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Duration: 12 months (full-time); 27 months (part-time)|Hope Park|Start month: January & October
Accreditation|International students can apply
Entry Requirements
Teaching & Research


This programme is addressed primarily to those either already involved in pastoral work, including leadership positions in Christian churches and organisations, or those interested in finding future employment in this area. It is unique in that it not only offers students an opportunity to gain a thorough and systematic training in methods and approaches in Pastoral Theology, but it also familiarises them with the academic discipline of Biblical Studies, including a focused and research based study of specific biblical texts as well as a broader perspective on themes in biblical theology.

Students are expected to develop a more mature and critical approach, based on sound knowledge and scholarship, and in full awareness of the complexity and hermeneutical issues involved. At the same time, all the Biblical Studies modules include theological and pastoral perspectives. In this way students learn to understand the texts of the Old and New Testament in their historical and socio-cultural setting, are introduced to methods and approaches used in the academic study of the Bible, the tools used by biblical scholars, and the most important developments in the field of biblical scholarship, but they also gain insight into their theological significance and are better prepared to appreciate the use of the Bible in pastoral and liturgical settings.

Curriculum Overview

The MA consists of 60 credits of Biblical Studies modules selected from the following options: Prophetic Literature (15), Gospel of Matthew (15), Pauline Literature and the Acts of the Apostles (30), International Study Tour (30), Biblical Hermeneutics in Pastoral Context (30) and either one 30 credit or two 15 credits Pastoral Theology modules.

There is choice of Pastoral Theology modules, including the following: Approaching Homiletics (30), Pastoral Psychology (15) and Living Traditions; Continuity and Change (15). These modules are offered according to staffing and student demand, so not all of them may be available in a given year.

In addition, there is one compulsory, non-credit-bearing module, focussing on M-level Thinking Skills.

In order to complete the programme, students are required to write a dissertation, in which they will need to integrate aspects of Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology, even though the emphases in individual pieces of work will differ, depending on the topic and methodology chosen. The Dissertation block is a 60 credit dissertation.

Entry Requirements

Normally a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degree not necessarily in Theology or Religious Studies.


Applications from students who do not hold a 1st or 2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) may be asked to demonstrate potential to achieve a Masters award via a sample of academic writing and interview before an offer is made.

International Entry Requirements

For students whose first language is not English there is a language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall (reading 6, writing 6), TOEFL ibt 87, or other equivalent recognised English language qualification.

For additional information about country specific entry requirements visit the your country pages

Teaching and Research

As this programme is designed to combine the training needs of those involved in a pastoral role in a Christian setting with an academic approach to studying the Bible, it contains a strong element of experiential learning. Teaching takes place either in the evening or at the weekend (on Saturday or during residential sessions).

The students’ experience across the Pastoral Theology component consists of an interweaving of academic and work-related learning, together with critical reflection upon on-going personal development. In the Biblical Studies component the major emphasis is on encouraging independent learning with the tutor providing appropriate support and guidance. All the modules require students to reflect on the issues raised through the interactive nature of the lectures and seminars. They are consistently required to engage both with primary and secondary sources, to discern the underpinning religious, cultural and historical contexts of the subjects under discussion, and to reflect on the implications of particular stances, engaging with complexity and diversity.

The programme draws on the internationally acknowledged research expertise of existing members of the Department with that of visiting Professorial staff. Following recent appointments, the Department’s expertise in Biblical Studies, and in New Testament Studies in particular, has been significantly strengthened. Inclusion of modules taught by internationally acclaimed specialists in the Old Testament ensures balance in introducing the different corpora of writings, which nowadays comprise the Christian Bible, as well as their broader social, cultural and historical setting.

The Department has already had a relatively long experience of training existing and future pastors and Church leaders, beginning with the establishment of the Institute of Pastoral Theology in 2009, followed by the introduction of an MA in Christian Theology in 2011, a programme designed to the primary framework for taught postgraduate provision within the Institute. The Institute of Pastoral Theology is key point of contact between the academic world and the life of the Churches.


Tuition fees for Home/EU students for 2018/19 are:



We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.



If you are an international student, visit our international scholarships pages.


This programme is aimed primarily at those either already involved in pastoral work, including leadership positions in Christian churches and organisations, or those interested in finding future employment in this area. At the same time, the types of skills developed through this programme will contribute to the employability of graduates also in other areas. Advanced research skills and hermeneutical awareness, as well as transferable skills, such as the ability to analyse and discuss written sources, engage in critical, interpretative thinking and present arguments clearly and accurately, will be greatly appreciated by employers in a variety of other settings.