Research Degrees

The Lambeth Degree - Archbishop's Examination in Theology

If you're looking to do a research degree. The Lambeth degree/Archbishop's Examination in Theology is definitely a route to consider.

Until 2007 the Archbishop's Examination in Theology comprised the Diploma of Student in Theology (the Lambeth Diploma) and the Degree of Master of Arts by Thesis (the Lambeth MA).

The Lambeth Diploma was instituted in 1905 by Archbishop Randall Davidson. It provided an opportunity for women to study theology, principally so that they could teach religious education in schools and churches. In later decades it was open to both men and women and the means of study was either by examination or thesis.

The Lambeth MA was inaugurated by Dr Runcie in 1990 in order to provide an opportunity for theological study at a more advanced level. The Department for Education and Skills viewed the Lambeth MA in the same light as a Lambeth Degrees MA, in that it was examined to the level of an Oxbridge Masters degree and the Archbishop dispensed the students from residence - once again it was a 'degree of the realm'.

In 2007 the Archbishop's Examination in Theology moved in a new direction. The Council introduced an MPhil research degree, with the opportunity to extend to a PhD, while the Lambeth MA was phased out as students completed the course. After further evaluation in 2009, the Council also decided to phase out the Lambeth Diploma in order to focus its resources in the research degree programme.

The reasoning behind the introduction of the MPhil/PhD courses was to meet the unparalleled challenges and opportunities faced by the Church through offering opportunities for thorough, critical and detailed research, and analysis and interpretation.

These research courses are offered at a level that meets QAA requirements but at a reasonable cost and with 'user-friendly' access.

For further information about the MPhil/PhD research degrees please email:

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