Contemporary Christian Theology MA

Course length: 1 year full time or 2-3 years part-time (blend of online learning and taught sessions)

Overview

Newman’s MA in Contemporary Christian Theology will enable you to develop your interest in theology through an engagement with some of the issues brought to light by our contemporary culture. 

The programme can be studied part-time or full time and is ideally suited to professionals working within the field of Theology, Religious Education or Christian Ministry and to those who want to deepen their understanding of the issues facing contemporary theology. The MA will open up new insights by building on historical schools of thought in dialogue with contemporary Christian theologies through an exploration of current issues such as those surrounding the new bio-technologies, the relationship between science and theology, and eco-feminism.  Throughout your studies you will have the opportunity to work with a tutor to focus on the areas of theological exploration that particularly interest you.

The programme is delivered through a blend of on-line learning and taught sessions, and there are four weekend schools a year with ongoing on-line support.  Participation in this MA can help advance a career in leading Church schools, teaching Religious Education, or development in pastoral ministry and adult education.
 

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to have studied on the Masters Programme in Contemporary Christian Theology at Newman University. The high quality teaching and tutoring allowed for excellent learning, challenging discussion and academic reflection on a range of issues from the ethics of human cloning to the influence of Plato’s forms on contemporary thinking. It has also provided me with valuable and transferable skills; time management, textual analysis, teamwork, academic debate, academic writing and referencing. Gaining my Masters has been one of my biggest achievements and graduating, one of my proudest moments." 

Ruth Monaghan (Graduated October 2015) 

Attendance

The group size is small enough to allow good interaction between class members and easy access to the tutors. The course is delivered through a combination of on-line materials, and face-to-face taught sessions at Newman. University-based sessions take place over an average of 6 days per year, timed to suit the needs of part-time students. In addition, students will make use of distance learning materials and will be encouraged to interact with each other and with tutors in on-line forums.

Research Areas

Theological research is fundamental to the mission of Newman University. The subject area welcomes applications from suitably qualified students who wish to pursue postgraduate research degrees (MPhil and PhD awarded by the University of Leicester) in the areas of Philosophy of Religion, Religious Education and Biblical Studies. For more information about the research interests of the Theology team please visit the theology research section of this website.

All information is believed to be accurate at time of publishing, but Government support, fees and bursaries may be subject to change without notice.

Entry requirements

Good relevant first degree (2:1 or above), or equivalent previous experience. Those who do not have a relevant degree may be asked to write a written piece to assess academic suitability.

Fees

UK/EU Total Course Fees as of 2017/18:

MA - £4,800

PGDip - £3,200

PG Cert - £1,600

International total course fees as of 2017/18:

MA - £10,400

PGDip - £6,993

PGCert - £3,467

Fees may rise subject to inflation for 2018/19

For information regarding a Postgraduate Loan (PGL) for Master's study click here

Full-time course modules


Year 1 modules


THEORY AND IT'S APPLICATIONS


MODULE TITLE : THEORY AND IT'S APPLICATIONS

MODULE CODE : HRM702


MODULE SUMMARY :

One of two interdisciplinary modules, this module will provide students with the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings to Humanities research to develop the more advanced critical and analytical skills needed for dissertation at level 7. The module introduces students to a range of critical approaches to text, giving them the opportunity to use, discuss, and critique these strategies both verbally and in writing. Student’s will develop skills in self-reflexivity by being encouraged to understand their own preferences and positions in undertaking Humanities research which inflects their analyses and approaches in developing their research interests, questions and findings.

The module will focusing on close readings of work that influenced the poststructuralist move and will introduce discussions concerning the impact of this critique of representation on theories of identity, ideology, meaning, and power.

 

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 24.00
Independent : 276.00
Placement :
Total :  300.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

  • provide students with a broad and detailed understanding of texts, theories, issues and concepts that underlie research methodologies in the Humanities, which are relevant to their own research project, and to understand how their research is informed by and exceeds the forefront of the field in which it is located. 

  • enable students to contextualise and develop their area of expertise in the light of a detailed understanding of the representational function of text in promoting, maintaining or challenging identity, power, meaning and ideology.

  • develop students’ abilities to make independent judgements as they evaluate and critique specific approaches to text.

  • develop students’ self-reflexivity in understanding preference and position in undertaking Humanities research, and how this is inflected by personal perspectives;

  • help students apply skills in critical analysis to enhance their written and verbal communication.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

  • read, evaluate, and critique key texts, theories, and issues that underpin philosophical approaches to Humanities research, to understand how it relates to their own research project;

  • situate their own work in this wider context of theoretical discourse and to understand how their research is informed by and exceeds the forefront of the field in which it is located;

  • further develop critical abilities as they apply specific approaches to their specialist area of research;

  • explicitly understand and articulate their own preferences and positions in undertaking Humanities research, and how this is inflected by personal perspectives;

  • use critical theory to improve analysis of text and argument in essay writing for assessment and publication.

