MA in Spirituality, Theology & Health
MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health
1. This Handbook 5
2. Supplementary information 5
3. The Departments 5
i. Department of Theology & Religion 6
ii. School for Medicine & Health 6
iii. Department of Anthropology 6
iv. St John’s College 6
4. Getting Further Information 7
i. MA/MSc Programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health 7
ii. Optional Modules 7
Section 1: PROGRAMME SUMMARY 8
1. Aims of the programme 8
2. Core Modules 8
3. Optional Modules 8
4. Timescale 9
5. Entry Requirements 9
Section 2: REGULATIONS 10
1. Core Regulations 10
2. Programme Regulations 15
i. MA in Spirituality, Theology and Health (V6K707) 15
ii. MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health (V6K709) 16
3. Academic Progress 17
Section 3: MODULES 18
1. Core Module: Spirituality, Religion & Health 18
2. Core Module: Practical Theology - Context, Practice & Methodology 20
3. Core MA Module: Dissertation 21
4. Core MSc Module: Dissertation 22
5. Optional Modules taught within the Department of Theology & Religion 23
i. Resources Methods & Interpretation 23
ii. Christian Gender 24
iii. Theology, Ethics and Medicine 25
iv. Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion 26
v. Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion 28
vi. The Public Understanding of Science and Religion 29
vii. Theological Anthropology of the Fathers 30
viii. Spirituality, Anthropology, Life & Death 31
6. Optional Modules taught within the School for Medicine & Health 32
i. Current Issues in Care Design & Delivery 32
ii. Quantitative Health Research Methods 33
iii. Qualitative Health Research Methods 34
iv. Assessment Theory & Practice 35
7. Optional Modules taught within the Department of Anthropology as a part of the MSc in Medical Anthropology 36
i. Theory, Methods & Principles in Medical Anthropology 36
ii. Advanced Theory of Medical Anthropology 37
iii. Advanced Perspectives on Mental Health & Drug Use 38
iv. Fieldwork & Interpretation 39
8. Optional Modules taught within Local Partner Institutions 40
Section 4: RESEARCH SEMINARS 41
Section 5: ASSESSMENT 42
1. General Considerations 42
2. Plagiarism 43
3. Exams, Essays and Dissertations 46
i. Exams 46
ii. Essays 46
iii. Dissertations 47
4. Assessment Load 49
5. Assessment Criteria 51
i. Generic University Assessment Criteria 51
ii. MA/MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health: Assessment Criteria for the Core Module on Spirituality, Religion & Health 53
iii. Department Specific Assessment Criteria For Modules Taught Within The Department Of Theology & Religion 64
iv. School Specific Assessment Criteria For Modules Taught Within The School for Medicine & Health 68
v. Department Specific Assessment Criteria For Modules Taught Within The Department Of Anthropology 71
6. Academic Style 73
Section 6: RESOURCES 90
1. Libraries 90
2. Durham University Online (Duo) 91
3. Academic Staff 92
i. Programme Director 92
ii. Department of Theology & Religion 92
iii. School for Medicine & Health 94
iv. Department of Anthropology 95
v. St John’s College 96
4. Administration 97
5. Practical Information 98
Spirituality is concerned with core aspects of human belief and experience. Important relationships, meaning and purpose in life, and themes of immanence and transcendence are all experienced as aspects of the spiritual dimension of being human. These are important traditional themes of theology and religion but they are also, increasingly, being recognised as important in healthcare and in the social sciences.
The Durham MA and MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health are unique postgraduate programmes, established in 2011, which aim to encourage integrated, inter-professional and inter-disciplinary engagement with the spiritual and theological dimensions of wellbeing, illness and healthcare. They are offered by the Department of Theology & Religion, with support from the School for Medicine & Health and the Department of Anthropology at Durham University. St John’s College, Durham, is a partner institution, and we also have good links with local NHS Trusts and faith communities. The three departments, together with St John’s College, offer a broad range of academic and practical expertise in spirituality, theology, health and pastoral care, with staff who are actively engaged not only in research and teaching, but also in clinical and pastoral practice. In this context, the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health, established at Durham University in 2005, seeks to further collaborative research and teaching on the ways in which spirituality, theology and religious studies inform and promote our understanding of human health and wellbeing.
I am pleased to offer to you a very warm welcome to the Spirituality, Theology & Health MA and MSc programmes. Whether you register for the MA, with its greater emphasis on theological reflection, or the MSc, with its greater emphasis on scientific engagement, we hope that the programme will enable you to reflect theologically upon current issues in the domain of spirituality, religion and health, and that it will equip you with an advanced understanding of scientific research in this field.
