At a time when issues within theology, philosophy, and religion are pulling in divisive directions, the Masters in Theology, Philosophy and Religion offers the unique inter-disciplinary opportunity to examine essential questions about our varied human conditions.
This innovative MA draws on our internationally renowned research expertise. It will develop understanding of vital issues from two innovative perspectives. Firstly, a creative focus on hermeneutics – the interpretation of texts - through theological, critical, and philosophical approaches. Secondly, a global approach with a reflective philosophical and theological focus on the devotional, and spiritual wisdom of Christian, Jewish, Islamic, African and Indic traditions.
You will examine such vital themes as: being and nothingness; God and the Absolute; the soul, the self, and otherness; evil and suffering; ethics and aesthetics; the mystical and the apophatic. In all of these areas, you will be encouraged to question rigid boundaries between theology, spirituality and philosophy.
Through your studies, you will deepen your critical understanding of ways in which texts and ideas critically reflect and shape traditions of wisdom rather than detached intellectual enquiry. This approach affirms the idea that theology articulates rational structures of meaning as much as philosophy undergirds a holistic 'way of life'.
The Masters in Theology, Philosophy and Religion comprises two compulsory 30-credit taught modules: Being & Nothing: The Ground of Existence and Interpreting Texts and Traditions: Postgraduate Seminar, 60 credits of optional modules that will allow students to pursue interests across religious traditions* and a compulsory 60-credit research dissertation adding up to 180 credit.
Assessment methods may include coursework in the form of essays, class presentations, exegetical studies, Viva Voce examinations and research dissertation.
*not all optional modules would be available every year
Being and Nothing: The Ground of Existence (30 credits – compulsory)
This course will study fundamental issues at the interface of philosophy, theology, and religion by focusing on the relationship between ideas of ‘being’ and ‘nothing’. We begin with the primal question of wonder: ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’. Furthermore, how might such wonder relate to questions about what it means to ‘be human’? Analysing key texts and figures across Abrahamic, European, and Indic traditions, students will critically examine such fundamental notions as creation and negation, transcendence and immanence, good and evil, ground and forms.
Interpreting Texts and Traditions: Postgraduate Seminar (30 credits – compulsory)
This is a module validated across the department’s MA programmes. Each MA takes this compulsory framework and adapts it to its own specific needs and ethos.
In the MA TPR, the approach draws primarily from phenomenological hermeneutics to inform the direct study of primary mystical texts. Its aim is therefore twofold: (a) to enable students to gain familiarity with the most important mystical and/or metaphysical writings from different religious traditions, and (b) to assist them in exploring the many problems involved in interpreting and understanding such texts. The advantage of this approach is a grounding in reading the materials first-hand, and such a close familiarity helps us to understand and evaluate the various methods employed in the study of texts. But also, since each religious tradition and often each particular text presents us with special problems, we gain experience in dealing with specific difficulties of interpretation.
Research Dissertation (60 Credits - compulsory)
During this compulsory module, students will be instructed on how to develop a critical voice and Master’s competence, which will help them to research in depth, in consultation with a designated supervisor, a topic of their choosing, documenting it appropriately and putting into practice, in a sustained piece of work, the methods and skills they have developed.
It also seeks to encourage students to examine the effectiveness of academic research methods as aids to study and self-development, as a resource for the advancement of knowledge and understanding.
During the final phase of the MA, students use the skills and knowledge they have developed and draw on their own experience and supporting evidence from specific research articles, to critique, analyse and ultimately influence their research.
During this course, students will also be required to secure the appropriate ethical approval from the University for their Dissertation.
Optional modules (all 30 credits):
Decolonising Religion and Philosophy: African Perspectives (optional)
The Disruptive Other: Religious Experience in the Twilight of Modernity (optional)
Islamic Philosophy and Theology (optional)
The Soul: Between Philosophy, Theology and Religion (optional)
Normally a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degree a relevant discipline (other Professional qualifications may be considered).
Students whose first language is not English are normally required to have an IELTS 6.5 (reading 6, writing 6), TOEFL 560 or other equivalent recognised English language qualification. In certain circumstances the University also permits study that students have already carried out at Postgraduate level to be taken into account.
The School of Postgraduate Theology is led by well-respected academics with internationally recognised research profiles in the fields of Religious Studies, Theology, Christian Education, Asian and African Christianity and Philosophy. 100% of the Department’s research has been deemed as internationally recognised by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
As the only interdisciplinary department in Europe built upon an ecumenical foundation, the Department is at the forefront of creative, collaborative work.
Those undertaking the MA will have the benefit of belonging to an international community of postgraduate students at both masters and doctoral levels. They will also have access to the university’s excellent library holdings in the fields of theology, philosophy and religious studies.
Teaching in the School is in line with the wider University Learning and Teaching strategy and encourages active learning in small groups to foster the development of academic potential and improve the working dynamic between students and members of staff.
All taught classes are held at Liverpool Hope University’s main campus, Hope Park.
The campus is situated just four miles from the city centre and offers superb academic and support facilities, including on-campus library with extended opening hours, free computer and wi-fi access, access to the on campus gym and sports centre and a careers service for advice on part-time work opportunities and post-study careers
Tuition fees for Home/EU students for 2020/21 are £5,200
We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.
The International tuition fees for courses starting in the 2020/21 academic year are £11,400 per year (provisional).
If you are an international student, visit our international scholarships pages.
The MA Theology, Philosophy and Religion opens up a vast array of career opportunities, you will develop a broad-ranging theological knowledge and skills base, particularly the close reading of texts, critical thinking and the ability to understand a variety of world views in depth. Graduates from our programmes go on to work in areas such as teaching, law, civil service, social work, ministry.
This programme is an academic master’s degree, which is suited to students who may wish to undertake further study and progress to a PhD.
The MA Bible in Pastoral Contexts at the School of Postgraduate Theology adds value to first degrees by developing 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. Students will be able to draw on the wide areas of academic scholarship and expertise brought to the course by well-published academics and experienced theologians.