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COURSE OVERVIEW

Theology, Religion and Philosophy at Winchester allows you to enrich and deepen your knowledge and understanding across these subject areas, and to engage with cutting-edge debates in your chosen areas of study.

This course will enable you to reflect critically on theology, ethics, philosophy and the place of religion and faith within contemporary
culture. The modules, which reflect the research interests of our staff, enable you to systematically explore key themes and current debates in selected areas of focus. 

The course also enables you to develop advanced research skills. This will be most clearly developed through the Research Methods module, which will prepare you, under the direction of an expert supervisor, for the completion of your 15,000-word dissertation on an agreed topic.

You will have the option of specialising along a named pathway, with your dissertation directly focusing on the pathway’s subject specialism.

There are twelve pathways available:

  • MA Theology, Religion and Philosophy
  • MA Theology, Religion and Philosophy (Death Studies)
  • MA Theology, Religion and Philosophy (Orthodox Studies)
  • MA Philosophy and Religion
  • MA Philosophy and Religion (Death Studies)
  • MA Philosophy and Religion (Orthodox Studies)
  • MA Theology and Religion
  • MA Theology and Religion (Death Studies)
  • MA Theology and Religion (Orthodox Studies)
  • MA Theology and Philosophy
  • MA Theology and Philosophy (Orthodox Studies)
  • MA Theology and Philosophy (Death Studies)

Careers

You can work in any field in which researching, analysing and writing research-based reports are core skills. If you are, or wish to be, a teacher, academic or member of the clergy, you will find the degree an invaluable stepping stone to career advancement.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Learning and teaching

Start date: September
Teaching takes place: Weekdays

Location

Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures section.

Entry requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in Theology, Religion and Philosophy or relevant subject. 

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 5.5 in academic writing) or equivalent

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0)1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Applications need to be submitted by 31 May 2019. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information see our How to Apply section.

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our open evenings.

Year 1 (Level 7)

Modules Credits

Research methods 30

This module is designed to help students reflect on the nature of their chosen discipline(s), to identify particular methods and skills relevant to their disciple from a wide range of methods and skills, and to develop those skills and to begin their implementation in a significant and agreed topic of research. 

Dissertation 60

In conversation with a member of academic staff, and during the course of the Research Methods module, students select an appropriate area of investigation. In 15-20,000 words, students must present the result of a research project in which they have engaged with their chosen topic using critical methodologies, evidence and argument. The topic chosen must be one which relates to the subject matter of their Programme and which permits the demonstration of independent research, study and reflection. The dissertation will normally be based on the research proposal developed during the Research Methods module

Individual Study Project 30

This module gives students the opportunity to develop a programme of individual study on an area of specialist interest within the fields of theology, religion, philosophy, Orthodox studies and/or death studies, for which supervisory expertise is available within the Department. In collaboration with a member of staff whose expertise is in the chosen area of study, the student will embark on a programme of guided reading, leading to the production of a research plan and a substantial research project in the form of an essay. The students will also meet collectively a few times, to discuss their work at the initial, the intermediate, and the final stage. In situations in which only one student is taking this module, these collective meetings will be replaced by one to one meetings with individual supervisors.

Christian Art and Symbolism 30

Visual language has always been an essential dimension of the Christian life. The basic premise here is that Christian art is a source as well as a product of theological thought, and that symbolism, architecture, iconography and liturgy are as important to the Christian tradition as textual sources. The module will explore the history, the theological background, and the interpretation of the expressions of Christian thought in all these areas, in the East and the West. The historical contexts and the discourses surrounding iconoclasm will be of particular interest. Students will be introduced to primary sources and texts that are important for our understanding of traditional Christian art, as well as to modern expressions of visual Christianity. This module does not try to approach art from a historical or artistic point of view; instead it will explore its theology and its semiotics at a more advanced level.

Being Human: Theological Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges 30

This module explores how Christian traditions of faith and thought might understand what it is to be human, particularly in the context of contemporary intellectual, technological or ethical perspectives that may raise questions for such Christian accounts. The module may explore areas such as: the sources and methods of Christian theological anthropology and ethics; scientific perspectives on human nature, and their theological and ethical significance; ethical issues raised by biomedical research; theological and ethical perspectives on the borders between humans and their 'others', such as animals and machines.