Students are welcome on both the MA and MSc programmes whatever their faith tradition. Equally, you are welcome if you do not associate yourself with any particular spirituality or religion. The Department of Theology & Religion has a particularly strong reputation in Jewish and Christian studies, and so a number of the optional modules are orientated in this direction. The University also has a strong Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and individual members of staff have interests in other faith traditions or spiritualities. We are very keen that you should feel welcome whatever your own background may be and we believe that diversity enriches the classroom environment. If you are concerned about whether the programme would suit your own needs, please do not hesitate to discuss this with the Programme Director.
This handbook is provided as a source of reference for students and potential students who wish to orientate themselves to the programmes and their context of delivery, to clarify what the programmes involve, or to find out where they may obtain further information. It is expected that it will be used in conjunction with support from the postgraduate admissions staff, the induction processes offered to support new students, and the advice of the Programme Director or other academic staff.
Professor Chris Cook
The handbook includes six sections:
Section 1 provides a short summary of the programmes and entry requirements.
Section 2 contains the Core Regulations, which govern all modular taught masters degrees in the University, and the Programme Regulations governing the MA and the MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health.
Section 3 introduces each of the modules that make up the programmes – the core modules, the dissertation modules, and the optional modules.
Section 4 outlines the departmental research seminars.
Section 5 is concerned with the production and assessment of work in each of the modules. It provides information about the exams (where applicable), essays, and dissertations by which modules are assessed. It sets out the assessment criteria used by the programme’s internal and external examiners. It supplies the Taught MA/MSc ‘house style’, which is recommended for all bibliographical references (in footnotes and bibliographies), and offers guidance on other stylistic issues.
Section 6 includes some basic information on the University Library and other local libraries, on the teaching and research interests of staff, on the administration of postgraduate affairs in the Department, and on a variety of practical matters.
Information not provided in this handbook, may be found in:
The MA/MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health Timetable and other materials provided during induction week
The Departmental Research Seminar programmes
The Graduate School’s Postgraduate Student Guide
Information posted during the course of the year on the postgraduate notice boards of the respective departments, and/or issued via e-mail lists and/or the departmental pigeonholes
There is also a lot of information about Durham University, its Departments and Colleges, and its degrees and programmes of study on the University website: www.durham.ac.uk.
Three departments of the university are directly involved in delivery of the MA/MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health:
Department of Theology & Religion
School for Medicine & Health
Department of Anthropology
St John’s College also plays a role as a partner institution.
The Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health, within which the MA & MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health have been developed, was established in 2005 as a collaborative venture between the Department of Theology & Religion and the School for Medicine & Health.
The MA and MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health are overseen by the Board of Studies of the Department of Theology & Religion. Admissions to, and delivery of, both programmes are administrated by the Department of Theology. The Department supports and provides the teaching of all three core modules (with the exception of the MSc dissertation) and provides a series of optional modules in support of both programmes.
The Department of Theology and Religion has established an international reputation as one of the world-leading departments in its field. Its strengths range from Biblical Studies and Christian Theology to Jewish studies and the sociology and anthropology of religion. With over 20 full-time staff, it is one of the largest and most influential departments in the UK. In the Research Assessment Exercise for 2008, it was ranked at no. 1 among all departments of theology and religion in the UK in two categories: (a) the highest percentage of publications at 4* (world-leading research) and (b) the highest Grade Point Average for these publications.
The Department is to be found at: Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham, DH2 3RS.
The School for Medicine & Health is a full collaborating partner in the delivery of the MA & MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health. The School is responsible for the provision and delivery of the MSc dissertation and for a number of optional modules.
The hallmark of the School for Medicine & Health is innovation at local and international levels and it seeks to make a difference in the quality of care provided to people. It aims to equip its students for lifelong learning against a background of ever evolving knowledge and health systems. Its research themes cut across boundaries and include clinical topics, particularly around earlier diagnosis and intervention, care pathways across organisational boundaries, health policy and economics and the medical humanities. By maintaining close links with the NHS and with concerns about inequalities and deprivation it provides an academic interface for those at the frontline of health and medical care.
The School is located on the 1st Floor of the Wolfson Building, on the Queen’s Campus of Durham University. There is a free inter-campus bus service that runs between Durham & Queen’s Campus throughout the day. See http://www.dur.ac.uk/travel/durham.queens/ for further information on how to get to Queen’s Campus.
The Department of Anthropology contributes four optional modules to the MA & MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health, all drawn from its MSc in Medical Anthropology.
