Master in Theology Theology

Learning, teaching and assessment


Teaching and learning together

Our ultimate aim is not just to impart information but to work towards the transformation of students as they reflect with others on loving Christ more deeply in order to explain him simply. We pursue the enhancement of teaching and learning within the College by fostering:

• habits in the lecturer of reflective, self-critical intentionality and innovation
• an ethos in the classroom of directed, active and hospitable learning
• an ethos amongst the faculty of collegiality, teachability and servant leadership
• an ethos in the College of teachability, servant leadership and worship


Study hours and make up of study

Within Higher Education, it is generally understood that 1 credit = 10 hours of study, shared between class time, pre-class reading, private study and assessment.

This means that a 10 credit module = 100 hours of study. So for the MTheol, 480 credits = 4800 study hours over the course of the programme as a whole.

In-class learning involves lectures, seminars, discussions, worked examples and presentations. Out-of-class study involves reading, reflecting, researching, writing assignments, group projects and revision for exams. At BA and especially Master’s-level, it will also include work on a substantial dissertation package.


Learning, teaching and assessment

The College aims to provide a learning experience which is demanding and exhilarating, reflecting the highest academic standards as well as excellence in pedagogy. The College has been commended for its commitment to integrating the academic and practical aspects of training for ministry vocations. Additionally, it has been recognised that the College excels in teaching biblical languages and biblical studies. Students experience this through a rich and varied learning experience which encompasses lectures, seminars, language classes, field trips, placements and a range of formative and summative assessments. Through these assessments, the College aims to provide all students with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of Threshold Learning Outcomes (at module level) and Programme Learning Outcomes. Underlying all of the College’s programmes is a commitment both to information and to transformation, and a belief that the sub-disciplines within Theology are integrated within the framework provided by scripture, which can and does speak into every area of life. 

The first two years of the programme are in effect the DipHE Theology and aim to cover in outline the main sub-disciplines of theology: biblical studies, doctrine, history and practical ministry. Study is foundational in the first year, and then progresses to a deeper engagement in the second year.

The latter two years (third and fourth) bring the student to degree level and then on to Master’s level study. The third year builds on work in the first two years and involves integrative learning and a greater degree of thoughtful application. In-depth engagement with a topic and sustained reflective writing are required by means of the compulsory short dissertation, for both TPS and TCC students; additionally for students specialising in TCC, the dissertation will have an appropriate mission emphasis. In the fourth year, the student will study a selection of Master’s-level modules and can specialise to a greater depth. The fourth year dissertation package brings the student to a mature engagement with issues which have relevance for his or her own ministry, and requires independence in pursuing relevant lines of enquiry; again, for students specialising in TCC, this will have an appropriate mission emphasis. Across the third and fourth years, students will participate in the postgraduate research seminars, which will expose them to a broad range of ideas and help inculcate critical thinking skills.

The Assessment Board awards an MTheol to students who have completed and passed modules of which the combined value is at least 480 credits (including all of the compulsory modules). At least 120 of these credits must be at BA level (Level 6) and a further 120 must be at Master’s level (Level 7).

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The MTheol in Theology may be classified as Pass, Merit or Distinction:

  • A student will be awarded a Pass once they have attained the following grades or better in modules and dissertations worth 480 credits:
    - In the first two years, the pass grade is C, but the student must attain an overall average of B+ or better, over modules worth 240 credits, to be allowed to progress to the third year.
    - In the third year, the pass grade is 12 (on the undergraduate scale); however, to continue on into the fourth year, the student must attain an average of at least 8 on the undergraduate 15-point scale for their taught modules, plus a grade of 8 or better for their short dissertation.
    - In the fourth year, the pass grade is 12 on the postgraduate 15-point grading scale.
  • A student may be awarded a Pass with Merit once they have attained all of the above, and, in the third and fourth years, have attained a rounded average of 6.5 or better in the taught modules and dissertation(s), and grade(s) of 6 or better for the fourth year dissertation package (60 credits total)
  • A student may be awarded a Pass with Distinction once they have attained all of the above, and, in the third and fourth years, have attained a rounded average grade of 3.5 or better in the taught modules and dissertation(s), and grade(s) of 3 or better for the fourth year dissertation package (60 credits total).

A student registered for the MTheol whose circumstances change may decide to leave College before the end of the fourth year. MTheol students who proceed to the third year having completed the Oak Hill DipHE, or who are admitted directly into the third year with a DipHE equivalent, may exit at the end of the third year and be awarded a BA (Hons) Theology, on the basis of 360 accumulated credits, including all of the compulsory modules (in such cases, the normal BA (Hons) pass mark of 12 or better applies to each module and to the short dissertation rather than the average grade of 8 required to advance to the MTheol fourth year).

However, a ‘third year Direct Entry’ student who is admitted to the MTheol with a BA (Hons) or equivalent does not have this option of exiting with an Oak Hill BA (Hons) Theology. In this case, any credits gained in the third year may be used towards future courses under the national Credit Accumulation & Transfer Scheme (CATS).