Dazzling Darkness: Mysticism and Philosophy 30

This module will explore the relationship between mystical theology (primarily within the Christian tradition, but including discussion of Islamic and Jewish mystical traditions) and contemporary philosophy via an exploration of mystical texts and contemporary philosophical works which engage with these texts. Via an examination of mystical texts in their original context and in contemporary philosophical debates, students will explore the role of mystical theology in shaping contemporary philosophy, and consider the ways in which contemporary philosophical texts take up and transform theological concept.

Controversies in Philosophy 30

This module will dedicate each semester to a different major concept or topic that has been addressed by the philosophical tradition. It will focus on how that concept or topic has been understood in two opposed thinkers who were contemporaries of each other and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions. For example, in one semester we might look at the clash over the negative or positive account of desire in the works of Lacan and Deleuze; in the other semester, the topic might be the disagreement over the nature of ethics found in Levinas and Badiou. Students will be expected to become familiar with these debates and thinkers, along with surrounding material, in order to produce critical work defending a position on the relevant controversy.

Religion and Material Culture 30

This module will explore the visual and material representations of a range of religious and spiritual traditions. There will be an underpinning focus on theory, examining the symbolic, expressive, functional, political as well as ritualised aspects of visual and material culture. Students will also be provided with an overview of the methods typically employed in the study of visual and material culture. The examination of the visual and material dimensions of religious/spiritual traditions will cover a wide spectrum, ranging for example from tomb sculptures to devotional iconography, from sacred architecture to religious dress. Aspects of religion as they commonly appear in popular culture, through such media as, for instance, films, television serials, works of art, children’s toys, and cartoons, will also be explored. Using a number of context-specific examples from diverse religions, tutors will enable students to develop a focused approach to particular case studies of their choice, deploying appropriate theories and methods for an in-depth analytical and critical exploration of these cases.

Death, Religion and Society 30

This module will explore death, dying and bereavement in the main world religions. After an initial exploration of relevant theory, it will examine how a range of traditions (including, for instance, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) deal with mortality, the after-life, and the pastoral care of the dying and bereaved. The module will explore sacred texts and mythic stories, ritual practice, and mourning culture, all of which shape how people understand the universal life experience of death and its aftermath. Issues such as dealing religiously with socially good and bad deaths, and the adjustment made to traditional rituals for adherents living and dying in diaspora, will be examined, alongside spiritual care for bereaved adults and children. This module is particularly relevant to people in professions where death, dying, and bereavement are experienced as part of employment.

Optional Credits

Research methods 30

This module is designed to help students reflect on the nature of their chosen discipline(s), to identify particular methods and skills relevant to their disciple from a wide range of methods and skills, and to develop those skills and to begin their implementation in a significant and agreed topic of research. 

Dissertation 60

In conversation with a member of academic staff, and during the course of the Research Methods module, students select an appropriate area of investigation. In 15-20,000 words, students must present the result of a research project in which they have engaged with their chosen topic using critical methodologies, evidence and argument. The topic chosen must be one which relates to the subject matter of their Programme and which permits the demonstration of independent research, study and reflection. The dissertation will normally be based on the research proposal developed during the Research Methods module

Individual Study Project 30

This module gives students the opportunity to develop a programme of individual study on an area of specialist interest within the fields of theology, religion, philosophy, Orthodox studies and/or death studies, for which supervisory expertise is available within the Department. In collaboration with a member of staff whose expertise is in the chosen area of study, the student will embark on a programme of guided reading, leading to the production of a research plan and a substantial research project in the form of an essay. The students will also meet collectively a few times, to discuss their work at the initial, the intermediate, and the final stage. In situations in which only one student is taking this module, these collective meetings will be replaced by one to one meetings with individual supervisors.