The Department of Anthropology is recognised internationally for research of very high quality and in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise produced the 2nd highest volume of research rated at international and world class standards of excellence. One of the largest departments of anthropology in the UK, it has over 30 teaching and full-time research staff as well as a large number of post-docs and post graduates.
The Department is located in the Dawson Building, Science Site, South Road, Durham. The Dawson Building is situated adjacent to both the University Library and the new Calman Learning Centre (both of which contain coffee shops!). The administrative centre of the Anthropology Department is located on the Ground Floor of Dawson. The Department also delivers undergraduate programmes at Queen’s Campus.
St John’s College is a constituent college of Durham University. The College is a partner institution with the Department of Theology & Religion and collaborates in delivery of the core module on Practical Theology. Some modules from the MA in Theology & Ministry, a programme administered and delivered by St John’s College, are also available as options to students on the MA/MSc in Spirituality, Theology & Health.
Founded in 1909, St John's College today comprises two key communities. John's Hall admits undergraduates and postgraduates studying for the whole range of Durham University degrees. Cranmer Hall, an Anglican theological college, trains ordinands and clergy. Cranmer Hall works closely with the Wesley Study Centre. Together Cranmer Hall and Wesley Study Centre provide a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Theology & Ministry.
St John’s College is to be found at: 3 South Bailey, Durham, DH2 3RJ
Enquiries concerning the MA and MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health should be addressed, in the first instance, to Mrs Susan Tait, the Postgraduate Admissions Secretary, who will pass them on to the Programme Director or other members of staff as appropriate.
Department of Theology & Religion
Durham DH2 3RS
+44 (0)191 334 3929
+44 (0)191 334 3941
Enquiries concerning the optional modules in the Department of Theology & Religion should be directed to the Postgraduate Admissions Secretary (see above).
Enquiries concerning modules offered by the School for Medicine & Health should be directed to:
Taught Postgraduate Administration
School for Medicine & Health
Wolfson Research Institute
+44 (0) 191 334 0475
Enquiries concerning modules offered by the Department of Anthropology should be directed to:
Department of Anthropology
+44 (0) 191 334 1609
Section 1: PROGRAMME SUMMARY
To provide a taught postgraduate programme on which theologians and scientists, clergy/chaplains and healthcare professionals may reflect together on their understanding of the interdisciplinary field of spirituality, theology and health.
To assist practitioners (clergy and healthcare professionals) in acquiring and extending their ability to reflect theologically on their pastoral and clinical work in spirituality and healthcare
To provide practitioners and researchers with subject specific knowledge and skills supportive of progression to teaching others about spirituality, theology and health
To provide a depth of knowledge of the literature and in research skills prior to undertaking a doctoral programme of study (PhD or DThM) in this field
To assist those who, already having a master’s degree or doctorate in a different but related field, wish to enter this as a new academic field for research or teaching
To allow students to conduct, on their individual initiative, a substantial piece of academic research with a primary focus on either theology (MA route) or health (MSc route)
The two taught core modules, to be taken by all students on both the MA and MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health are:
THEO43130 Spirituality, Religion & Health – 30 credits
THEO42330 Practical Theology: Context, Practice and Methodology – 30 credits
In addition, all students are required to complete a dissertation on Spirituality, Theology & Health. For students on the MA programme, this will be undertaken within the Department of Theology & Religion (THEO53160). For students on the MSc programme this will be undertaken within the School for Medicine & Health (HEAS40160). In both cases this contributes 60 credits to the overall 180 credit requirement of the programme.
All students will also undertake optional modules to a total of 60 credits. These may be undertaken within the Department of Theology & Religion, the School for Medicine & Health, and the Department of Anthropology. Candidates may take a postgraduate level module in another department if it contributes directly to the development of their research profile, or a module from the MA in Theology and Ministry (MATM) taught at St John’s College Durham (by the staff of Cranmer Hall and the Wesley Study Centre). Such arrangements are subject to permission from the Programme Director of the MA in Theology and Ministry and the Director of the MA/MSc programmes in Spirituality, Theology and Health.
If considering optional modules from the MATM or another department, please be aware that some modules have special prerequisites, set out in the relevant departmental handbooks, limiting registration for the module to those who have studied a particular language or subject at undergraduate level. Any queries concerning eligibility for modules should be referred to the Programme Director
Please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of all modules, as their provision is subject to staffing, timetable, and other constraints.
Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years or 3 years
The programmes run from October to mid-September, and results are normally published by the end of October.
