University of Chester

Programme Specification
Theology in Scriptural Context MTh
2017 - 2018

Master of Theology

Theology in Scriptural Context

Theology in Scriptural Context (UST)

University of Chester

Union School of Theology

Union School of Theology, Bridgend, and distance-learning students in 'learning communities'.

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Distance,

1 year full-time; 3 years part-time

6 Years

Biannual - January - August




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology & Religious Studies 


Theology and Religious Studies

Wednesday 17th February 2016

The Master of Theology programme aims to provide students with a broad-based programme of studies incorporating modules that reflect theoretical understanding, as well as modules that are more vocationally orientated.

The programme has been designed with the needs, in particular, of those who aspire to, or are already engaged in Christian ministry, by providing them with knowledge, understanding and skills at level 7. The combination of modules and the programme as a whole is delivered against the broader background of the values of Union School of Theology.  

The specific educational aims of the programme are:

  • to enable students to have a systematic knowledge and understanding of a variety of disciplines within theology.
  • to reflect critically upon aspects of theology and practice from the perspective of a commitment to Scripture, common to Evangelical and Reformed traditions.
  • to enable students to apply their knowledge and understanding in various ministry contexts.
  • to equip students for leadership roles and key positions in the church. 

By the end of this programme, students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate a systematic knowledge and critical understanding of subject matter, by making use of a variety of sources of knowledge/evidence which is either at, or informed by, the forefront of their discipline. (TH7823; TH7824; TH7826; TH7828). 
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of methodologies, techniques, practices and research methods relevant to their studies (e.g. TH7830; TH7807; TH7826).
  • integrate information and insights from a variety of sources, with a view to identifying issues and problems as well as drawing conclusions and proposing solutions (e.g. TH7802; TH7826; TH828).

By the end of the programme, students should be able to:

  • critically evaluate research which is at the forefront of the discipline as well as methodologies used in a given subject area (e.g. TH7804; TH7806; TH7826).
  • demonstrate the ability to analyse information, texts and methods (e.g. TH7802; TH7804; TH7813; TH7814).
  • think critically and to undertake self-critical reflection (e.g. TH7804; TH7826; TH7827).
  • deal with complex issues, demonstrating appropriate analysis (e.g. TH7804; TH7809; TH7825; TH7826).

By the end of the programme, students should be able to: 

  • apply their knowledge and understanding to a variety of contexts (e.g. TH7802; TH7804; TH7806; TH7817; TH7827).
  • improve their own learning and performance and in particular to develop new skills appropriate to a professional context (e.g. TH7804; TH7825).

By the end of the programme, students should be able to:

  • communicate clearly and accurately in a variety of formats, observing appropriate conventions. In the case of written work this will include accuracy in spelling and grammar (e.g. TH7812; TH7818; TH7821; TH7822; TH7830).
  • make competent use of numerical skills, where appropriate, in aspects of research. (TH7818; TH7830).
  • use information technology and computer skills for data capture, identifying and retrieving material and supporting research and presentations. (TH7818; TH7830).

The programme consists of two parts.

Part One consists of taught modules at Level 7. All modules are worth 20 credits.

There is one compulsory module in Part One: TH7830 Research Methods.

(Modules TH7821 Research Methods(1) and TH7822 Research Methods(2) are legacy modules, each worth 10 credits, and are not available from 2016/17, except for existing students.)

It is necessary to complete 120 credits in order to progress to the second part.

Part Two consists of a 60 credit dissertation at Level 7 which is compulsory.

Pathways through the programme can be diverse, but the following are typical examples:

  • One year full time;
  • Two years part time study of Part One, followed by one year of study at Part Two;
  • Three years part time study of Part One, followed by one year of study at Part Two. 

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH7802 7 The Doctrine of Scripture 20 Optional
TH7804 7 The Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity 20 N/A
TH7806 7 Creation and Ecology 20 N/A
TH7807 7 Aspects of Modern Mission 20 N/A
TH7809 7 Pastoral Response to Trauma 20 N/A
TH7812 7 Biblical Exegesis: English Text 20 N/A
TH7813 7 Biblical Exegesis: Greek Text 20 Optional
TH7814 7 Biblical Exegesis: Hebrew Text 20 Optional
TH7817 7 Popular Culture and the Christian Worldview 20 N/A
TH7818 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
TH7821 7 Research Methods(1) 10 N/A
TH7822 7 Research Methods(2) 10 Optional
TH7823 7 Biblical Theology 20 N/A
TH7824 7 Reformed Spirituality 20 N/A
TH7825 7 The Theology of the Early Church Fathers 20 Optional
TH7826 7 The History and Theology of Evangelicalism 20 Optional
TH7827 7 The Spiritual Formation of the Leader 20 Optional
TH7828 7 Contemporary Church Issues for Evangelicalism 20 Optional
TH7830 7 Research Methods 20 Comp

  • 60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate
  • 120 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Diploma
  • 180 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Masters degree (MTh)



Normally, applicants should have an upper second class honours degree in a discipline relevant to the subject area.  Applicants may also be admitted who have achieved an aggregate of 50% in the UST's Graduate Diploma in Theology.  Alternatively, admission on the basis of experience in a responsible role relevant to the programme may be permitted, if the applicant is deemed capable of meeting the demands of the programme.  This experience must be of at least two years' duration and should normally have been in a full-time position. 

