An online study programme
The postgraduate diploma in Parish Church Studies offers a unique opportunity to gain detailed and practical knowledge of the history, use, care and conservation of parish churches. The online format offers you the opportunity to study in your own home and somewhat at your own pace, extensively supported by an expert in the field, and learning as part of an active online community.
The only course of this type in Britain, the diploma enables those wishing to enhance their understanding of local sites of importance in order to develop new areas of expertise or those involved in the design and implementation of conservation techniques. It is equally valuable for lay staff, volunteers and those simply with a general interest in the parish landscape.
The programme starts in late September/early October, concurrent with each new academic year – places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions.
This is a two-year, part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly online in a fully-supported learning environment. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.
This Diploma is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation for Continuing Professional Development purposes.
This part-time two-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules:
1. Sources and Issues
This module introduces the key sources for and issues in studying parishes and parish churches. It focuses on issues which arise not only from the nature, extent and survival of evidence, but also those relating to the study, care and understanding of churches and interaction with specialist and statutory bodies. It also introduces the skills and resources students will need for academic work at postgraduate level such as formatting and referencing, critical analysis, annotated bibliographies, library resources, and use of and researching the web in relation to the study of parish churches.
2. Objet D’art, Objects of Faith
This module is the second part of an introduction to the subject but continues with the study of various art, fixture, fittings, furnishings and objects, their legislative framework and overview of current issues.
3.Worship & Ritual
This module introduces students to the history and practice of worship and religious ritual in parishes and parish churches from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day and how these practices and the ideology behind them has shaped church buildings, both internally and externally, and in turn been shaped by them.
4. Parish & Community
This module studies the relationship between clergy, congregations, parish communities and wider society, principally in the medieval and early modern period but with an exploration of the concept of a ‘parish’ and the varying social and cultural structures inherent in that following the Reformation and its continuity into later periods.
5. Church & Churchyard
This module engages students with the fabric of a church building in its social and physical context. In particular, topics covered include how to ‘read’ a church building just from assessing its fabric and how that fabric relates to its locality in terms of raw materials, economy, skills; the ecology and management of the churchyard; how varying ideas and perceptions of sacredness have influenced the way churchyards and church buildings have been used/re-used, viewed and managed; and, finally, the relative regulations and legislation pertaining to both.
6. Use, Conservation & Change in Church Buildings
This module engages students with the issues and demands facing church congregations today with regard to questions of sustainability and maintenance, the creative use of buildings, their potential role in mission and community cohesion, and it addressed the specifics of practical conservation issues.
Students will be required to complete all these modules in the first instance, though additional modules may be added in the future to accommodate future programme growth and offer a broader learning experience.
Assessments will comprise a balance of short and long critical essays, book reviews, short research projects and other similar tasks.
Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about online study:
A key feature of our programme is the availability and quality of support that we offer through module tutors, pastoral support and a dedicated administrative and technical support team.
We hold an optional two-day Residential Weekend at York each year. Each event is an opportunity to meet your fellow students and staff, engage in discussion and share your knowledge of parish church history. These events are free of charge, though students are expected to meet the costs of their travel, accommodation and sustenance.
The programme is aimed at anyone with an interest in Parish Church History.
Normally students will be expected to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in a related subject area. CLL will also favourably consider any student previously awarded a BA/BSc in any subject, and with evidence of recent HE level study in this area.
As a Centre based upon the cornerstone of open access, CLL will also seek to ensure that those without the qualifications highlighted above, but with the obvious ability to succeed, have the opportunity to engage.
In such instances, the presentation of a critical essay in the field of Parish Church Studies may be requested and considered by the admissions panel; CLL reserves the right to ask any student for academic work to support their application.
Any student may be called to interview.
Students must have an IELTS score of 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in Writing (or equivalent). Details of the requirements for distance learning students can be found at English language requirements: distance learning 2017/18
The online postgraduate diploma in Parish Church Studies is priced in line with other University postgraduate programmes, details of which can be found at http://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-funding/.
For 2017/18, the cost of the first year will be £2,700; the second year will be the same cost again, plus an inflationary increase of 2% maximum in the second year in line with standard University tuition fees.