How do you want to study?


    1 year




    The MA in Religion and the Common Good explores the engagement between faith communities and wider society, working together across divides for the common good.  We look at what religion brings to issues of shared concern in today’s world, and investigate how and why faith communities often build relationships with other religious and secular groups in pursuit of peace and the common good. How should the moral values of religious faiths be applied to today’s increasingly contested ethical issues? What is the public role of faith in our diverse, globalised, multicultural world? What do faith communities think about education and schooling, health care, inequality, the environment, and freedom? What should they do about them? 

    Why study MA Religion and the Common Good?

    As well as providing a postgraduate qualification in theology and religious studies, the MA Religion and the Common Good develops knowledge and understanding relevant to charity and community work, to hospital and other types of chaplaincy, as well as to educational institutions and the school sector. A special route award, MA in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care is available to those seeking to study carefully designed modules of special relevance to the role of the chaplaincy today.

    The course is made up of carefully designed curriculum covering key areas of study. You will begin with study of Religion and the Common Good, Interfaith Dialogue, and Contemporary Religious Thought. These lead on to study of Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics, Critical Spirituality and Reflective Practice, and Biblical Interpretation. Finally, students complete a dissertation on a relevant topic. Each module has been deliberately designed to enable expertly-informed reflection on faith and the common good.  

      All about the course

      The course is aimed at everyone interested in studying faith in action in today’s world. We focus on the relevance of religion to modern life. Whether you be a recent graduate of Theology and Religious Studies, a teacher of Religious Education, a leader in a “Faith School”, a person active in a charity organisation, or someone called to religious ministry, this course is for you.

      This MA course lets you dive into a critical questions of faith in action in contemporary society. You will explore how people of faith have instilled life with religious meaning, and gain understanding of how beliefs and values are relevant to the world we share. Critical engagement with questions of religion and politics, moral philosophy and applied ethics, is a valuable experience in its own right – perfectly suited to anyone seeking to ask big questions concerning life’s meaning and what we should do. The course also addresses the application of these questions in professional contexts. It will help develop careers in teaching, provide additional knowledge and understanding for anyone holding a role with a faith organisation, give essential postgraduate experience for those planning to go on to a PhD, and it will give you an edge in the professional job market.

      You will be taught by a team of exceptional tutors, all researching and publishing in their fields, with expertise in topics such as pastoral theology, faith relations, applied ethics, Christian education, and spiritual care. This MA is shared with the National Institute for Christian Education Research as well as the Kent and Medway Medical School.

      Entry requirements

      A 2:2 honours degree, in Theology, Religious Studies, or a relevant subject discipline. Holders of other qualifications will be considered individually.

      If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no element below 6.0.

      For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

      Module information

      Core/optional modules

      *Modules subject to validation

      How you’ll learn

      Your degree will offer you a challenging and stimulating course that encourages critical thinking and lively debate. Your lecturers will support, nurture and challenge you as you develop as an independent thinker. Guest speakers representing different faith communities and key professional contexts make a significant contribution to teaching and discussion. 

      How you’ll be assessed

      Each module is assessed by coursework equivalent to 4,000 words. The one exception to this rule is the dissertation module, which is assessed by a total of 15,000 words of individual work on a topic relevant to the course. 

      Your future career

      The course is a significant qualification in its own right, but if you wish to pursue further study it will also give you the opportunity to progress to a PhD. The research and writing skills you’ll gain will enhance your employability relevant to careers in wellbeing and spiritual care, teaching, and charitable organisations. 


      Government loans of up to £11,836 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2022. 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 923 456.

      Tuition Fees for 2022/23 have not yet been finalised. These course web pages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once they have been agreed.

      Apply now


      1 year