Christian Theology (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time / 2 years part-time


Course Overview

The M.Phil. in Christian Theology enables participants to gain an in-depth knowledge of core issues in contemporary Christian theology. Whether your background is as a graduate in theology or other related disciplines, the course offers a structured programme of study at an advanced level.

Students are introduced to historical scholarship and to rigorous contemporary theological investigation. A written dissertation is a key part of the course. This enables participants to engage in advanced study of a particular topic of interest in the field. In the process of writing, participants are offered one-to-one academic supervision.

Scholarships are available for both the M.Phil. in Christian Theology and for postgraduate research degrees. See details of scholarship here: Scholarships - The Loyola Institute - Trinity College Dublin (

Is This Course For Me?

For graduates in theology (or other related disciplines), this M.Phil. offers study at an advanced level.

For those who have an interest in theological questions, this degree will help them become better informed and more articulate in Christian theology.

For chaplains, pastoral workers, and others already engaged in Church ministry, this Masters will serve as an ideal opportunity for further in-depth reading, writing and study of the core disciplines of theology, in a way that furthers professional development.

While the M.Phil. is designed to be complete in itself, it can serve as preparation for those wishing to proceed to further research in the field.

Career Opportunities

For teachers of religious education, this course provides an excellent opportunity to explore theological issues at a deeper level, so benefiting them and their students. While the M.Phil. is designed to be complete in itself, it can serve as preparation for those waiting to proceed to further reserach in the field. Students will learn research skills, as well as analytic, written, and verbal communication skills that are highly valued and effective in a variety of careers.

Course Structure

The course is delivered full-time over one year or part-time over two years. The Christian Theology course can also be done following a three-year framework route, from P.Grad.Cert. to P.Grad.Dip. to M.Phil.

In Year 1, at Postgraduate Certificate level, students complete three modules (two core modules and one optional module) to develop a basic understanding of the core issues in contemporary Christian theology (30 ECTS). Students may exit with the P.Grad.Cert. award or progress to the P.Grad.Dip. Year 2 Top-Up to continue their studies.

In Year 2, at the Postgraduate Diploma level, students complete three modules (two core modules and one optional module) to gain a thorough grounding in contemporary Christian theology (30 ECTS). Students may exit with the P.Grad.Dip. or may progress to the one-year M.Phil.

In Year 3, at the M.Phil. level, students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their coursework throughout the development of a 15,000-20,000 word research dissertation (30 ECTS).

Course Content

The course incorporates both taught and research components.

Students must take three core and three optional modules, and write a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation.

Core modules include: Readings in Classical Theological Texts; Violence and Grace in the Human Narrative; The First Words: Theology/ies of the Bible.

Elective modules vary year by year: Electives offered in recent years include: Jesus of Nazareth: Son, Christ, Word; Theology and the Arts; The Role of Church in a Pluralist Society; Ministry and Church in a Challenging Era; Christianity of the Celtic World (600-1000 AD); Political Theology; Nature, Grace and Place: Theology, Maps and Territories; Reimagining Ecumenical Theology: and Dialogue and Difference.

Students are assessed via written contributions for each module.

Click here for further information on modules/subject.

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Introduction to the School of Religion, Theology and Peace Studies postgraduate programmes by Gillian Wylie at Trinity College Dublin.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Next Intake

 September 2024

Course Coordinator

Professor Michael Kirwan

Closing Date

31st July 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should normally have an upper second-class Honours Bachelor's degree, or 3.2 GPA (or above). Applicants not meeting these requirements may be considered at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

 +353 (0)1 8964772


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

Studying at Trinity, with its world renowned reputation for scholarship, intellectual rigour, and the opportunity to tap into the rich spiritual and theological traditions of the Ignatian family, has provided me with possibilities to grow intellectually as a reflective thinker, engaging with questions of faith in a critical, reasoned way.

Shannon Campbell