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MA Analytic Theology

Use philosophy to solve problems in theology

Year of entry: 2021 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Apply the study of philosophy to theology and engage with some of the most complex and historically significant questions that have shaped Western and Middle Eastern civilisation.

Move from studying philosophical and theological problems to investigating them as a researcher in your own right. Focus on Philosophy and the study of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic analytic theology in conversation with each other, informed by analysis of the spiritual practices that these faiths incorporate.

Our department has a strong research profile in analytic theology and we'll provide support for you to pursue your own research project. 

World-class research

96% of the Department's work was judged of international standard in the REF 2014.

World-class faculty

The Department is part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, ranked 45th in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

York Philosophy Society

Join a warm and welcoming student-run society.

Course content

You'll engage with research-led enquiry, and focus on contemporary problems and scholarship in philosophy and theology.

You'll cover topics that include thinking about analytic theology as a branch of philosophy and you'll cover Christian, Jewish and Islamic theology. You'll study the analytic theology of the doctrine and spiritual life of Abrahamic faiths. 


Your 10,000 word dissertation enables you to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of your choosing. It will allow you to apply the core knowledge, skills and experience that you have gained throughout the year.

You'll attend dissertation preparation seminars in Term 1 to enable you to write your proposal, with further support in Terms 2 and 3. You'll be supervised by a member of staff with expertise in a relevant area.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Address complex issues and debates in the modern world by critically reviewing current theological and philosophical scholarship and research and thereby identifying critical concepts and arguments
  • Apply critical perspectives to current research in their field in order to communicate it in a technically proficient yet accessible and clear manner
  • Work effectively and collaboratively in the planning, organisation, and delivery of significant research events and reports (in a manner consistent with best practice at a professional level)
  • Develop and apply skills of self-evaluation, use of feedback, self-management, and reflection in order to take full ownership of their own development as researchers and professionals
  • Give presentations, as both an individual and in a group, of their ideas and arguments at a professional level (aligned with best practice), tailoring the content and style to varied audiences
  • Create detailed and persuasive project proposals at a high level (consistent with best practice in professional research proposals), and initiate, develop and complete substantial independent projects


Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £8,440£18,700
Part-time (2 years) £4,220£9,350

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Departmental scholarship information

For further information on all eligibility criteria and how to apply for our scholarships see our funding opportunities for Philosophy.

David Efird Masters Scholarship

Eligibility: Home, EU or international students pursuing research in the field of philosophy of religion, or research on contemporary issues or themes using a philosophy of religion perspective. You must be holding an offer of a place by midnight (UK time) on 30 April 2021.
Scholarship award: £5,000 reduction in fees for Home/EU or international students.

Xenophanes Scholarship

Eligibility: Home (UK) students. You must be holding an offer of a place by midnight (UK time) on 30 April 2021.
Scholarship award: a contribution of £5,000 towards living costs.

Roger Woolhouse Prize

A prize of £500 awarded to the MA Philosophy student who achieves the highest essay mark (>72) in the January MA assessment period. 

The David Efird Student Prize

A £300 prize awarded to the student who achieves the highest essay mark (>72) in the field of philosophy of religion, or research on contemporary issues or themes using a philosophy of religion perspective.

The David Efird Postgraduate Student Research Travel Fund

Eligibility: MA or Research degree. Priority will be given to students studying philosophy of religion.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): changes to courses

We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.

Teaching format

You'll have intensive seminars and individual or small-group tutorials, which will allow you and your tutors to systematically explore complex issues at the forefront of philosophy and theology.


You'll be part of a lively research community at the Humanities Research Centre which includes staff, postgraduate students, postdoctoral scholars and academic visitors from across the arts and humanities.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Philosophy on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Your work will be assessed in a variety of ways:

  • you'll write a 4,000 word essay for four or your 20-credit modules
  • you’ll give presentations on on philosophical problems in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • you'll write a research proposal and complete a reflective journal for the skills element of Research Skills and Dissemination Practice
  • you'll present a paper, chair a session, and complete a funding proposal for the dissemination element of Research Skills and Dissemination Practice

You will also receive assignments throughout your course which will provide constant feedback on your development, and help prepare you for your assessments.

We contribute to leading journals

Our staff have published work in leading journals such as Faith and Philosophy, The Journal of Analytic Theology and Religious Studies.

Distinguished visiting speakers

York hosts the annual workshop for the UK region of the Society of Christian Philosophers, and visiting scholars in philosophy and theology give regular talks and masterclasses.

Careers and skills

Studying philosophy and theology develops skills that are highly sought after by employers and transferable to many different careers, such as marketing, education, finance, IT, the charity sector, tourism and leisure industries, as well as into academia.

Career opportunities

  • Academia
  • Advertising, marketing and PR
  • Business
  • Banking
  • Central and local government
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Management
  • Teaching
  • Religious organisations

Transferable skills

  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Constructing and defending a coherent argument
  • Grasping complex ideas
  • Creatively imagining alternative possibilities and problem solving
  • Presenting your research
  • Time management
  • Independent research skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Philosophy, or joint programme including Philosophy, or Theology where you can demonstrate significant engagement with Philosophy.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will need to submit examples of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 7.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 185 in Writing and 176 in all other components
Duolingo 120, minimum 120 in Production and 110 in all other components
PTE Academic 67, minimum of 67 in Writing and 61 in all other components
TOEFL 96, minimum 24 in Writing and 23 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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