About the course

At St Augustine’s we believe we should make theological learning as accessible as possible. If you are interested in pursuing theological studies at postgraduate level, but joining a full MA programme feels like a big step, the taster module gives you an opportunity to test your appetite and aptitude for academic study without committing to a full programme at this point.

Our taster module allows you, over one term, to take a single 20-credit module from our MA programme in Theology, Ministry and Mission. The taster module available in the Autumn Term 2022 is ‘Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality’.

You can choose to study this module either through Monday evening classes at our Southwark centre (6:30-9pm) or through five fortnightly teaching Fridays at Malling Abbey (23 September; 7 & 21 October; 11 & 25 November).

Note: online induction event Monday 5 September (7-8pm)


You will attend either evening classes or teaching days and have the option of completing two assignments.  You should expect to devote at least 10 hours of independent study per week.

Who is it for?

  • Are you a priest or ordained minister looking to deepen your theological knowledge?
  • Maybe you are a theology graduate and considering an MA in Theology?
  • Or just looking to deepen your theological knowledge through further study?

Then our taster module from our MA programme in Theology, Ministry and Mission could be for you.

“I immediately felt safe and at home.  It’s welcoming, it’s calm, and I just knew that it was the place for me to study, where I could grow and where I would be encouraged”  Katrina Jenkins, student

Our next MA open event is on zoom on 17 May, 3-4pm.  For details and to book see – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/open-event-for-prospective-ma-post-graduate-students-tickets-217070412447

We also warmly welcome you as a prospective student to visit us whenever it suits you. We invite you to meet members of staff and current students, attend sample classes and worship with us. We find this gives a real flavour of the college and current students have commented that it has really helped them to know that St Augustine’s is right for them.

To book a visit please email Becky Young at r.young@stuagustinescollege.ac.uk or call us on 01732 252656 – we’d love to hear from you!

Please note the same entry requirements apply as for our MA and other postgraduate programmes. See here.


What will I study?

In this module we will explore some of the key writings within the Christian spiritual tradition, for example, the Rule of St. Benedict, Julian of Norwich’s Showings, the Cloud of Unknowing and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Each opens a fresh window on the development of relationship with God, the practice of prayer and our experience of life. We will examine how to read these wisdom texts within their own context and explore their contemporary relevance.

The course lecturers are Chris Chapman and Barnabas Palfrey, both tutors at St Augustine’s.

In order to complete the module you will be expected to submit two written assignments (5,000 words in total). The deadline for submitting the first assignment is 1pm, Tuesday 15th November 2022.

Where and when?

You’ll first need to attend an online induction event on Monday 5th September 7-8pm.

Evening classes will begin at Trinity House on Monday, 12 September (6:30-9pm)

Teaching days at West Malling will begin on Friday, 23 September (10:30-4pm)

Will completing the MA Taster Module give me an academic qualification?

Completing the Taster Module alone doesn’t give you an academic qualification. However, it is a module which normally forms part of our MA programme. If you pass the assignments for the module and decide to continue your studies, you will be able to enrol on the MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission, and the module you have completed will count towards the MA, accredited by Durham University.

What happens after I finish the module?

It’s up to you! You can choose to stop there, or, subject to passing the taster module assignments, you can enrol into our MA programme, as described above. If you enrol, your completed Taster Module will count towards that programme.

What does the MA programme involve?

Normally, the academic year involves three taught modules in Year 1 and Year 2 each, with an MA Dissertation in Year 3. (You also have the option to study full-time.)

For more information about the MA programme, see here.

How much does it cost to take the MA Taster Module?

The fee for the taster module is £500, payable before you begin your studies in September. Find out more about fees and finance here.

As part of our commitment to making theological studies accessible to all, we have established the Tattersall Fund, which provides bursaries in support of students whose personal circumstances mean that finance may be a barrier to study.

Applying for a bursary to help towards the cost of fees, books or travel is simple, and non-intrusive. Find out more about bursaries and how to apply here.