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MA Public Theology


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Bishop Otter campus (Chichester)

Three years Part Time

Entry Requirements and Fees


2021/22 UK fee: £666.60 per 20 credit module (£499.95 per 20 credit module when recommended by Church Authority)

Students study 3 x 20 credit modules a year and so the full year cost is £1999.80 (£1499.85 when recommended by Church Authority)

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

If you wish to apply for a place please contact Professor Graeme Smith -

Normally you will be required to:

  • Have experience working in a ministerial or theological context
  • Have a university theological qualification or a good honours degree in a humanities subject together with experience in a church context
  • You will be required to attend an interview
  • Application is made online through the university web site
  • If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is IELTS 6.5 overall with no element lower than 5.5 (or equivalent qualification)

For those applying from the Diocese of Chichester a fee arrangement is in place which allows students to study with support from the diocese.

For more information please contact either:

For those applying from the Diocese of Portsmouth support may be available.  

For more information please contact:

The Rev’d Dr Anthony Rusttell –

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

Student Loans

The MA is eligible for a student loan. Students may borrow the full fee cost, which at the moment is £1,500 per year for three years totaling £4,500. The loan is repaid from the April after the degree is completed so students starting in August 2020 and not having a break will begin to repay their loan in April 2024.

Details of how repayments are calculated are on the student loan web site (please note, these can be subject to change). The amount repaid includes the initial fee and any interest decided by the loan company and again this may change.  However based on current figures the following model shows what might be expected.  The rate of monthly repayment depends on salary so that someone earning around about £27,000 a year could expect to repay at a rate of about £30 a month for a period of about 13 years.  This is intended as a guide and is not a guarantee of figures.

For more information see the relevant web sites:

You can also access support as a University of Chichester applicant from the Student Finance Office ( including how to apply for a loan and what funding models are available. 

Stand Alone Modules

Some modules can be studied alone, whereby students study one module and accumulate the credits but are not registered for the full degree. For more details of these modules, please contact Professor Graeme Smith ( Support for the module ‘Christian Leadership’ is available from the diocese of Chichester. Please contact Rev’d Dr Earl Collins ( or Canon Rebecca Swyer (​

Student view

Rebekah Hanson
I have found that the MA Public Theology course has provided me with many opportunities to creatively develop my interest in engaging with art and theology in the public sphere. For instance, one of my assignments involved researching the impact of art in hospitals. In doing so I was able to theologically reflect on issues of human wholeness and healing by linking the healthcare environment with Christian sacred space, and the way art in both contexts serves human well-being in physical, psychological and spiritual ways.
Lottie Norton

One of things I really value about the course is that it has helped me to build upon the knowledge gained through my undergraduate study. Particularly by enabling me to see how theology can engage with, and is relevant to public culture , and in this way how it can be a very practical subject.  I also like that the course offers a great variety of modules such as biblical studies, ethics and spiritually as well as theology.

In terms of particular assignments, I really enjoyed the liturgy and ritual assignment as that enabled me to write an assignment where theology was engaging with secular forms of popular culture.

Also the bible and public theology assignment really helped me to see  how the bible has engaged with popular culture and through writing my assignment allowed me to view the bible in new and alternative ways.

Course content

The MA in Public Theology will develop and enhance your skills as a theologian reflecting and commenting on cultural, social and political issues. You will investigate the central role of theological ideas in public debates. An exciting and diverse range of modules equip you to explore contemporary issues and questions in depth.    

The course will:

  • Develop your public theology expertise
  • Enhance and enrich your understanding of cultural, social and political issues
  • Offer new and exciting insights into contemporary issues
  • Allow you to reflect deeply on your understanding of society
  • Give you confidence in your theological ability and expertise 

For more information and informal meeting/call, please contact:

Professor Graeme Smith
01243 816191


This course starts in August 

Our facilities

You can take advantage of our range of facilities including:

  • Specific subject librarians are there to offer advice and assistance for your study area, they can provide specialised reading lists and bibliographies if you are having difficulty finding the right materials
  • Additional academic support available such as referencing, essay planning, presentation skills, research and information gathering, plus general dissertation skills
  • Access to over 500,000 e-books, 4,500 e-journals and 100,000 streamed media clips
  • Library and IT services located on campus with Wi-Fi, open access workstations, individual study rooms and group working spaces

Indicative modules

The MA is studied part-time by following a two-year taught module programme followed by a one-year dissertation module. The taught modules are delivered at schools in August, January and May.

At the beginning of the course you will be introduced to the key ideas which underpin practical and public theology. This provides a grounding for your theological engagement with your context. 

Further modules may include*: 

  • Practical and Public Theology 
  • The Bible and Public Theology
  • Practical Theology Project
  • Christian Ethics and Contemporary Society
  • Christian Leadership
  • Spirituality
  • Dissertation

In your third year you will undertake a dissertation leading to a 15,000 word thesis.

* Please note, modules may be subject to change each year.

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is delivered in three school blocks a year; each of which lasts for three days. You may either visit the University of Chichester on a daily basis or, if you live further away, we can help you find suitable accommodation if required.

Assessment is through a variety of academic and practical tasks, ranging from essays to book reviews, short articles, case studies and practical projects. The assessments are relevant to your local ministerial context.

Block Teaching dates are:

Academic year 2020/21

  • Tuesday 25 August - Thursday 27 August 2020
  • Tuesday 5 January - Thursday 7 January 2021
  • Tuesday 11 May - Thursday 13 May 2021

​​Dissertation Day:   Friday 28 August 2020, 10:30am – 3:30pm (for any students completing their second year in this academic year)

Academic year 2021/22

  • Tuesday 24 August - Thursday 26 August 2021
  • Tuesday 4 January - Thursday 6 January 2022
  • Tuesday 10 May - Thursday 12 May 2022

​​Dissertation Day:  Friday 27 August 2021, 10:30am – 3:30pm (for any students completing their second year in this academic year)

Academic year 2022/23

  • Tuesday 23 August - Thursday 25 August 2022
  • Tuesday 3 January - Thursday 5 January 2023
  • Tuesday 9 May - Thursday 11 May 2023

​​Dissertation Day:  Friday 26 August 2022, 10:30am – 3:30pm (for any students completing their second year in this academic year)

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: