MA by Research Theology and Religious Studies

Year of entry

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

Supervision in Theology can be offered in areas such as Biblical studies; Patristics; Church History; History and Interpretation of Christian doctrine; Systematics/Constructive Theology; Modern Theology and Philosophy, Theology and Sexuality; Theology and Theatre/Performance Studies, Political Theology and Black Theology.

Supervision in Religious Studies can be offered in areas such as Comparative Religious Studies; Jewish Studies; Jewish-Christian dialogue; Hindu Studies; Buddhist Studies; Tibetan Studies; Religion and Visual Culture; Religion and Literature; Philosophy of Religion; Religion and Social Theory; Religion, Gender and Sexuality; Religion and Postmodernity.

Are you fascinated by religions and their role in shaping our diverse, globalised, and multicultural world? Are you drawn to thinking about God, or relish the prospect of understanding how people of faith have instilled life with religious meaning? Are you concerned about questions of ethics, society, and justice in modern life? Do you value open-minded, independent and critical thinking? If so, you will enjoy studying the Theology and Religious Studies MA by Research.

You should discuss your initial ideas for a MA by research topic with a suitable supervisor from the programme team in the area of your study. If you are unsure, please contact Dr Maria Diemling, the Subject Lead in Theology and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, who will be able to advise you whom to contact.

Your research topic may develop from a recent undergraduate encounter with a particular aspect of Theology or Religion, Philosophy and Ethics or you may be returning to education looking for a structured environment in which to formally pursue an established passion.

Please note that while students can build upon their BA research dissertation, they will not be allowed to submit identical material again under the current QAA policies.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time £4,327 £12,160
Part-time £2,597  N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course. The fees for this course are set in line with the Research Councils UK Indicative fee level for Doctoral courses, which usually increases year on year in line with the GDP deflator (in recent years this has resulted in year on year tuition fee increases of approximately 1.5-2.0%). The tuition fees for the following academic year are usually confirmed in the preceding February.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

This programme is a significant qualification in its own right but could also fast-track you, if you're successful, to MPhil and ultimately to PhD qualifications.

The research and writing skills you'll gain, together with the specialist disciplinary knowledge developed during the course, will enhance your employability and can provide an invaluable grounding for careers in teaching, media and journalism, publishing and marketing.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework report, Theology and Religious Studies at Canterbury Christ Church was described as producing individual pieces of research that were world leading and internationally significant. We were noted for producing research that had a significant impact, with case studies focussing on Black Theology and Queer Theory in particular.

The teaching team at Canterbury Christ Church provide an excellent student experience in Theology and Religious Studies. They are passionate about their subject, and encourage students to share their enthusiasm and excitement. Drawing on academic expertise in major areas of Judaism and Christian Theology, as well as Indian and Chinese Philosophies, the team can offer supervision in an exciting and broad range of topics, including studies in world religions, the history and interpretation of religious thought, and the study of critical challenges in the contemporary world.

Who will supervise me?

Students will need to find a first supervisor in the programme team agreeing to supervise them in their chosen topic. Further information about our specialist subject areas can be found on the School of Humanities pages.

A second supervisor will be allocated in consultation with the student. A chair will form the third member of the supervisory panel and will oversee the overall process. Beyond that, the programme director and the Head of School will be overseeing the governance of the whole programme.

How will I be supervised?

Supervision will follow individual styles depending on the supervisors and their judgment. Students will have face to face tutorials, but supervision might include email and phone contact. Students will have the opportunity to be part of the vibrant research culture of the department, faculty and university and are expected to engage with this culture actively.

After ca. six months (full-time; twelve months if part-time), the supervisory panel will conduct a formal meeting with the student and give its recommendation for the way forward towards completion of the thesis.

Students will write a research thesis on their chosen topic. For an MA by Research students will need to demonstrate critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at the forefront of their own academic discipline.

The length of the Masters by Research thesis excluding bibliography and appendices, but including footnotes, is 25,000-30,000 words.

How will I be assessed?

The MA by research will be assessed by dissertation. The examination will be done by an internal and an external examiner and might include a viva voce examination.

"My experience of the Masters programme at Canterbury Christ Church was extremely enjoyable and challanging. In regards of the seminars provided by the Graduate school, I was grateful for the chance to mix with the PhD students, as it gave me an understanding of what was expected at Masters level. Academic supervisors gave clear, concise feedback and were easy to maintain contact with. Their assistance covered all areas of the post-graduate experience and they were very encouraging. I am grateful for the experience and feel that Canterbury Christ Church was a fantastic context to develop my skills as a researcher and as a theologian."

Jeremy Gomez

"The Masters by Research course provided me with an insightful journey into the realm of being a "researcher". I was able to develop my passion of Theology and Development into a research thesis, whilst being under the supervision of a well-known and encouraging professor in my subject area. Importantly, the course equipped me with the fundamental foundations of research development practice and methodology, and in doing so, it excellently bridged the gap between undergraduate and doctorate programmes."

Adele Quittenden

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • For an MA by Research we normally expect an Undergraduate degree at 2.2 or above (or equivalent) in Theology and/or Religious Studies or a cognate relevant area.



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Last edited: 26/06/2019 10:41:00