Join our online courses in religion and disability to explore disability studies from a theological perspective. 

The experience of disability opens a fresh space for re-thinking and re-narrating what it means to be human.

Our postgraduate diploma (PgDip) in Theology and Disability assumes that the form of human difference some choose to name ‘disability’ is a key to new transformative ways of looking at humanity and the nature of the good life.

PgDip Theology and Disability draws on expertise from:

Join us online to study at your own pace with highly experienced Disability Theology scholars, and students from around the world.

Who is this online Theology course for?

This distance-learning programme is aimed at anyone interested in approaching questions of disability and what it means to be human from a theological perspective. While the dominant religious perspective is Christian, students of all faiths and none are welcome.

It’s ideal CPD (Continuous Professional Development) for leaders of religious communities, and professionals working in faith communities and organisations. The PgDip, or individual courses, can be taken as CPD as part of vocational training, or simply out of interest.

You can also join this PgDip as preparation for further postgraduate studies, including transitioning into our Masters in Divinity.

By the end of this PgDip, you’ll be able to...

  • Reflect theologically on core questions and issues in Disability Theology, such as what it means to be human, and a theological view of healing.
  • Describe and evaluate core ideas of key historical texts that have shaped the context in which Disability Theology is undertaken.
  • Explain and justify your own position regarding influential historical texts, scholars, and developmental trajectories in Disability Theology.
  • Discuss a range of hermeneutical models that bear on the interpretation of the Bible in relation to disability.
  • Analyse how the Bible functions within particular church settings, and how this affects attitudes towards disability and difference.
  • Apply a model of theological reflection to practical experience.

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for a:

  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), or
  • exit early with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).

How you’ll study

Our distance-learning PgDip in Theology and Disability is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere, with no need for a visa, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Online learning

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos and video lectures
  • online small-group tutorials
  • podcasts
  • projects
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library. 

Assessment

This degree is assessed entirely online via:

  • essays
  • book reviews
  • discussion boards
  • practical assignments
  • creative assessment, eg, poster presentations and creative writing.

Your tutors

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 120 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this PgDip. You can use these credits towards further study, including our:

Masters in Theology (180 credits)

  • Available to study on campus in Aberdeen.
  • You can also study to Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) and Postgraduate Diploma level (120 credits).

Careers

This PgDip in Theology and Disability will help enhance your practice and leadership.

All of the courses that make up this PgDip in Theology and Disability are ideal CPD courses for those working:

  • in faith communities and organisations, including ministers, priests, volunteers in churches or faith-based organisations
  • as disability advisors
  • in organisations that work with people with disabilities.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study, and for up to five years after you graduate.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Fees and funding

The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2021/22 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24). The indicative fee above includes this 5% fee rise.

Pay as you go

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full PgDip fee upfront.

You can pay for your PgDip one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.

Why study religion and disability online with the University of Aberdeen?

Entry requirements

PgDip

  • 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline, or
  • equivalent qualifications (normally a 3.0 GPA in North America).

You’re also welcome to apply if you have:

  • other relevant qualifications, and
  • professional experience with supportive references.

Postgraduate Diploma - 120 credits

You’ll work through the following four 30-credit courses to gain your PgDip. You can study the courses in any order.

Our online courses are flexible, so you can progress at a pace that suits you. You’re welcome to take study breaks between courses, as long as you complete your PgDip within four years.

Contemporary Issues and Developments in Disability Theology (30 credits) – September 2021

This course gives an overview of some salient issues in Disability Theology. You’ll cover topics including:

  • What is disability?
  • What it means to be human
  • Theological approaches to health and healing
  • Community
  • Stigma and taboo.

You’ll also explore various models of disability, such as the dominant medical model and the social model. The course engages with other current issues and developments as they might present itself during the course.

Disability: Reflective Practices in Context (30 credits) – January 2022

Case studies and practical experience drive the approach of this course. You’ll:

  • familiarise yourself with an organisation, faith community or movement that focuses on disability
  • study the organisation’s views on disability and how it translates these views into practice
  • learn to reflect critically, ethically, and constructively on the practices you encounter.

You’ll learn a specific theological model to help you reflect on the practices you study. You’ll also be introduced to the art of policy writing.

Historical Texts in Disability Theology (30 credits) – September 2022

On this course, you’ll study the views of the western theological canon by reading key historical texts that have shaped Christian thinking about human impairment and disability. You’ll:

  • discuss primary source texts on their own merit, as well as in relation to developments in the Christian tradition over time
  • have class discussions of core texts and historical trajectories, and critically assess these in light of contemporary questions and scholarship
  • engage in more depth with a particular historical figure or locale, as part of your course assessment.

Disability Theology and Scripture (30 credits) – January 2023

Christians and churches of all kinds consider the Bible to be sacred scripture, allowing it to resource and shape their practice and thought. They disagree, though, over how it is to be read and how its authority might be claimed in relation to views about contemporary matters.

For theological reflection on disability, the paired issues of “what the Scriptures say” and “how the Scriptures are read” are of decisive importance.

On this course, you’ll:

  • discuss hermeneutical frameworks to interpret Scripture, and how these bear on the concepts of biblical authority
  • consider specific texts and their interpretations, exploring and evaluating different – and perhaps opposing – views on disability in Scripture.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to change. Further information about potential changes can be viewed here.

Postgraduate Diploma

120 credits

£6,090

This indicative cost is based on 120 credits of study over two years, starting in January 2022.

Apply for this programme

Start month
January or September
INDICATIVE COST
£6,090

This indicative cost is based on 120 credits of study over two years, starting in January 2022.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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