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Academic Year 2019/20

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title


Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master of Theology

Programme Code



HECoS Code


ATAS Clearance Required


Health Check Required


Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme


Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme


Exit Awards available


Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast


Institute of Theology

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group

Theology and religious studies (2014)

Accreditations (PSRB)


Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)


Programme Specific Regulations

The assessment for AHS7001 and THE7005 will be as outlined in the course programme, available at point of registration. All other taught modules will normally be assessed by 100% coursework, comprising two assignments at 3,000 words each, with some language modules requiring a formal examination or class test. The remaining component is the dissertation which is expected to be approximately 20,000 words. The pass mark for each taught module and for the dissertation is 50%. A re-sit will be available for any taught module, the pass mark to be capped at 50% for classification purposes. Candidates who do not submit a dissertation, or who are not successful in the dissertation element, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology.
Candidates may not submit the dissertation until all the written examinations have been passed.
In the case of full-time students, the dissertation shall be submitted no later than 15 September following completion of taught modules. In the case of part-time students, the date of submission shall be prescribed by the Theology Postgraduate Research Committee but shall not normally be earlier than two and not later than three years from initial enrolment for the MTh course. In exceptional circumstances, the Theology Postgraduate Research Committee may grant an extension of time not exceeding twelve months to students in either category.
The regulations governing the presentation of the dissertation shall be the Regulations for Theses.
The degree of Master of Theology may be awarded either simpliciter, with commendation, or with distinction. To achieve the award of Master’s with commendation, an overall average of 60% or more is required. In order to receive the award with distinction, candidates must achieve an overall average mark of 70% or over, together with a mark of 70% or over in the dissertation element, and an average of 65% or more across the other modules.

Students with protected characteristics


Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)



On completion of studies each student on the MTh programme is expected to have:

1. developed a specialised understanding of a theological area chosen under the guidance of a supervisor;

2. demonstrated evidence of wide and independent reading;

3. developed research skills through engaging in an extended supervised dissertation.


Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

By the end of programme, the student should have acquired specialised knowledge of a theological area, which has the potential to lead onto further research at Doctoral level.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The Masters level programmes are designed:

- to give students a thorough grasp of presentational, bibliographical, technological, literary and linguistic skills nurtured through the compulsory AHS7001 and THE7005 modules leading onto a more personalised four module curriculum designed to reflect the student's particular interests and capabilities, deepened in a research informed 60 CATS module dissertation.

Methods of Assessment

Assessments required of students on the Theology MTh pathway test and develop capacity to demonstrate the following cognitive skills:
• To undertake time-limited reflection upon research projects/tasks
• To express in fluent and appropriate written terms the results of research
• To express in fluent and appropriate oral terms the results of research
• To respond promptly to alternative views and challenges to propositions made in research
• To set timetables and targets for research and project management
• To think independently, originally and in a constructively critical manner;
• To evaluate sources and academic comment critically in their context;
• To gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources, so as to formulate and support a line of reasoning, or argument;
• To appreciate the importance of and comply with the ethical requirements of study, which requires critical and reflective use of information and information technology in the learning process

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Postgraduate students of Theology develop a range of transferable skills appropriate to a wide variety of professional situations.
• Competence in IT skills at an appropriate level.
• Ability to work independently and also the ability to work in collaboration with others.
• The ability to participate in group discussion having learned to listen and converse effectively.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Assessment of knowledge and understanding will be mainly through a pattern of coursework although some examinations will be retained, subject to the approval of the supervisor and the Theology Postgraduate Research Committee.

Methods of Assessment

Coursework assignments are designed to allow the students to discuss their performance with their supervisor and learn how to improve the presentation and content of their written work.
Students are required to show that they can present cogent arguments in their written work, access current research on each subject area and critically evaluate modern theories and approaches.
Transferable skills are normally not assessed formally but are required for the effective completion of the programme.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Consistent with the general educational aims of the programme outlined above and the QAA benchmark statement for Theology and Religious Studies, students graduating with a Master of Theology will have achieved the following learning outcomes:
• Evidence of wide and independent reading.
• Evidence of critical engagement and reflection.
• Evidence of independence and self-direction in research-based learning.
• Evidence of engagement, interaction, and independent thinking.
• Evidence of critical reflection on source materials
• Evidence of the reaching of independent conclusions.
• Understanding and development of research skills through engaging in an extended supervised dissertation.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The Master of Theology programme encourages students to become independent learners by way of a combination of bespoke research activities which map onto students individual plans, and more general training research methods germane to the discipline.

Methods of Assessment

The coursework assignments require wide and deep reading of both primary and secondary sources.
The dissertation provides an opportunity for extensive guided research on an individually chosen and approved project.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Acquired a high level of critical awareness, currency in theological research, and the potential for original thinking in the subject.
• Acquired a high level of critical awareness, currency in theological research, and the potential for original thinking in the subject.
• Acquired a high level of presentational and communication skills.
• Acquired a high level of bibliographical and/or archival skills.
• Ability to access current research on each subject area.
• Ability to critically evaluate modern theories and approaches.
• Ability to present cogent arguments in written and oral assignments.
• Ability to discuss controversial theological issues in a way that shows sensitivity and tolerance to others with different views in a deeper way.
• Ability to question sensitively cultural and religious assumptions at an enhanced level.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching is delivered by varied methods including lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials.

The students’ learning experience is enriched by the building up of knowledge through personal research for the completion of written assignments and active participation, presentation and discussion of their work with peers

Supervisors provide teaching in their subject specialities and guidance at all stages of the programme. Subject specific knowledge and understanding is disseminated and promoted through lectures, group and individual tutorials and directed reading.

Subject specific skills that relate to how students communicate their views and discuss controversial issues in a sensitive and effective way are generated through discussions and the presentation of papers.

Students develop transferable skills through producing word processed assignments, employing relevant IT resources for information retrieval, and through presenting papers in seminars and through involvement in class discussions.

Since the coursework requires them to work on their own to an agreed deadline, the students are enabled to become independent and responsible learners within the overall structure of the MTh.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment regime on the programme is comprised of a variety of traditional and innovative methods, including essays, methodological reflection, bibliographical exercise and reflection, literature review, and individual presentations. These vary in accordance with the specific learning outcomes of particular modules as set out in the individual module descriptions. Formative written work assists the development of understanding, critical judgment, and independent thought, both through the feedback given, and through the process of writing itself. Analytical, discursive, interpretative and critical exercises test students’ Ability to engage with, analyse, contextualise, interpret and criticise relevant material.

Presentations are used to encourage students to pursue their own interests, develop their understanding of a topic and acquire skills in communicating their work and its value to various audiences.

Extended essays test their ability to order and shape information, and to recognise ways in which to present and prioritise material.


Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

















Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Master of Theology: Dissertation






24 weeks