Since participation in seminars and tutorials is an essential part of all the Taught MA & MSc Programmes, all part-time candidates – like full-time candidates – must live within a reasonable travelling distance from Durham. In the first year of the programme, part-time candidates must take either the core module on Spirituality, Religion & Health, or the core module on Practical Theology, or (if possible) both of these. Optional modules will be spread across the two or three years of part-time study. The dissertation will usually be undertaken in the final year of part-time study.
Please note that decisions about whether to take the programme on a full-time or part-time basis and (if part-time) whether to take it over 2 or 3 years must be made prior to registration. Changes to timescale after registration will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.
The standard entry requirement is an upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject. The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows:
graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches or health professions, and so on;
students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their studies comparable with completion of a British BA or BSc.
The Department’s English language requirements, as listed in the information pack issued to all potential applicants for postgraduate degrees must be satisfied, in advance, by applicants whose first language is not English, or whose earlier academic/professional education has not been undertaken in the medium of English.
Some modules have special prerequisites, set out in the relevant departmental handbooks, limiting registration for the module to those who have studied a particular language or subject at undergraduate level. Any queries concerning eligibility for modules should be referred to the Programme Director.
Section 2: REGULATIONS
CORE REGULATIONS FOR MODULAR TAUGHT MASTERS DEGREES, POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMAS AND POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATES
1 In these Regulations, the following definitions apply:
A Programme of Study is an approved pathway of study leading to a particular named award of the University consisting of a defined combination of modules at an appropriate Level or Levels.
A Module is a defined course of study that is self-contained and which receives a specified number of credits. A single module at Level 4 is worth 15 or 20 credits; larger modules are worth multiples of 15 or 20 credits. A dissertation module at Level 4 is normally worth between 45 and 120 credits, as specified in the relevant programme regulations. Single modules at levels 1 – 3 are worth 20 credits, larger modules at levels 1-3 are worth multiples of 20 credits. A double or triple module cannot be divided into single modules and must be taken and assessed as a whole. A single module cannot be sub-divided. Credits are gained when a student has satisfied the Board of Examiners in respect of the assessment requirements for the module concerned.
A student who takes a mixture of 15- and 20-credit modules in his/her programme must take at least the minimum number of credits required for the qualification for which he/she is registered. In some cases it may be necessary to take slightly more credits than the minimum number to accommodate a mixture of module valencies.
Each module is set at a given Level of study appropriate to its learning outcomes and is assessed against criteria appropriate to that Level. Certain modules may be defined in Programme Regulations as prerequisites for study of certain other modules at a higher Level. Not all the modules listed in the Programme Regulations for a given degree programme may be available in any one year.
Students are not permitted to register for the same module on more than one occasion.
Modules may be assessed using a variety of methods. The mode(s) of assessment for each module shall be as agreed by the Board of Studies and as approved by the appropriate Postgraduate Faculty Education Committee on behalf of the Education Committee.
A Level refers to the stage of study and indicates the intellectual challenge of a module or a year of study within a programme of study. The University’s Level Descriptors provide a common framework for this. The following numbering is used in relation to Levels of study:
Level 3 = third year full-time undergraduate, typically equivalent to Honours degree level;
Level 4 = first year full-time postgraduate, typically equivalent to Masters degree level;
Level 5 = typically equivalent to Doctoral level.
PRE-CONDITIONS FOR THE AWARD OF A MASTERS DEGREE, POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA OR POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE
2 To qualify for the award of a Masters degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate, a student must:
(a) be approved by the department concerned as a candidate for the award;
(b) study and be assessed in accordance with these Core Regulations and the Programme Regulations of the award for which he/she is registered for the period of time required;
(c) satisfy the examiners in the assessment requirements as prescribed in the Programme Regulations of the award for which he/she is registered.
3 Applicants must be graduates of this or another approved University or possess some other qualification approved by the Education Committee. Normally an upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed course of study is required, unless otherwise specified in the Programme Regulations.
4 Students admitted to a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme not already matriculated in the University must matriculate during the Michaelmas Term. As a matriculation requirement students whose first language is not English must have shown evidence of their proficiency in the English language.
5 Students proceeding by full-time study are required to be members of a College/Society of the University.
PROGRESS AND ATTENDANCE
6 Each programme shall last from a date near the beginning of the Michaelmas Term for the period of study required for the award. All students are required to fulfil their academic commitments as provided in paragraph 1 of Section V of the University General Regulations. Failure to do so will render a student liable to be required to withdraw from the University under the provisions of that section.
7 The Education Committee may permit the interruption of a student's programme of study for a period to be specified by the Committee in each instance.