Christian Art and Symbolism 30

Visual language has always been an essential dimension of the Christian life. The basic premise here is that Christian art is a source as well as a product of theological thought, and that symbolism, architecture, iconography and liturgy are as important to the Christian tradition as textual sources. The module will explore the history, the theological background, and the interpretation of the expressions of Christian thought in all these areas, in the East and the West. The historical contexts and the discourses surrounding iconoclasm will be of particular interest. Students will be introduced to primary sources and texts that are important for our understanding of traditional Christian art, as well as to modern expressions of visual Christianity. This module does not try to approach art from a historical or artistic point of view; instead it will explore its theology and its semiotics at a more advanced level.

Being Human: Theological Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges 30

This module explores how Christian traditions of faith and thought might understand what it is to be human, particularly in the context of contemporary intellectual, technological or ethical perspectives that may raise questions for such Christian accounts. The module may explore areas such as: the sources and methods of Christian theological anthropology and ethics; scientific perspectives on human nature, and their theological and ethical significance; ethical issues raised by biomedical research; theological and ethical perspectives on the borders between humans and their 'others', such as animals and machines.

Dazzling Darkness: Mysticism and Philosophy 30

This module will explore the relationship between mystical theology (primarily within the Christian tradition, but including discussion of Islamic and Jewish mystical traditions) and contemporary philosophy via an exploration of mystical texts and contemporary philosophical works which engage with these texts. Via an examination of mystical texts in their original context and in contemporary philosophical debates, students will explore the role of mystical theology in shaping contemporary philosophy, and consider the ways in which contemporary philosophical texts take up and transform theological concept.

Controversies in Philosophy 30

This module will dedicate each semester to a different major concept or topic that has been addressed by the philosophical tradition. It will focus on how that concept or topic has been understood in two opposed thinkers who were contemporaries of each other and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions. For example, in one semester we might look at the clash over the negative or positive account of desire in the works of Lacan and Deleuze; in the other semester, the topic might be the disagreement over the nature of ethics found in Levinas and Badiou. Students will be expected to become familiar with these debates and thinkers, along with surrounding material, in order to produce critical work defending a position on the relevant controversy.

Religion and Material Culture 30

This module will explore the visual and material representations of a range of religious and spiritual traditions. There will be an underpinning focus on theory, examining the symbolic, expressive, functional, political as well as ritualised aspects of visual and material culture. Students will also be provided with an overview of the methods typically employed in the study of visual and material culture. The examination of the visual and material dimensions of religious/spiritual traditions will cover a wide spectrum, ranging for example from tomb sculptures to devotional iconography, from sacred architecture to religious dress. Aspects of religion as they commonly appear in popular culture, through such media as, for instance, films, television serials, works of art, children’s toys, and cartoons, will also be explored. Using a number of context-specific examples from diverse religions, tutors will enable students to develop a focused approach to particular case studies of their choice, deploying appropriate theories and methods for an in-depth analytical and critical exploration of these cases.

Death, Religion and Society 30

This module will explore death, dying and bereavement in the main world religions. After an initial exploration of relevant theory, it will examine how a range of traditions (including, for instance, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) deal with mortality, the after-life, and the pastoral care of the dying and bereaved. The module will explore sacred texts and mythic stories, ritual practice, and mourning culture, all of which shape how people understand the universal life experience of death and its aftermath. Issues such as dealing religiously with socially good and bad deaths, and the adjustment made to traditional rituals for adherents living and dying in diaspora, will be examined, alongside spiritual care for bereaved adults and children. This module is particularly relevant to people in professions where death, dying, and bereavement are experienced as part of employment.

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

2019 Course Tuition Fees*

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £6,500
Part-time entry | £3,250 p/a

Total Cost | £6,500

International Students

Full-time entry | £13,300
Part-time entry | £6,650 p/a

Total Cost | £13,300

*2019 fees are subject to Board approval.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

Mandatory

Printing and Binding

We are proud to offer free printing for all students to ensure that printing costs are not a potential financial barrier to student success. The University of Winchester and Winchester Student Union are champions of sustainability and therefore ask that all students consider the environment and print fairly. Students may be required to pay for the costs of dissertation binding. Indicative cost is £1.50-£3.

Key course details

Duration
1 year full-time, 2-3 years part-time
Typical offer
Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in Theology, Religion and Philosophy or relevant subject
Location
On campus, Winchester