text. Across the degree, each of the modules will be covered.

A student following a Philosophical Theology Pathway might write a methods coursework essay on Phenomenology, a debates essay on Justice, explore some theme in 20th century theology, and analyse one of the primary texts in the Continental Philosophy of Religion seminar. There is therefore coherence in research skills but considerable choice among the topics of study.

With the permission of the Course Co-ordinator, you may substitute one of the four modules with 30 credits of modules at undergraduate level, from another department or from our own extensive range of MA distance learning modules.

New: masters-level professional development modules for arts and humanities students

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

For more details on our modules, please see the Module Catalogue.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



UK/EU Students

Competitive scholarships available include:

  • MA Scholarships
  • PhD Scholarships

This is by no means a complete list. For up-to-date information and application forms on these and other funding opportunities, please visit the funding section of the Department’s website.

The University’s International Office has a wide range of scholarship opportunities for students with an EU fee status, including a fee reduction for alumni, and EU and Accession State Scholarships.

You may also search the University’s funding database, designed to give you an indication of University scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply. The University Graduate School operates funding schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research.

For a detailed list of external funding schemes, please visit the School of Humanities funding page.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



The Methods module on this course gives you an excellent foundation for undertaking further research, which is why many of our students pursue an academic career. 

This course is also highly relevant to Religious Education teachers, as well as Christian and other religious ministers who wish to update their knowledge. 

In addition, you will graduate with an enviable set of communication, presentation and organisational skills at Masters level, making you highly employable in numerous career paths.

Average starting salary and career progression

According to independent research, Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and over 2,000 employers approach the University every year with a view to recruiting our students. Consequently – and owing to our reputation for excellence – more than 94% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts enter employment, voluntary work or further study during the first six months after graduation**.

* The Graduate Market in 2013, 2014 and 2015, High Fliers Research.

** Data is taken from known destinations of the 2013/14 leaving cohort of Nottingham home/EU postgraduates who studied full-time.

Career Prospects and Employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers  and  Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Get in touch
+44 (0)115 951 5559


Laura Jarvis, Taught Courses Administrator
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
The University of Nottingham
University Park
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