Studies in Early Church History and Theology TRS4102

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore the development of the Christian church and its theology from the Apostolic Fathers through the patristic period. Attention will focus on the definition of orthodoxy, the development of church order, the role of women, and the socio-political context of Christian development.


1x2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

TRS3002 Early Church History Level 3 

TRS4004 Studies in Early Church and Patristics

TRS3037 Studies in Early Church History and Theology Non Honours




Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Presentation of 10 minutes accompanied by a one-page A4 handout - 10%

Source criticism exercise (750 words) - 10%


Examination (90 minutes duration) - 40%

OR: in place of the exam an additional 2500 word essay on a topic to be agreed with the convener, by an agreed date - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore the development of Christian theology and the church in its earliest centuries;

■ engage critically with primary sources which offer evidence of this development;

■ deepen understanding of the political, religious, and cultural world of Late Antiquity;

■ develop awareness of a range of historiographical interpretations of this period.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ present a well-informed account of the development of Christianity and the underlying reasons for that development;

■ offer a critical analysis of a range of primary texts;

■ compare and contrast different interpretative perspectives;

■ present complex arguments in written and oral form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.