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Master of Studies in Theology

Candidates for the M.St. in Theology are required to follow a course of instruction and directed research for three terms and to present themselves for examination in one of seven subjects

  • I. Old Testament

  • II. New Testament

  • III. Christian Doctrine, specialising in one of two fields:

    • History of Doctrine: Patristic Theology (c. AD 100-787)

    • Modern Theology (post-1789)

  • IV. Ecclesiastical History, specialising in one of five historical periods:

    • AD 200-600

    • AD 400-1100

    • AD 1000-1500

    • AD 1400-1800

    • AD 1800-the present

  • V. Christian Ethics

  • VI. Science & Religion

  • VII. Biblical Interpretation

The examination consists of three elements:

  • A Two essays of not more than 5,000 words each to be submitted for examination by Friday of Week 0 of Trinity Term.

    B A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words. The dissertation must be submitted for examination by Friday of Week 8 of Trinity Term.

    C A written examination or take-home paper as specified for each stream in the course handbook. 

    The written examination takes place in Trinity Term.

 All submitted work must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform.

Each candidate should be prepared to present themselves for an oral (viva voce) examination. This may include discussion of both the written examination papers and pre-submitted work. Please refer to the PGT Conventions for more information on viva voce examinations. 

Within this general pattern, particular requirements pertain to certain subjects, as indicated below.


    A and B (essays and dissertation) as above.

    C (the written examination) is on prescribed Old Testament Texts in Hebrew.


    A and B (essays and dissertation) as above.

    C (the written examination) is on prescribed New Testament Texts in Greek.


    A and B (essays and dissertation): All work must fall within one of the two specialised fields listed above under Christian Doctrine.

    C (the written examination) takes particular forms for the different fields. In the History of Doctrine specialisms, the examination includes passages for translation and comment from prescribed texts: Greek or Latin texts in the case of Patristic Theology. Essays will be set on the prescribed texts and general topics within the same period. In the Modern Doctrine field, the examination will be on Methods & Styles in Theology.


    A and B (essays and dissertation): Students may choose to write one of their essays on a topic which falls outside their primary period of study, provided that they obtain the prior written permission of their supervisor and the course coordinator.

    C Nature and Practice of Ecclesiastical History: submission of two take-home papers of 3,000 – 5,000 words each, to be completed over a two‐week period following the release of essay questions.


    A and B (essays and dissertation): The topic of one essay must be one or more select texts in Christian Ethics, which may include classic expressions of diverse Christian traditions, the works of major theologians, or texts on a chosen ethical theme; the topic of the other essay must be a practical issue—whether sexual, medical, economic, or political—in terms of Christian ethics; the topic of the dissertation must fall within Christian Ethics.

    C (the written examination) is on Christian Moral Concepts & Methodology: Contemporary & Historical Discussions.


    A and B (essays and dissertation) as above. In proposing titles for essays and the dissertation, candidates should explain in which pieces of work they will demonstrate competence in (a) exploring a historical debate in which scientific and religious issues are involved; (b) exploring a philosophical debate with a bearing on the discussion of science and religion; (c) analysing a contemporary issue on the interface between science and religion.

    C (the written examination) is on topics in Science and Religion.


    A and B (essays and dissertation): All work must fall within one period in the history of biblical study. The period is selected by the student in consultation with his or her supervisor.

    C (the written examination) is on the History & Principles of Biblical Study with special reference to a selected period. The period is the same one as that on which the student has worked for the essays and dissertation; where there is more than one candidate in the examination, each will be able to answer on the period which he or she has studied.