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MA in Theology (MA)

This fully online postgraduate programme provides students with the opportunity to study theology by concentrating on some of the main topics in systematic theology. Delivered through our partners at BibleMesh this course enables students to see the role of Scripture in developing theological understanding and the manner in which ideas have developed amidst controversy



If you click apply you will be taken to our partners at the BibleMesh Institute who deliver this programme.

1

year full time or up to

4

years part time

6

modules & dissertation

Presbyterian Theological Faculty Ireland

award

This taught Masters allows students to gain advanced theological knowledge of central Christian doctrines. The Diploma is available for those who complete the teaching modules without the dissertation.

This programme aims to:

  • enable students to focus in appropriate depth on a variety of different topics within the subdisciplines of Christian Theology and ethics;
  • provide opportunities for students to reflect upon and integrate prior study and other relevant experience with a wide range of new learning which is informed by research–led scholarship;
  • provide a digital space in which students may engage in informed and respectful dialogue, recognising the strengths and weaknesses of other points of view;
  • provide the knowledge and skills necessary to produce a research dissertation through sustained reflection on and engagement with a theological or ethical topic; and
  • develop an appreciation of the value of Christian doctrine for the life of the Church.

Whether you’re studying online or on site, all of Union Theological College’s degrees are marked by strict academic standards approved by the Faculty and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Online study is subject to the same entry requirements as our on–campus degrees: there is no difference in the overall workload, and the qualification you get is of equal value.

The difference is simply in the way in which the course is delivered. As well as all the conventional benefits of taking your theological education to a new level, our new online programme has some particular benefits associated with it:

  • Earn a recognised UK master’s degree (or postgraduate diploma) from almost anywhere in the world (there are no residential requirements)
  • Have access to the teaching of leading theologians
  • Flexibility to study at a time and a pace that best suits your own needs
  • Learn as part of a rich and diverse online community

The platform that will deliver content and allow you to interact with faculty and students is BibleMesh. For every taught module this virtual learning environment provides video lectures, discussion forums, quizzes for self–assessment, digital copies of the textbook and the core primary text. You will be able to benefit from the Cerego app, an online tool for your desktop, tablet or mobile device that builds on the latest in cognitive science to help you learn faster and remember longer.

MA in Theology

This fully online postgraduate programme provides students with the opportunity to study theology by concentrating on some of the main topics in systematic theology. Delivered through our partners at BibleMesh this course enables students to see the role of Scripture in developing theological understanding and the manner in which ideas have developed amidst controversy

You will be taken to Our partners at BibleMesh to facilitate your application

Duration

12 months full-time or part-time equivalent of 4 years

Programme Fee (UK & EU)

£5,600 (UK & EU), £16,800 (International). Contact our partners at BibleMesh for scholarship information for this programme

Overview

  • 6 required modules and 1 dissertation
  • Programme delivered fully online
  • 1–on–1 academic tutor

Master of Arts in Theology awarded

Module 1

The doctrine of God

Theology is the study of God and all things in relation to God. In this module students reflect on the the divine attributes and what it means to speak of God as one in three persons. Special attention is given to Thomas Aquinas and the great British Reformed scholastic theologians of the seventeenth-century who produced the Westminster Confession of Faith

Module 2

Christology

Christology heeds the scriptural exhortation to 'fix our eyes on Jesus.' In this module the fifth century debates leading to the council of Chalcedon receive particular attention. Students will consider the work of Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria.

Module 3

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is 'the Lord, the giver of life.' This module provides students with the space to reflect on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Particular attention is given to the Holy Spirit's work in regeneration and the nature of God's gracious presence in his people is carefully examined with a careful reading of the work of Jonathan Edwards 

Module 4

Salvation

The theme of this module is union with Christ and all the benefits that flow from that union. Particular attention is given to the doctrine of justification by faith alone with students examining its scriptural basis and the work of prominent theologians such as Martin Luther.

Module 5

Ethics

How then should we live? What is the place of God's law? What does it mean to be sanctified? How should Christians speak into culture and the political arena? What is wisdom? The study of these great questions provides the basic outline for this module. Students will engage with the ethical thought of the Dutch Reformed tradition

Module 6

Eschatology

This module allows students to address questions about God's purpose in history, the intermediate state, and the last things. The importance of careful theological biblical exegesis and theological reflection help students address the greatest question of all - who is on the right side of history? Students will reflect on the significance of John Calvin's teaching on providence

Module 7

Dissertation

The feedback on your essays and other written work will have helped you to nurture your critical research and writing skills in preparation for the 6,000 -8,000 word capstone dissertation. In this module you will have freedom to write on an area of your own special interest in theology.

Schedule for full–time students

Spring Semester
Jan – April
Summer Semester
May – August
Autumn Semester
Sept – Jan

Tuition fees are subject to annual revision and are typically increased by approximately 4% per annum for programmes longer than one year. For part–time intermittent study, the schedule for the payment of fees is arranged by the College office.

The Faculty of Union Theological College will consider all applications from ministers and teachers in Christian churches (or those training for such service) for postgraduate faculty scholarships.

MA in Theology:

  • UK and EU
  • Per Module: £800
  • For Dissertation: £800
  • Programme Total: £5,600
  • International
  • Per Module: £2,400
  • For Dissertation: £2,400
  • Programme Total: £16,800

Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only.

Admissions Requirements

Please check you meet all the entry requirements for this programme before you submit an application. Application is made via our partners at BibleMesh.