For applicants where English is not the majority language of their home country an IELTS score of 7.0 (or recognised equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.5 in any category. IELTS scores will only be accepted within two years of the test result. Exemptions from English language requirements are normally only granted to those who have either been resident in the UK for a long period of time or who have obtained their academic entry qualifications through the medium of English from a recognised institution in a majority English speaking country.

The admission process requires applicants to submit an application form supported by at least two references. All applicants are interviewed, either in person or using telephone or VOIP.  In the case of applicants applying for entry on the grounds of experience, other appropriate methods may be used in addition.

This programme specification reflects the benchmark standards set out in Appendix A, which specifically relates to Masters degrees, of the latest revision (2014) of the Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement.

The programme equips students with an "expanded range of research and study tools" (A4.3) by means of the compulsory module TH7830 Research Methods. In this module students learn the research skills needed to engage in advanced independent research. In both TH7830 Research Methods and the dissertation module (TH7818) students cultivate appropriate knowledge of research methods and ethical research (A4.2, A6.1). Across all modules students are required to demonstrate an advanced ability to use primary and secondary sources. This is seen for example, in modules TH7802 The Doctrine of Scripture; TH7804 The Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity; TH7825 The Theology of the Early Church Fathers. Independence and originality of research is encouraged as students design their own projects and form their own – sometimes original – conclusions. The dissertation (TH7818) allows students to expand their skills in self-directed learning, and to show an advanced ability to source material, think independently, and critically engage with and reflect upon a key area within the study of religion.

The two parts of the programme are supported by a range of learning and teaching methods.

Learning and teaching methods used in the Part One modules include lectures, seminars, workshops, group work and individual work. Examples of individual work would include the writing of essays.  Learning for modules is supported by a VLE (MOODLE).

In Part Two, learning is more self-directed than is the case in Part One, given that Part Two requires the preparation of a dissertation. The learning in Part Two is supported by the dissertation supervisor.

A range of assessment methods is adopted in the programme.

In the case of Part One modules, in most cases, assessment is conducted by a single piece of written work of 5,000 words. Where this method has been adopted, this has been deemed to be an appropriate vehicle for testing the learning outcomes.

Particular examples of assessment patterns which differ from the standard 5,000 word composition are the following:

TH7813 Biblical Exegesis: Greek Text - A 3,000 word exegetical essay and a 2 hour written examination.

TH7814 Biblical Exegesis: Hebrew Text - A 2,500 word essay and a 2½ hour written examination. 

TH7817 Popular Culture and the Christian Worldview - Two case studies; one of 3,000 words, the other 2,000 words.   

TH7821 Research Methods (1). In this case, two pieces of work (1,250 words each) are produced related to academic writing tasks, namely, an essay and an encyclopaedia article.

TH7822 Research Methods (2). In this case, two pieces of work (1,250 words each) are produced related to academic writing and research tasks, namely, a book review or an essay and a dissertation proposal.

TH7830 Research Methods. In this module a 2,500 word essay is produced, as well as 2,500 word dissertation proposal essay.  

In Part Two a dissertation of 15,000 words is produced.

Formative assessment is undertaken in every module. Generally this will take place in the context of student contribution to seminars.

The holder of the award will be:

  • able to demonstrate extensive academic knowledge and understanding of particular theological and scriptural issues.
  • able to apply theoretical learning and understanding to contemporary theological debates and practical contexts.
  • equipped to develop strategies for further academic research in theological and related areas.

UST's equality and diversity policy has been drawn up in the light of the Employment Equality, Religion and Belief Regulations, 2003 as well as the Equality Act 2010.

UST is committed to equality in employment practice, policies, procedures and in admission to and the provision of courses and services to students, staff and visitors.

UST will seek to ensure that no one receives less favourable treatment or is harassed, bullied or victimised because of a protected characteristic (as defined by the Equality Act 2010), namely: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex or sexual orientations. This is subject to the exceptions in respect of employment and further and higher education which the Equality Act provides in respect of an institution such as UNION, having regard to its religious ethos and other relevant institutional characteristics. UST will seek to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff and students.

UST is committed to the teaching of the Bible that each person is made in the image of God and is of equal value and worth in God's sight.

UST provides an environment where staff and students from different cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds, both within Wales, the UK and overseas bring a rich and valuable diversity to the UST community.

UST is committed to ensuring that the following practices are avoided:

  • Direct Discrimination, which occurs when someone is treated less favourably than others for unlawful reasons.
  • Indirect discrimination, which occurs when a policy, practice or procedure that applies to everyone might disadvantage a particular group of people.
  • Harassment, which is conduct that is unwanted and violates a person's dignity or creates an environment which is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.
  • Victimisation, which happens when someone is treated less favourably or discriminated against because they have pursued, or intend to pursue their rights in relation to alleged discrimination.
  • Bullying, which occurs when someone tries to intimidate someone else. It includes abuse, physical or verbal violence, humiliation and undermining someone's confidence.

All staff and students are required to:

  • Support any measures introduced to ensure equal opportunity
  • Report any suspected acts or practices that are discriminatory
  • Not attempt to induce or induce others to practice discrimination which is unlawful
  • Not victimise anyone who reports or provides evidence of discrimination
  • Not intimidate, harass or abuse other people
  • Seek appropriate advice when equality issues arise.

Any alleged acts which breach UST's policy will be fully investigated, and if proven may be treated as gross misconduct. If anyone is victimised as a result of making a complaint, disciplinary action will be taken.

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