Theology - Research

St Patricks Pontifical University Maynooth

Theology - Research

Programme suitable for:
The Research Master's tends to be most suitable for those pursuing academic ambitions, but also attracts people from a wide variety of professions.

The Research Master's is aimed at giving students the necessary skills and knowledge to permit them to acquire an initial mastery in their field of interest.

Research Master's programmes form the foundation of enduring postgraduate study at the University. In a Research Master's, candidates exercise far greater choice in the shape of their study and personal research, in contrast to Undergraduate Study or a Taught Master's where a student follows a course of study determined to a huge extent by the degree they have chosen. There are two Research Master's routes — the Master's by Minor Thesis and Allied Courses (Mode A), and Master's by Major Thesis (Mode B).

A Master's degree requires a thorough, broad, and interdisciplinary academic training. It is in this perspective that the Pontifical University brings the wide experience and expertise of its theologians to bear.

The programme for degree of Master's in Theology (MTh) offers candidates the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Theology through specialised study, personal work and research.

Subjects taught

Course Content:
In addition to the following programme of study, candidates must complete Postgraduate induction, week beginning 11th September 2023.

There are two methods of obtaining this degree.

Mode A: candidates complete five Seminar Courses and write a minor thesis (25,000-30,000 words).

Mode B: candidates submit a major thesis (40,000 words) and fulfil the requirements of the Research in Theology: Historical and Methodological Approaches Seminar.

Programme of Study: Mode A - Structured Research
The duration of the programme is two years. This involves at least a one-year course of full-time study in one of the options below. In the second year the candidate completes a thesis. The candidate also takes one seminar course in the first semester of second year.

• Course Option I: Systematic Theology
• Course Option II: Moral Theology
• Course Option III: Biblical Theology
• Course Option IV: Pastoral Liturgy

Programme of Study: Mode B - Pure Research
Candidates must fulfil the requirements of Research in Theology: Historical and Methodological Approaches, and work for at least three semesters under the direction of a permanent teacher within the Faculty.

The subject of the dissertation requires the approval of the relevant Head of Department.

The length of the dissertation shall be approximately 40,000 words, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography.

Candidates shall be required to submit their dissertations within three years. Extensions will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Candidates may be examined on the subject matter of the dissertation if the examiners so decide.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements:
The minimum entry requirement is a primary degree in which Theology comprises at least an equal joint honours component. Candidates should have obtained at least Second-Class Honours, Grade I overall, and Second Class Honours, Grade I in Theology. An interview will be part of the admission process. The Faculty of Theology may also accept applicants whom it deems to have achieved an equivalent standard. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to satisfy the English language requirements.

To qualify for admission to a Master's in Theology by dissertation only (Mode B), candidates shall have Second Class Honours, Grade I in the theological component of their honours degree. The Faculty of Theology may also accept applicants whom it deems to have achieved an equivalent standard. Master's Mode B is recommended only for students who have a clear research focus and a proven ability to work on their own. An interview will be part of the selection procedure.

Application dates

Application Deadline:
24th June 2023 For EU & those living on the island of Ireland (Late applications may be considered). 20th May 2023 For non EU.


2 years full-time. Method of teaching: In-person.

Enrolment dates

Course Start Date: September 2020

Post Course Info

Career Outcomes
There are many ways in which a degree in Theology can be used. Possible career routes include:
• Second Level teaching (following the successful completion of the undergraduate degree in Theology followed by the Professional Master of Education (PME))

• Journalism

• Pastoral work, Retreat work, Parish catechesis

• Public/Private Sectors

• School/ Hospital Chaplaincy (For professional qualifications in chaplaincy additional courses are also a requirement)

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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