The Master of Theology (MTheol) degree requires a minimum of one year's full-time or its equivalent part-time study. MTheol students may follow research interests in Church History, New Testament, Old Testament, Pastoral Theology, or Systematic Theology.
The admission requirements are either a BA(Hons) or BTheol(Hons) degree, or a PGDipArts or PGDipTheol, or equivalent. Applicants will usually be expected to have obtained First or Second Class Honours (or equivalent) at fourth-year level before proceeding to the thesis, though each application will be judged on its merits.
Candidates are required to treat a particular research topic comprehensively, demonstrating the comprehension of major issues involved in their topic, sustaining an argument at length and presenting a thesis according to the conventions and professional standards required for publication. The degree is awarded after the satisfactory completion of a thesis of approximately 40,000 words.
The degree prepares graduates for employment in education, local and national government agencies and counseling. It also enables students to gain the research experience and communication skills necessary for an advanced professional career in Theology or for further academic study at PhD level.
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Theology (MTheol)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
- Every applicant must either
- be a graduate, normally with qualifications requiring a total of at least four years of tertiary study, or
- have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
- In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme.
Structure of the Programme
- The programme of study shall consist of the preparation and submission of a thesis embodying the results of supervised research. In some cases, a candidate may also be required to take and pass approved papers, normally at 400-level, in addition to completing a thesis.
- The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) for the topic, the supervisor(s) and the proposed course of the investigation.
- A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
- The research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of study in the case of full-time candidates or not more than four years in the case of part-time candidates. A candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
Examination of the Thesis
- The Head of School or Head of Programme concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners who shall oversee the thesis examination.
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options as specified in clause (e) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without requiring amendments;
- be accepted subject to minor corrections being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction of the Convener of Examiners;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of submission.
- Amendments (regulation 4(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4 (e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either 'Pass' or 'Fail' (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
Level of Award of the Degree
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.