Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module THEO50A90: Foundations for the research project

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO50A90: Foundations for the research project

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 90 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to DThM


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To equip students to conduct doctoral-level research in practical theology in the context of ministry.
  • To impart knowledge of the human sciences and theology in their relation to research in practical theology.
  • To identify relevant resources in the human sciences for research in practical theology and to gain competence in their application.


  • This will embrace three main areas:
  • the theological context of practical theology.
  • method in practical theology.
  • subject-specific research methods, e.g. qualitative and quantitative research in the human sciences; theories of human development and learning; etc.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Advanced understanding of a range of research methods and the ability to identify suitable techniques of data collection and analysis relevant to the proposed investigation.
  • An understanding of research ethics
  • Demonstrable in-depth understanding of the literature associated with the selected investigation
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to construct a viable research proposal in practical theology in the context of ministry.
  • Advanced research skills including the ability to identify main questions and key sources.
  • Ability to present data and analysis to professional standard.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to present sophisicated and complex information clearly in the written form.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures: to impart advanced knowledge and requisite skills for research in practical theology.
  • Seminars/workshops: to learn and practise a range of research skills and techniques both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Tutorials: to allow small-group and one-to-one discussion of research being undertaken by the students.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 8 4 per residential school 90 minutes 12
Tutorials 6 1 per residential school otherwise normally 1 or 2 termly 90 or 120 minutes 10
Seminars 19 For part-time 8 year 1; 11 year 2 120 or 90 minutes 30
Student preparation and reading time associated with formative and summative assessed essays or other assignments 368
Student preparation and reading time associated with contact hours listed above; general background reading;revision for written examinations etc.: 180
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Research Proposal Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Proposal 2,000 words 100%
Component: Article For Publication Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay as an article for publication 7,000 words 100%
Component: Research Methodology and Justification Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Methodology and Critical Justification for Student Research Project 6,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Written pieces as directed by the student’s supervisors with written and verbal feedback.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University