Theology, Culture and Society MA

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  • Entry requirements
    The MA in Theology, Culture and Society is aimed at those interested in the interaction between religious belief and practice, and its social or cultural contexts. It is concerned to examine how religion and theology have been shaped by changing economic, cultural or political circumstances; and in turn, how religious belief and theological understanding help to shape wider social and cultural situations. It will be relevant to anyone interested in advanced enquiry into the ways in which religious and theological themes have found expression through media, creative arts and popular culture, as well as in more conventional manifestations of religious belief and practice.
  • Academic title
    Theology, Culture and Society MA
  • Course description
    Module details
    The core course, entitled "Introduction to the study of Theology, Culture and Society" will provide you with a grounding in many of the key issues, research methods and debates within the field. Further options, such as "Theology in the City", "Terror and Utopia" and "Readings in Theology, Culture and Society" offer an opportunity to specialise further in areas such as urbanization, globalization or popular culture. One option, "Theology and Practice" offers the opportunity to engage in a short placement of action-research.

    Progression and assessment
    Candidates take four taught courses and a dissertation.

    -Course unit I - Research training: 30 credits. Comprises of the School Research Training (15 credits) and our own core course-unit "Introduction to the Study of Theology, Culture and Society"(15 credits).
    -Optional taught course-unit I: 30 credits. This is taken from a broadly-based menu of options, including courses in areas such as liberation theologies, religion, media and culture, pastoral theology. These course-units normally are based on a normal pattern of 24 contact hours, consisting of both student-led and tutor-led discussion.
    -Optional taught course-unit II: 30 credits. A further option taken from the list in (2) above.
    -Taught course-unit III: 30 credits. One other course-unit, which might be another from the menus offered under (2) above, or a Directed Reading course, in which the student is free to pursue whatever avenue is of interest to him/her, by negotiation with a tutor and with the Postgraduate Programme Director. The usual pattern for a Directed Reading course is 12 hours of contact time, which may be individual or in a small group, or a mixture of the two.
    -A dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words: 60 credits. You will be assigned a personal supervisor with expertise in your chosen area of research.

    Career opportunities
    The primary focus of all of our postgraduate degrees is to give people research skills, whether for academic work or for another career. Postgraduate study in Religions and Theology gives you a high level qualification for a wide range of investigative tasks. Our masters degrees qualify you for research study at Manchester or at virtually any other high-level academic institution in the world. Many of our current MA students are preparing for PhD study .

    Many professions today require investigative skills. Some in the media spend time researching angles of events that relate to religions. Some in the health service investigate the experiences of various cultural groups in accessing services. Many in museums, libraries and other archives require the textual and historical research skills that our courses teach.  Other students take Manchester MAs to enhance their understanding of a particular religious tradition, either their own or that of others. The programmes in Biblical Studies and Theology, Culture and Society offer particular opportunities for continuing professional development for church ministers. All of our courses offer valuable further professional development for teachers of Religious Education. In applying for a job in any field, a Manchester postgraduate degree will mark you out as someone with high-level skills and a track-record of successful engagement with serious and complex issues.

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