8 During any period of part-time study, students shall maintain such contact with the Programme Director or his/her nominee, and provide the Programme Director or his/her nominee with such evidence of progress, as he/she may require.
9. Students undertaking full-time study may accept paid teaching, demonstrating and other research work in the University if the time given thereto during term, including time required for preparation, does not exceed six hours per week.
10 Students wishing to spend a period away from Durham for the purposes of their programme of study or for other good reason must obtain permission from the Board of Studies responsible for the student’s programme of study.
11 If it should appear during the first term of his/her programme that a student’s attainment in the English language is not fully adequate for his/her study, the student may be required by the Postgraduate Faculty Education Committee to undertake, at his/her own expense, an approved course of instruction in the English language or to withdraw. At the end of such a course the Committee will then either satisfy itself that the student has become competent to proceed with his/her study or require that his/her registration be terminated. If the student is deemed competent to proceed, the Postgraduate Faculty Education Committee shall determine in each individual case whether any of the periods spent in receiving English language instruction may be counted towards the requirements for the programme for which he/she is registered.
12 Each programme shall be as specified in the Programme regulations.
13 A student’s choice of modules shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Studies responsible for the programme. In the case of a module chosen from another Board of Studies, the approval of that Board of Studies will also be required.
14 A student must gain credits as follows subject to the requirements of the relevant programme regulations:
a) for the award of a Masters degree: a total of 180 credits including at least 150 at Level 4 and up to 30 at Levels 1-3;
b) for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma: a total of 120 credits including at least 90 at Level 4 and up to 30 at Levels 1-3;
c) for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate: a total of 60 credits including at least 40 at Level 4 and up to 20 at Levels 1-3.
15 A student may be awarded a named award at a lower level than the award for which he/she is registered provided that the student has gained the necessary credits for the lower level of award as per regulation 14 above.
Unless otherwise stated in the programme regulations all named Masters degrees may be awarded at Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma level and all named Postgraduate Diploma awards may be awarded at Postgraduate Certificate level.
16 Students taking a taught Masters programme in part-time mode must normally take any research methods module in the first year, the dissertation in the final year and as equal a division of credits between the years of study possible.
17 Each component of assessment for a module shall be marked according to the table below.
Marking Levels for Each Unit of Assessment
MASTERS DEGREES, POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATES AND DIPLOMAS
18 The pass mark for Masters programmes, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates is 50% which must be achieved overall in each of the taught modules and in the dissertation. There is no compensation between modules.
19 Candidates in the final year of their programme must submit their dissertation by no later than 14 September 2011. Any alternative deadline must be approved by the relevant Postgraduate Faculty Education Committee, and shall be as specified in the Programme Regulations of the programme.
20 All work submitted for assessment must be in a form suitable for assessment by external examiners and shall be available to the external examiners on request. The usual language of assessment is English.
21 A student who is unable due to illness or other good cause to submit course work, other than the dissertation, for assessment by the required date may apply to the Chair of the Board of Examiners or his/her nominee for an extension of that date. A student who is unable to present a dissertation may similarly apply for an extension of that date, if the extension is for no more than two weeks after the original submission deadline this request should be considered by the Chair of the Board of Examiners or his/her nominee acting on behalf of the appropriate Postgraduate Faculty Education Committee. If the request is for an extension beyond two weeks after the original submission deadline the student should apply to the appropriate Postgraduate Faculty Education Committee for the extension to be determined by the Committee in the light of the known circumstances.
22 Any module taken from Level 1 – 3 is marked according to the undergraduate mark scale but Masters students are required to obtain a mark of at least 50% to pass. The mark is included in the usual way within the run of marks contributing to the average for the Master’s programme pro rata to the credit value of the module concerned. One resit is permitted in line with the usual provision for Masters programmes, normally at the next normal occasion of assessment. Because undergraduate modules have a valency of 20 credits or multiples thereof, a student taking an undergraduate module may take more credits than those required for the Level 4 programme (e.g. 185 credits if a 20-credit undergraduate module has been taken in place of a 15-credit Level 4 module). A student may not, however, take fewer credits than those required for the Level 4 award.
23 A Board of Examiners has the power to exercise discretion to take account of particular circumstances if it considers it right to do so in the proper discharge of its duties. Such circumstances shall include, but not be restricted to, personal mitigating circumstances. Boards of Examiners may also take into account academic factors such as the overall pattern of marks gained by a student and the relative significance of various modules for the learning outcomes of the programme. The views of an External Examiner must be particularly influential in the case of disagreement within the Board of Examiners on the mark to be awarded for a particular unit of assessment, or on the final level of award to be derived from the array of marks of a particular student.