V8K207 Biblical Studies MA Postgraduate Taught 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
This course focuses on the context and interpretation of biblical and pseudepigraphal texts, along with the study of biblical languages. Durham has a long tradition of outstanding biblical scholarship, providing a wide range of distinctive approaches to biblical studies, including historical, critical and theological.
- Paul and His Interpreters - core module*
- Three optional modules
- Paul and His Interpreters*
*Core module may be subject to change
Examples of optional modules:
Optional modules in previous years have included 2-3 choices from:
- Beginners' New Testament Greek
- Biblical Hebrew
- Advanced Hebrew Texts
- Advanced Aramaic
- Middle Egyptian
- The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
- Gospels and Canon
Plus up to 1 choice from:
- Paul and his Interpreters
- Patristic Exegesis
- Patristic Ecclesiology
- Christian Northumbria 600-750
- Anglican Theology in Context
- Classic Texts in Christian Theology
- Liturgy and Sacramentality
- Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
- Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
- Christian Gender
- Principles of Theological Ethics
- Theology, Ethics and Medicine
- Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
- Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
- Literature and Religion
- Catholic Social Thought
- Ecclesiology and Ethnography
- Doctrine of Creation
- Religion in the Neo-Liberal Age
- The Thought of Thomas Aquinas in Context
- Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry course
- Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1–2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the designated Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
- 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study).
Course Learning and Teaching
Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop you as independent researchers, able to pursue and explore your own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA course. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.
Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable you to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve your own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on completed work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing knowledge and writing skills.
The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces you to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps to develop your own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom you will meet throughout the academic year.
Subject requirements, level and grade
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.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£21,250.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,900.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,900.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,250.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£11,700.00 per year|
|Home Student||£5,500.00 per year|
|Island Student||£5,500.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£11,700.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Department of Theology and Religion
A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. For some examples of academic careers in Theology launched at Durham, please click here.
Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
Department of Theology and Religion
The Department of Theology and Religion has established an international reputation as one of the leading research departments in its field, and we are equally proud of our high-quality teaching and our commitment to our students. Our postgraduate students benefit from regular research seminars and conferences and colloquia that place Durham at the centre of international scholarship. Also available for
postgraduates is a professional development and training programme, which includes opportunities to work as a teaching or research assistant. Our home, Abbey House (pictured), is next door to Durham
Cathedral, and is a beautiful and inspiring place to pursue research in theology and religion.
Ranked 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-Leading research and joint 1st for both impact and research environment in REF 2014.