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 100% Essay (5000 words)

COMMUNICATING RESEARCH


MODULE TITLE : COMMUNICATING RESEARCH

MODULE CODE : HRM703


MODULE SUMMARY :

Strongly tailored to suit the student's area of interest, this module allows students to reflect on their research project and develop new skills in communicating the central themes of their work. The module, delivered alongside the dissertation with the input of the student’s dissertation tutor, provides a space for considering the skills being developed to enable the students to make a transition to work or into further study as appropriate. Students will explore the development of ideas for future projects and training in how to communicate them to external funders, stakeholders and the wider public. They will also articulate the professional skills they are developing in engaging with MRes study, for example the qualities of sound judgement in dealing with complex issues, taking personal responsibility and initiative, and being self-directed (as set out in the L7 QAA descriptors).

 

The module is designed around key areas in which scholars need to excel in the Humanities in the twenty-first century: the ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible manner; to define avenues for future research and to reflect critically on their own ideas.

This develops skills that allow students to see far beyond the limited scope of their own research and encourages them to engage with wider dialogues.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 10.00
Independent : 290.00
Placement :
Total :  300.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Provide a bespoke, tailored, package of support and development that is relevant to the student's area of interest in relation to a systematic knowledge of the precise field in which they are working and the range of techniques applicable to their research.

  • Enable students to prioritise key areas of their research for wider dissemination to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, showing an understanding of different audiences.

  • Engage students with aspects of their research that is at the forefront of their academic discipline and provide students with an appreciation of some of the demands of research beyond Level 7.

  • Provide students with an opportunity to develop skills and competence in the competitive processes of bid writing, for demonstrating impact and originality, and engagement with employers/funders.

  • Engage students with the qualities and transferrable skills necessary for employment and relevant to opportunities after graduation.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Identify key skills of analysis specific to the project area.         

  • Speak, with confidence, about a specialist area of Humanities research in ways appropriate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, including explanation of new insights and originality.

  • Write and engage with an established field of research and show how their research is at the forefront of their academic discipline.

  • Identify areas of development in their research for future research projects.

  • Write a situating document to refine the skills needed in completing grant and scholarship applications in the future.

  • Explicitly articulate the qualities and transferrable skills relevant to employment opportunities; including high-level communication skills and the ability to define a feasible project idea.

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 50% 2,500 word Project Report

Component 2 - 20% 10 minute individual presentation

Component 3 - 30% 1,500 word research proposal essay

METHODS AND HERMENEUTICS IN THEOLOGY


MODULE TITLE : METHODS AND HERMENEUTICS IN THEOLOGY

MODULE CODE : THM701


MODULE SUMMARY :

The module is designed to provide the opportunity for students to engage with some of the central figures (for example Radford-Ruether, Sobrino, Trible) in theological interpretation through a close reading of key texts. Changing contexts (for example, Post-colonialism, Secularisation and Globalisation) and locations (such as Europe and South America) will be taken into account in trying to understand the on-going task and challenge of theological interpretation.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 25.00
Independent : 125.00
Placement :
Total :  150.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Enable students to give a critical account of the nature of theological interpretation

  • Develop each student’s account of major shifts in theological interpretation

  • Enable each student to illustrate the above with examples using critical analysis of primary texts

  • Provide the necessary political, social and intellectual context for the analysis of primary texts

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Analyse critically primary texts (in translation) and contextualise them with confidence

  • Identify and critically evaluate intellectual movements in their historical context

  • Develop a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the influence of these movements on theology

  • Apply self-reflectively their knowledge gained in the module to current issues in theology, making informed judgements on complex issues.

     

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 30% Portfolio analysis of text (2500 words)

Component 2 - 70% Essay (4000 Words)

THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY ETHICS


MODULE TITLE : THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

MODULE CODE : THM703


MODULE SUMMARY :

This module is designed to provide students with an opportunity to focus on some of the significant ethical issues facing the contemporary world. The module will develop students’ critical engagement with the major ethical traditions and will enable students to respond to practical ethical issues particularly, but not exclusively, from a Christian perspective. The module will encourage students to reflect critically on some of the underlying theological and philosophical debates underpinning these issues including theological anthropology and soteriology.