  • This must include your name and date of birth exactly as they appear on your passport and your correspondence address during the application process

This should take the form of a document of one or two pages highlighting your academic achievements and any relevant experience.

  • Ideally an essay submitted for assessment in your most recent qualification
  • The piece should be around 2,000 words in length (excluding references and bibliography)

It will be used to assess your ability to engage in critical thinking and to construct and defend an argument.

(300–400 words) in which you provide a personal statement explaining your motivation for applying for this particular programme as either a full–time or part–time student

  • Ideally, at least one of which should be an academic reference
  • Professional (institutional or organisational) email addresses should be used whenever possible
  • In the ‘role’ field of the application form you should enter the referee’s position – that may be their job title (e.g. Director of Studies, Personal Tutor, or Head of Department) or their position relative to you (e.g. Line Manager or Minister)

Your references should outline your intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, and ability to engage in self–motivated study.

  • These must be verified official transcripts that provide your full academic history of courses taken and grades achieved (a degree certificate is not equivalent to a transcript)
  • If you are currently a student who has not yet completed your degree please provide an interim transcript of your degree progress and achievement to date (in this case we will consider your application on a conditional basis)

If these documents are not in English an official English translation must be supplied with full contact details either the professional translator, the institution that issued the transcript or the authorised notary.

Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of the degree programme. You must submit evidence that you meet the College’s English language requirement for your course, if:

  • your first language is not English, or
  • your first language is English but you are not a national of a majority English–speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) i.e.: 
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St. Lucia and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America
  • You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you have completed a qualification degree qualification in the UK of a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in:
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St. Lucia and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America

For further details please see https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/knowledge-of-english

  • One of the following documents to confirm your identity, name and date of birth:
  • A copy of the photo page of your valid passport (this is our preferred option)
  • A copy of a national identification card or driving licence

If you have changed your name you must supply evidence e.g. a marriage certificate

Upon submission of your application you will be supplied with details of how to pay a non–returnable application fee of $75.

Frequently Asked Questions

The MA is designed and kept under constant review by the Faculty of Union Theological College. Students on this programme are concurrently enrolled as BibleMesh Institute students and Union Theological College students. All BibleMesh Institute tutors are 'recognised teachers' at UTC. This partnership is designed to allow as many people as possible to study theology at United Kingdom Master's Level. The degree you will receive is from The Presbyterian Theological Faculty, Ireland.

As an alternative to traditional residential study, online learning offers flexibility and utilises the best in digital learning resources to provide immersive digital engagement with the learning and teaching.

Our online MA offers the same high standards of teaching assessment and award as its campus-based equivalents.

Your degree certificate will be identical to the degree certificates received by students who have completed their study on campus in Belfast.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has had a theological training institution in Belfast since 1853. Initially called Assembly’s College, it was later renamed Union Theological College by Act of Parliament. In 1881 the college was awarded a Royal Charter empowering it to grant its own degrees in theology. This authority resides in the theological professors of the college who together constitute the Presbyterian Theological Faculty, Ireland (PTFI). Union Theological College programmes are awarded by this body. The PTFI is recognised as a university under UK law and the work of the college is regulated by the independent body that maintains standards within UK higher education sector and by the Council for Training in Ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

UK and EU Per Module: £800 For Dissertation: £800 Programme Total: £5,600 International Per Module: £2,400 For Dissertation: £2,400 Programme Total: £16,800 Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only.

The BibleMesh platform will provide you with digital copies of each module’s core primary text and textbook. You will also have access to the e-book collection of Union College’s Gamble Library. Some other books may have to be purchased.

The taught modules in our Masters programme are weighted at 25 CATS points.

There are six compulsory taught core modules to the programme and a dissertation.

For the taught modules students can expect to watch a number of video lectures and engage in directed reading assignments. There will be online tests or quizzes, discussion forums, the Cerego learning app and written assignments. You will also have access to a number of books through the BibleMesh e-book reader and the e-books of the Gamble Library at Union.

The CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points system is recognised by Union, and most other UK Higher Education institutions, as a method of quantifying credit within academic programmes, functioning as something of a common currency. According to this system, one UK credit point equates to ten notional hours of study. For American students, please note that there is no exact correspondence between the UK and the US system. Credit hours are based on the time spent in class each week over a semester and our system is based on the total hours of study to be undertaken in a module or programme. Conversion between credit hours and UK credit points is not straightforward but, as a rough and inexact rule of thumb, for American students: 10 CATS credit points broadly are equivalent to 3 US credit hours; and 20 CATS credit points broadly are equivalent to 5 US credit hours. Credit points convert to European academic credits (ECTS) as follows: 10 CATS credit points are equal to 5 ECTS credits; and 20 CATS credit points are equal to 10 ECTS credits.

The full-time course lasts twelve months. The part-time course may be completed in a period of time between two to four years.

While you study with us, you will be well supported by the programme team with a wide variety of additional one-to-one support. Every student is assigned a personal tutor who will: Guide you through the matriculation process and the course schedule Help you become a confident, active member of the online learning community Help you with any concerns or problems that might affect your studies Students access materials, discussion forums and a range of learning tools via the Virtual Learning Environment. Our platform is designed to be easy to use and we incorporate familiarisation training into the programme induction. Tech support will be via BibleMesh. You will also be able to take advantage of digital library access to the e-books in Union’s Gamble Library. MA Students are also provided with a dissertation tutor to support them in the final three months of the presentation of their 6000 - 8000 word research project.

Please email our programme administrator at research@union.ac.uk who will be happy to try to help you.

Interested in this course?

If you require any further information or advice about this course, please get in touch.