|Duration||1 year full time
2 years part time
|Entry year||September 2024|
|Discipline||Theology and Religion|
- Our imaginative and exciting programme offers a great breadth of learning with the flexibility to specialise in the areas that interest you the most
- You can further develop interdisciplinary approaches by taking a module outside the Department of Theology and Religion, with the agreement of the programme director
- Throughout your studies you will benefit from access to the department’s extensive resources and enjoy a close working relationship with our exceptional academic staff
- You will learn to understand other people’s viewpoints, to communicate and debate effectively, to work independently and as part of a group, all skills essential for the workplace
Top 100 in the world for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies
QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
Top 10 in the UK subject rankings
Complete University Guide 2024 and the Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
No. 1 in the UK for our world-leading research in Theology and Religious Studies
Research Excellence Framework 2021
100% of our Theology and Religious Studies research has world-leading impact
Based on research impact rated 4* in REF 2021
We are looking for graduates with a 2:2 Honours degree with 53% or above in their first degree in a relevant subject area. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.
Entry requirements for international students
English language requirements
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.
Students on the MA Theology and Religion study 180 credits in total. All students study the dissertation. You will choose your remaining credits from a range of Masters modules. Any requests to take modules outside of the Department of Theology and Religion are dependent on the agreement of the programme director.
Our modules allow you to focus on a wide range of short topics drawn from the whole breadth of our research expertise. This will give you deeper understanding of a wide range of key topics and questions at the heart of research in theology and religion today, alongside the sustained study of one particular topic that will be the topic of your dissertation.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
UK fees per year:
£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time
International fees per year:
£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time
We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have Global Excellence Scholarships available for international fee paying students applying for January 2024 entry and September 2024 entry.* For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.
*Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details of eligible programmes and candidates. Awards may vary from year to year.
Teaching and research
We are focused on making sure your MA programme works well for you and are happy to give you advice on module choices and combinations. Our aim is to help you develop the skills you learned at Undergraduate level and add further expertise in a range of connected disciplines.
Our distinctive areas of teaching expertise include Eastern Orthodox Christianities; the art and architecture of West Asia; and decolonial studies in religion and the legacies of racism and empire in our disciplines. Our teaching prepares you to lead meaningful action against the climate emergency, make key breakthroughs to transform human wellbeing and help create a just and socially inclusive society.
You might encounter teaching in established and emerging areas such as theological responses to trauma, religion and genocide, ecotheology and ecological hermeneutics, death, burial and memorial practices, concepts of modernity and secularity across faith traditions, and many more. These will help you develop your critical skills, preparing you for a future in a world where creative solutions to challenging questions matter more than ever.
We will give you the opportunity to engage with the latest methodology through small group teaching and seminars where you will have excellent access to our top academic staff. MA students are at the heart of our discipline’s life and contribute in diverse ways such as hosting their own postgraduate discussion groups and editing a student journal. As well as face-to-face classes you will have an opportunity to participate in online seminars and discussions.
We encourage our Postgraduate students to become part of our lively research culture, meeting regularly with other students and staff for study groups and informal discussions about interesting topics. You will also be given opportunities to develop your digital skills and competencies and to develop your expertise in research using online databases and research libraries.
Most of your teaching will take place in the first two terms. The third term is dedicated to your dissertation where you will design, research and write a piece of original research. Progress in your modules will be assessed through a variety of coursework, and if you choose to study Greek or Hebrew your language skills will be assessed by a combination of exams and other coursework.
We have a very active research culture with international scholars who are publishing cutting-edge research, we encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative research which is reflected in our projects.
Our research focuses on the interaction between theology and matters of current social and political importance.
Some of our specialist areas of interest include:
- “Just War” reasoning in the twenty-first century
- Rhetoric and literary composition in the early church
- The theology and ethics of trans identity, gender variance, and same-sex relationships
- The interaction of evolutionary theory with Christian theology
- The materiality and sociality of the body in biblical traditions and ancient religion
- Eastern Orthodox Christianity
- Disability studies and biblical texts
In addition to the research-led content of the course, as an MA student you are closely involved in the wider research life of our discipline. We also operate the Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology (EXCEPT) which provides a centre for research into contextual, practical and ministerial theology. Our Network for Religion in Public Life promotes co-operation between academics and religious communities on matters concerning the relationship between religions and public and political issues. And our Centre for Biblical Studies provides a focus for a range of research activity and research projects including seminars, public lectures and hosting academic visitors.
Libraries and archives
You will be perfectly placed to take advantage of the resources of Exeter Cathedral including the Cathedral Library and Cathedral Archives which date back to Saxon times.
You will be welcome to join our dedicated research centre, the Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology, where academic staff and Postgraduate students work together to develop and discuss research projects.
Our broad range of expertise within the Department will give you a unique opportunity at MA level to specialise in the areas that interest you most. The main University Library is a modern facility with extensive collections, including digital, and provides a range of study spaces as well as excellent resources.
Digital Humanities Lab
In addition we have recently invested £1.2 million into Digital Humanities to create a new lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will enable you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine items in greater detail and share discoveries with the public.
For more information visit our Digital Humanities Lab page.
Our MA programme is excellent preparation for a research degree in Theology if you choose to take your studies on to doctoral level. Many of our students find our MA in Theology and Religion an excellent way of furthering their career or opening up new job prospects.
Our MA programme will deepen your understanding of Theology and bring you up to date with the latest developments in the field. The skills you will develop are highly relevant regardless of the path you take. You will learn to understand other people’s viewpoints, to communicate and debate effectively, to work independently and as part of a group. We will encourage you to use your own initiative and keep an open mind while training you in a range of academic, personal and professional skills.
As with all humanities degrees, there is a very wide range of possible careers for our MA students. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work in a variety of related fields such as:
- Assistant Curate
- Chaplain’s Assistant
- Junior Pastoral Assistant
- Legal Assistant
- Marketing Assistant
- Ministry Trainee
- Publicity and Fundraising Manager
- Registry Officer
- Youth and Families Worker
Several students are working professionals who use our MA programme as a form of continuing professional development, a means of reflecting on the meaning or purpose of their current careers in areas such as teaching, social work, and faith leadership.
Careers and employment support
While studying at Exeter you can also access a range of activities, advice and practical help to give you the best chance of following your chosen career path. For more information visit our Careers pages.