A systematic and in-depth understanding of key theological and religious issues within Christianity, Islam, Indian Religions and Judaism, taught by a passionate and experienced subject team.
1 year full time
2 years part time
Number of credits:
One of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam, Indian Religions and Judaism as well as different aspects of Christian theology.
The course offers flexible teaching: the MA can be taken either full-time or part-time and most teaching takes place in the evening.
Use advanced research menthods and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.
Course and Module Details
As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how religions interact with each other and society. This MA Theology and Religious Studies creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam, Indian Religions and Judaism as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.
On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.
A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this, you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.
Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.
The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.
On offer are modules that will ground students in theories and methods of study in religious studies, theology, and biblical studies as well as specialised teaching in Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and different aspects of Christian theology, including theological perspectives from the global South. You can study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or systematic approaches to the relationship between theology and ecology.
Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.
Students on this course are normally in on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evening.
This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to pursue a career in education, faith-based organisations, religious ministry and chaplaincy, or social services; work in international aid, the charity sector, and community organisations. One of the most important, and marketable, skills that a graduate of this degree will gain is that of ‘religious literacy’, opening-up a wealth of opportunities in the education sector and beyond. This programme is also beneficial for students hoping to pursue further research in theology and religious studies at PhD level.
How to apply
You can apply now for any programme starting in Autumn 2021, January or February 2022 or September 2022.
All postgraduate taught applications can be made via our online application form.
- Check our application deadlines
- View our entry requirements for postgraduate programmes
- View our general entry criteria and application FAQs
If you need any help or advice with your application, or just want to ask us a question before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.
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Postgraduate application process FAQs
No, you can save and revisit your application form and can contact us directly at any time if you need advice or assistance.
If you are a prospective postgraduate student who has home fee status, then you can apply close to the start of the course of study. However, if you have international fee status and require a Tier 4 Visa, then you will normally need to apply much earlier. Please see our application deadlines for postgraduate study.
We encourage all students to apply as early as possible, as some programmes have limited numbers.
Yes, we offer a range of scholarships, alongside support on managing your finances while you are with us.
Yes, we have a wide range of high quality and competitively priced on-campus student residences. We are able to offer quiet rooms and can adjust for those with specific access needs.
Find out more on our accommodation pages.
Dr Simonetta Calderini
My research and teaching expertise is Islam in its variety, spirituality and historical developments. My publications include books on women and Islam during the Fatimid dynasty and on Muslim women as prayer leaders (imams).Read More
My research and teaching expertise is Islam in its variety, spirituality and historical developments. My publications include books on women and Islam during the Fatimid dynasty and on Muslim women as prayer leaders (imams). I can supervise dissertations on Islam and gender, religious authority, society and gender, Qur’anic exegesis, hadith studies, Shi ‘i theology and past and present encounters of Islam with other religions. I obtained my PhD in Islamic Studies from SOAS, University of London after studying Arabic and Middle Eastern civilizations at the Orientale, University of Naples in Italy and at the American University in Cairo. I have been teaching at Roehampton since 1995.
Dr Richard Burgess
I am the co-convenor of the MA Theology and Religious Studies Programme. I research and teach in the areas of global Pentecostalism, Christianity in Africa and the African diaspora, inter-religious relations, and religion and development.Read More
I am the co-convenor of the MA Theology and Religious Studies Programme. I research and teach in the areas of global Pentecostalism, Christianity in Africa and the African diaspora, inter-religious relations, and religion and development. I have published widely on Pentecostalism and African Christianity. My most recent book is titled Nigerian Pentecostalism and Development (2020). I gained my PhD from the University of Birmingham and lectured in Nigeria for many years. I joined Roehampton in 2013.
Rev Dr Martin Poulsom
I teach Christian theology, focussing in particular on the modern and contemporary eras, but also putting these into dialogue with previous periods in the church’s history in order to enrich our thought with the richness of the length and breadth of Christianity’s tradition.Read More
I teach Christian theology, focussing in particular on the modern and contemporary eras, but also putting these into dialogue with previous periods in the church’s history in order to enrich our thought with the richness of the length and breadth of Christianity’s tradition. My research focusses on the theology of creation, which has led me into academic engagement with the climate crisis and other contemporary issues. I obtained my DPhil from Oxford University, and a modified version of it was published in 2014 by Bloomsbury as The Dialectics of Creation. I have been at Roehampton since 2017.
Dr Karen O'Brien-Kop
I specialise in Hinduism and Buddhism, philosophy of mind, yoga and meditation, and decolonisation and religion. My research focuses on Sanskrit texts from the 2nd-5th centuries CE.Read More
I specialise in Hinduism and Buddhism, philosophy of mind, yoga and meditation, and decolonisation and religion. My research focuses on Sanskrit texts from the 2nd-5th centuries CE. I can supervise dissertations on Asian religion and philosophy; religion, race and decolonisation; theory and method in the study of religion; global philosophy of religion; religion and gender; and meditation and mental health. I gained my PhD from SOAS University of London.
Dr Ashley Cocksworth
I research and teach in the area of Christian theology. I have published on the theory and practice of Christian prayer, and specialise in modern theology (especially the theology of Karl Barth) and in Anglican theology.Read More
I research and teach in the area of Christian theology. I have published on the theory and practice of Christian prayer, and specialise in modern theology (especially the theology of Karl Barth) and in Anglican theology. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Cambridge for a thesis on Karl Barth’s theology of prayer (published with T&T Clark in 2015) after studying at the University of Edinburgh. I am currently working on a theology of the smile in engagement with developmental and social psychology, and an externally funded collaborative project exploring the experience of saying the creed among ‘older Christians’ in local Roehampton churches.
Dr R David Muir
I am a political scientist and theologian. I'm also Head of Whitelands College and a senior Lecturer at Roehampton.Read More
I am a political scientist and theologian. I'm also Head of Whitelands College and a senior Lecturer at Roehampton. My research interests include the intersection of religion and politics, Black Theology and Liberation Theology, Pentecostalism history and the experience of diaspora churches, African American social and political thought. I have extensive experience working with faith communities in the UK and spent over a decade working in the criminal justice system and as a Home Office adviser on citizenship, policing, and community cohesion. I am the UK convener for the Transatlantic Roundtable of Religion and Race.
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