Studies in Early Church History and Theology (PGT) TRS5108

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This is a Masters level (piggy back) version of a TRS honours course (4102) and 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. Masters and honours students will share seminars, but the Masters programme will have distinct assessments. Masters students will make presentations to the class in order to develop their depth of knowledge and enhance their learning experience, for which they will receive formative feedback from the course tutors. For those intending to pursue academic careers, this will assist them in developing essential skills and experience.


10 x 2hr seminars as scheduled on MyCampus

Requires Videoconferencing facilities

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





1 x 1,000-word book review (20%)

1 x 4,000-word research essay (80%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

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

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

■ compare the impact of multifaceted political, religious, and cultural influences on the Christianity of Late Antiquity;

■ assess a range of historiographical interpretations of this period.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Appraise and critically engage with different interpretative perspectives on the early Church

■ Assess a wide range of critical and theoretical approaches to the development of Christianity and the underlying reasons for that development

■ Frame arguments effectively in speech and in writing at an advanced level

■ Demonstrate sophisticated research, analytical and writing skills

Design independent study, identifying, researching and writing on an aspect of the development of Christian theology and history during the early period

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.