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The Faculty of Arts has introduced an integrated structure for honours and structured master’s programmes. This format allows for considerable flexibility and interdisciplinary programmes, implying that a student may take a specific coursework module towards either an honours or a master’s degree. There may be some minor differences in the requirements set for honours and master’s students in such a module. Students can also select modules from a wide variety of modules offered by other departments in the Faculty of Arts.

The programme focuses on a broadening of academic horizons in the fields of Theological Studies (including all its traditional sub-disciplines), Ethics, Religious Studies, and Islamic Studies. The Department also offers a variety of honours modules towards this aim.

Although these fields of study are all related, students are encouraged to specialise in a particular subject area for possible further studies. The modules selected should form a coherent package. Since some formative background is required to complete modules in each of these fields, students may take modules only if they have some background in the field.

Honours students must do four modules to complete the degree. Each module is 30 credits to give a total of 120 credits.

The research essay module is compulsory. The research essay must be structured as a literature survey on a carefully demarcated theme to be approved by the Department. It is written under supervision.

Full-time students should be able to complete the programme in one academic year. However, part-time students are advised to spread these modules over two years with only one module per semester, leaving the research essay for the final year of study. Please note that the average student should need about 300 working hours to complete all the work for a module of 30 credits (including class attendance, research, essay writing, studying, and so on).

A selection of approximately eight to 10 of the following modules is offered in a particular calendar year. For more information and a list of the modules offered, please click the appropriate links below: 

ETH731/831 Ethical Theory
ETH732/832 Theories of Responsibilities
ETH733/833 Virtue Theory
ETH734/834 Public Morality
ETH735/835 Contemporary Issues in Ethics
ETH736/836 Professional Ethics
TST731/831 Old Testament Studies
TST732/832 Old Testament Exegesis
TST733/833 New Testament Studies
TST734/834 New Testament Exegesis
TST735/835 Biblical Hermeneutics
TST736/836 The History of Christianity
TST737/837 History of Christianity in South Africa
TST738/838 The History of Christian Doctrine
TST739/839 Systematic Theology
TST741/841 Theological Hermeneutics
TST742/842 Homiletics and Liturgics
TST743/843 Pastoral care and Counselling
TST744/844 Contemporary Christian Theologies
TST745/845 Theology and Development
TST746/846 Contextual Christian Spirituality
REL731/831 Philosophy of Religion
REL732/832 Religion and Society
REL733 The Text and Major Themes of the Qur’an (Qu’ran and Tafsir)
REL734 Science of Hadith
REL735 Critical issues in Contemporary Islam
ETH701 Research Essay in Ethics/Religious Studies
TST701 Research Essay in Theological Studies/Religious Studies

The Department offers modules towards a Structured Master’s degree in the fields of Theological Studies, Ethics, and Religious Studies.

Structured Master’s students do three further coursework modules of 30 credits each and a mini-thesis of 90 credits, based on an approved research proposal. Full-time students may technically be able to complete the degree in 18 months. Part-time students are advised to complete two coursework modules in the first year of study and one in the second year of study.

A selection of eight to 10 of the same modules listed above is offered in a particular calendar year. Whereas the code for an honours module would start with the digit ‘7’, a structured master’s module starts with the digit ‘8’ followed by the same further digits.

It is also possible to complete a master’s degree by thesis only. Students who enrol for the Master’s by Thesis do not do coursework modules. They work under the guidance of a supervisor appointed by Senate. The only requirement is a master’s thesis of around 50 000 words, based on an approved research proposal. New master’s students must attend the annual workshops on research methodology offered by the Department and are invited to attend the weekly departmental seminars. There are no further residential requirements for the Master’s by Thesis.

Prospective students may apply for the Master’s by Thesis through the appropriate UWC portal. You should attach a two-page research proposal that indicates the sub-discipline in which you plan to work and that demarcates the research theme. Please also consult the annual departmental research reports for more information on the areas of specialisation in the Department, clustered together under the six research frameworks. You are welcome to contact the Department for more information in this regard.

The Department offers opportunities for doctoral research in the fields of Theological Studies, Ethics, and Religious Studies. The only requirement is a doctoral thesis of around 100 000 words, based on an approved research proposal. New PhD students must attend the annual workshops on research methodology offered by the Department and are invited to attend the weekly departmental seminars. There are no further residential requirements for the programme.

Prospective students may apply for admission to the PhD programme through the appropriate UWC portal. You should attach a two-page research proposal that indicates the sub-discipline in which you plan to work and that demarcates the research theme. Please also consult the annual departmental research reports for more information on the areas of specialisation in the Department, clustered together under the six research frameworks. You are welcome to contact the Department for more information in this regard.