 

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 25.00
Independent : 125.00
Placement :
Total :  150.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Enable students to recognize and evaluate some of the key ethical issues within contemporary culture

  • Develop students’ appraisal of the main ethical traditions that have shaped contemporary ethical thought

  • Encourage students to locate the context and significance of the work of a number of key philosophers and theologians working in the field of contemporary ethics

  • Enable students to engage critically with the underlying theological and philosophical assumptions of the ethical standpoints studied

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply critically the thought of the major ethical traditions to issues in contemporary ethics

  • Demonstrate an ability to think self-reflectively and systematically about some of the main areas of ethical controversy

  • Make informed judgements about complex issues

  • Show an ability to use research, experience and critical reflection to develop original ideas and nuanced interpretation of particular ethical traditions

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 30% 1500 word book review

Component 2 - 70% 4000 word essay

DISSERTATION


MODULE TITLE : DISSERTATION

MODULE CODE : THM750


MODULE SUMMARY :

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to draw from and build upon subject knowledge acquired and developed in the programme’s taught modules by undertaking a topic of personal interest and researching this topic in an independent and original manner, appropriate to master’s level. The student will be expected to define a question independently and demonstrate a systematic understanding of the topic together with a critical awareness of current problems and new insights.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 20.00
Independent : 180.00
Placement :
Total :  200.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Enable the student to undertake a critical evaluation of current research and advanced scholarship in the topic selected

  • Advance the student’s ability to use research, experience and reflection to develop original thought and interpretation of particular theological traditions and their application to issues in contemporary theological debate

  • Enable the student to demonstrate a systematic development of a thesis in the field of theology and a critical awareness of the problems and new insights associated with the topic.

  • Encourage the student to show a comprehensive and critical understanding of traditional and contemporary approaches to the topic informed by research at the forefront of the academic field of study

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Evaluate complex issues both systematically and creatively, and make sound judgements in the absence of complete data

  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems

  • Act autonomously in planning and implementing research tasks

  • Produce a piece of research that that shows an advanced critical analysis of arguments and comprehensive subject knowledge

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 100% 15,000 dissertation

Part-time course modules


Year 1 modules


METHODS AND HERMENEUTICS IN THEOLOGY

MODULE TITLE : METHODS AND HERMENEUTICS IN THEOLOGY

MODULE CODE : THM701


MODULE SUMMARY :

The module is designed to provide the opportunity for students to engage with some of the central figures (for example Radford-Ruether, Sobrino, Trible) in theological interpretation through a close reading of key texts. Changing contexts (for example, Post-colonialism, Secularisation and Globalisation) and locations (such as Europe and South America) will be taken into account in trying to understand the on-going task and challenge of theological interpretation.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 25.00
Independent : 125.00
Placement :
Total :  150.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Enable students to give a critical account of the nature of theological interpretation

  • Develop each student’s account of major shifts in theological interpretation

  • Enable each student to illustrate the above with examples using critical analysis of primary texts

  • Provide the necessary political, social and intellectual context for the analysis of primary texts

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Analyse critically primary texts (in translation) and contextualise them with confidence

  • Identify and critically evaluate intellectual movements in their historical context

  • Develop a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the influence of these movements on theology

  • Apply self-reflectively their knowledge gained in the module to current issues in theology, making informed judgements on complex issues.

     

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 30% Portfolio analysis of text (2500 words)

Component 2 - 70% Essay (4000 Words)

THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

MODULE TITLE : THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

MODULE CODE : THM703


MODULE SUMMARY :

This module is designed to provide students with an opportunity to focus on some of the significant ethical issues facing the contemporary world. The module will develop students’ critical engagement with the major ethical traditions and will enable students to respond to practical ethical issues particularly, but not exclusively, from a Christian perspective. The module will encourage students to reflect critically on some of the underlying theological and philosophical debates underpinning these issues including theological anthropology and soteriology.

 

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 25.00
Independent : 125.00
Placement :
Total :  150.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Enable students to recognize and evaluate some of the key ethical issues within contemporary culture

  • Develop students’ appraisal of the main ethical traditions that have shaped contemporary ethical thought

  • Encourage students to locate the context and significance of the work of a number of key philosophers and theologians working in the field of contemporary ethics

  • Enable students to engage critically with the underlying theological and philosophical assumptions of the ethical standpoints studied

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply critically the thought of the major ethical traditions to issues in contemporary ethics

  • Demonstrate an ability to think self-reflectively and systematically about some of the main areas of ethical controversy

  • Make informed judgements about complex issues

  • Show an ability to use research, experience and critical reflection to develop original ideas and nuanced interpretation of particular ethical traditions

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 30% 1500 word book review

Component 2 - 70% 4000 word essay

Course code

For all enquiries relating to admissions or entry requirements, email us at admissions@newman.ac.uk

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