Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Masters by distance learning:

Online study supported with campus-based and residential options

We offer masters taught courses via distance learning, starting every year in October:

Church History (MA)

Systematic and Philosophical Theology (MA)

Dr Alison Milbank on 'The Hobbit - an unexpected theological journey'; one of an extensive collection of videos used for teaching and learning.



What is distance learning?

Distance learning (also known as online or e-learning) means you can study at home, or wherever suits you, without making regular trips to the University.

You study the same sorts of modules as students on campus, using materials prepared and supported by the same staff, who are experts not just in their chosen academic fields, but also in working with distance learners.

Distance learning has been transformed by reciprocal agreements between university libraries, which permit you to use the facilities at the libraries nearest your home. You can also access scholarly materials online. Our distance learning course is fully supported in our Moodle virtual learning environment.


What is the difference between a distance learning degree and an online Master’s degree?

Both distance learning and online learning (also called e-learning) use e-resources.

Our MA programmes make use of a virtual learning environment, e-books and e-journals, however distance learning is not exclusively online. You receive all your primary course materials in printed form as well as electronically and you will also make use of libraries for learning and research.

How does distance learning work?

On successful enrolment, you will receive a study pack compiled by your course tutors.

The pack includes a module guide with course notes, core readings, electronic links to further readings and essay questions.

The course materials, together with practical information to help you through the course, are also available on Moodle. Tutors give advice and support by email, and through forums on Moodle.

What are the benefits of distance learning?

You can learn anywhere, anytime, providing you have access to your course materials.

Although you don't need to travel to the campus, you'll be encouraged to attend the annual residential seminar and are welcome to visit when the need arises, particularly when preparing your dissertation, to receive tutorial guidance.

Essentially, you can work at a pace that suits you, bearing in mind that studying at this level is time consuming, and you need to be able to study two modules a year.

What are the options to visit University of Nottingham campus?

Distance learners make better progress when they get together face-to-face with other students and their tutors, even for short periods of time.

The pay-off for what might seem like a brief contact period is considerable as it helps you feel part of a community of fellow learners, and getting to know your course director and other staff can help immeasurably when you make contact subsequently by email, WebCT, or phone. Equally, we like to get to know you and see how you are enjoying the course. 

We hold an annual residential seminar in the spring, which you are strongly encouraged to attend every year (and at least once during your studies). In addition to meeting other distance learners, you'll have the chance to meet full-time, campus-based students as well as academic and administrative staff. There is a programme of seminars and lectures as well as time to use the library and soak up the atmosphere of the University of Nottingham.

Nottingham is conveniently located in the English East Midlands with good transport links. Inexpensive accommodation is provided on the beautifully landscaped University Park campus, which is a lovely place to stay for a few days.


Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details