Taught course

Theology and Religion

Durham University · Department of Theology and Religion

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement is a BA (Honours) degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent, for example, a GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale) in Theology, Religious Studies or a related discipline.

The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  • Graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on
  • Students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level.

The University will contact the referees named in your application directly. Please ensure that your referees are able to provide a reference in a timely fashion. If you are also applying for a Durham MA bursary, please ensure that your referees understand that their references will be used both for admission and for a very competitive funding process.

Months of entry


Course content

Our broad-based MA in Theology and Religion builds on the Department’s global academic reputation to provide you with an in-depth understanding of theology and religion and their impact on the world’s belief systems in the past, present and future.

You will benefit from the theological and religious expertise that exists among academic staff and in University-based institutions such as the Centre for Death and Life Studies, the Centre for Catholic Studies, the Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies and the International Centre for Moral Injury. You will also have access to the magnificent resource that is our theological and religious libraries.

Teaching and research in the Department is focused on three key areas; biblical studies, Christian theology and the study of religion. Reflecting the wide-ranging expertise in the Department, this course requires you to choose your areas of study from an extensive selection of modules, from classic texts in Christian theology to the principles of ethics to the Gospels and Canon.

Learning is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials that require substantial preparatory work and contributions during sessions in order to develop your skills in analysis, presentation and independence of thinking. We also adopt a lecture-style format in some classes which provides a firm basis for further research and study in a particular topic.

You will also benefit from our cross-departmental links with the University’s Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies on this fascinating and challenging course.

Course structure

Core module:

The Dissertation consists of a 12,000-15,000-word piece of research that will boost your knowledge and understanding of a theological or religious subject of particular interest to you. It will also hugely enhance your abilities in the areas of research and analysis of texts, ideas and arguments.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Paul and His Interpreters
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Anglican Theology in Context
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Middle Egyptian
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Religion in the Neo-Liberal Age
  • Faith and Reason
  • Theology and Ministry
  • Biblical language studies, including a choice of Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions