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MA - Master of Arts
Biblical Studies (Christian)
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.
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.
Department of Theology and Religion
A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.
For this course (per year)
For this course (per year)
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.