Subject Benchmark Statements for 'Theology and Religious Studies' (drawn up with reference to benchmark but with level-related adjustment)
Theology & Religious Studies
Tuesday 12th January 2016
The aims of the programme are:
To offer studies in Youth Work linked to Christian ministry and applied theology.
To offer training in skills, knowledge and awareness in the increasingly needed and professionalised area of work with young people.
To offer access to programmes leading to higher education and professional qualification.
To employ and encourage sound adult educational processes which express values commensurate with the Christian tradition.
Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts of the disciplines of the programme and an ability to evaluate and interpret them. (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Demonstrate the use of theological reflection and other appropriate methods for their studies such as, philosophical, historical, phenomenological and empirical; and demonstrate the exercise of an open and questioning approach to familiar and new material. (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Communication (TH4103, TH4105)
Application of Number Information Literacy and Technology (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Improving own learning and performance (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Working with others (TH4103)
Problem solving (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Communicate accurately and demonstrate appropriate use of primary and secondary sources, with due acknowledgement of sources, within a structured argument. (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Use information technology to identify and retrieve material and support presentations. (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
Participate in facilitated group discussions and exercises. (TH4103; TH4105)
Apply learning to personal and/or ministerial practice. (TH4103; TH4104; TH4105)
The programme provides an introduction in foundations for Christian Youth Work and seeks to widen access and participation to students in the study of the discipline.
Students study three compulsory modules at Level 4, each worth 20 credits:
TH4103: Spirituality, Faith Development and Worship in youth work
TH4104: Context, Leadership and Relationships in youth work
TH4105: Key Issues
These modules are taught in a reverse order sequence (starting with TH4105), with the content and methodology of each building on the previous modules. Knowledge and understanding of Key Issues facing adolescence and youth work practice from TH4105 are built upon in TH4104 in understanding the context they are working in, ways to engage young people and personal and theological reflection on issues of leadership and practice. The learning from the two modules are combined in TH4103, where the students use their knowledge of faith development and wider issues to create a worship event for young people. Students are constantly asked to reflect on their practice and theologically through out the modules.
Level 4 : 60 credits entitles the student to a Church Universities' Certificate
The programme is open access; anyone who would benefit from the study at undergraduate level 4 may join the programme. This is assessed at interview. There are no formal entry requirements. Students must have a relevant DBS Check and have been safely recruited by their organisation.
The design, structure and content of this programme have been informed by the QAA Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement published in 2000 and revised in 2007 and 2014. This has been applied as appropriate to a programme leading to a level 4 award only.
In keeping with the benchmark statements on subject knowledge and skills (3.1), the core subject area of Christian youth work is studied in wider contexts e.g. key issues in adolescence (TH4105) and Christian worship (TH4103). This includes an exploration of Christian Leadership (both Christological and Theological; TH4104), the history and liturgy of Christian worship and current practice (TH4103). Data is explored critically through mission in Context (TH4104), faith and spiritual development (TH4103) and Historical youth work (TH4105).
Consideration of ethics and values, in keeping with the benchmark statements, is inherent through out the course, highlighted through reflection on anti-oppressive practice and equality of opportunity (TH4105) and the workers roles in these as a Christian Youth Worker.
Developing the Generic skills set out in the benchmark statements (3.4), such as teamwork (TH4103), writing with clarity, presentation skills and self-discipline and direction can be identified through all modules. Media literacy is developed in the first set assessments (TH4105) and developed through the course culminating as part of the presentation at the end of the course (TH4103). Group and individual presentations, reflection on practice, and theological reflection develop the students' capacity of self awareness and helps them engage with the diversity of others (benchmark 5.6).
The programme is designed to create critical analysis, self-reflection and the knowledge of the complexity of Christian belief, church traditions (TH4104) and the impact on young people and the worker's context. Delivering benchmark statement 3.2 students reflect on their own beliefs and the impact they have on themselves and others, engaging with the complexity of different world views (through group work and teaching) and the sensitivity that religious language brings in modern culture. Students are encouraged to reflect on their practice as either volunteers or employees and to take on further study or use their religious study to improve their practice (benchmark 3.5).
The program is designed to help students demonstrate a capacity to apply formal learning to concrete social and vocational contexts (5.5) especially, but not limited to, Christian youth work and in the wider Church settings. Students undertake independent or self-directed study or learning (including time management) (5.6), within every module and students are expected to show evidence of this through assignment proposal forms and assignments.
Learning is predominantly tutor-designed and guided. The student learning experience is supported by class-delivered group work, and by tutorial-based and fieldwork activities. A range of learning and teaching methods are used: lectures, seminars, workshops, group-work activities, individual and group-centred projects, tutorials, tutor-guided private study; supported e-learning; group theological reflection. The majority of the sessions are delivered during three weekend residentials which offer the opportunity of peer to peer support and learning between sessions.
Key methodologies are experiential learning and a method of doing theology that begins with experience. By developing skills in basic theological reflection, students will be able to begin to evaluate experience and learn from it – a key skill for effective ministry.
Students' learning is further supported by the provision of a book box including resources pertaining to the programme that are available at the site of teaching. Students are also inducted into using the university's internal electronic resources such as Portal and e-books.
As with all collaborative partnerships in TRS, tutors on the programme engage in an annual review with the link tutor and participate in peer observations of teaching as a part of their personal professional development.
Students are inducted into different forms of assessment at level 4 in a range which responds to the different learning preferences of students, prepares them for the standard forms of graduate assessment, and offers some opportunities for creative and applied forms of assessment.
At level 4, students are given formative experiences within the module or programme for any type of summative assessment they will encounter at that level.
Assignment proposal forms are used for all essays and for some other forms of assessment. These are used in initial negotiation of topic and resources, for title agreement, and for supervising the development of the analysis and argument.
Methods of assessment include: essays, individual and group presentation and design, designing and evaluation of a worship event for young people, and the development of a programme pack
Successful students will be able to:
evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to youth work in a Christian context;
communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments;
undertake further training and develop new skills of ministry within a structured and managed environment;
and will have:
qualities and transferable skills necessary for youth work at a variety of levels (depending on the person accessing the course) requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.
This programme flags the department's commitment to widening access in that there are no previous academic qualifications required for entry.
Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity. Pastoral and ministerial modules and projects may additionally address issues of age and disabilities. There are no confessional requirements for entry to or success in the programme.
The TRS department actively and successfully addresses the University priorities regarding admissions, widening access and participation, equal opportunities and AP(E)L; and it offers individual academic support to all its students.
This programme is delivered by the Diocese of Chester working in association with the Diocese of Manchester and Diocese of Blackburn, through a residential model, and termly tutorials.
Back - to previous page Print - launches the print options panel