School of the Announciation - Centre for the New Evanghelism School of the Announciation - Angel Statue
at Buckfast Abbey - Devon


Master’s Level Studies in Theology

Two-year, part-time Master’s Level programme

Specialising in Catholic Spiritual Theology or Apologetics, Discipleship, and Evangelisation

This Master’s Level Programme is focused on theological studies. It aims to help the student to be truly mission-ready – for the parish, for the diocese, for the world. It provides not only the foundational study in Scripture (the Bible) and Catholic Theology, but it also aims to help the student to be able to communicate the foundational theological truths using contemporary examples and illustrations, and endeavours to equip the student to answer the call (of St John Paul II and the recent popes) for the use of new methods, and to communicate the Catholic faith with new ardour. This two-year programme equips students to work effectively in the Lord’s vineyard so that they can communicate the joy of the Lord as they invite souls to a more intentional discipleship.

Two Distinct Areas of Focus

What past students say:

"The quality of the teaching we encountered at the residential made it an experience that was not only highly educational but a real privilege to participate in."

"What comes over so strongly is the genuine passion and enthusiasm, dare I say awe, teachers have for their subject."

"Everything was planned beautifully... Fellowship with students and staff was palpable. Also appreciate the way moodle has been set up in regards to interaction with other students."

This programme offers two pathways – two distinct areas of focus. After completing the core modules, which offer a systematic treatment of key Biblical, doctrinal, and moral principles, the student can choose an area of specialisation:

Pathway 1: Catholic Spiritual Theology

Pathway 1 consists of two modules, which offer a systematic treatment of Catholic Theology concerning the soul’s path toward union with God. Focusing on foundational themes from several Doctors of the Church, the aim of this pathway is to equip the student with a systematic understanding of Catholic theological teaching concerning the grades of prayer, the purifications, meditation, contemplation, and models of spiritual direction.


Pathway 2: Apologetics, Discipleship, and Evangelisation

Pathway 2 aims to enable students to understand the profound link between faith and reason and to be able to communicate foundational Catholic truth founded on a moderate realism which promotes clear thinking among people in the Catholic parish and to those in the wider world. In a cultural environment which is increasingly emotive and in which secular social media exerts such a strong (and sometimes anti-Christian) influence, the role of this focused theological (and apologetical) study is becoming more and more relevant for the Lord’s disciples who are called to give reasons for hope. 

In addition to providing a conceptual and systematic understanding of the important theological themes for pastoral work in the New Evangelisation, the critical, analytical, and evaluative skills required for such engagement are developed in the course in such a manner as to prepare the student for further opportunities for post-graduate study and research in Catholic theology. Throughout, the programme has the specific aim of forming students to be mission-ready – equipping them for the reflection of ‘faith seeking understanding’ in the context of the ‘new evangelisation’ which engages with current challenges and opportunities in the cultures in which we develop and live today.

Year 1 Modules1

Module TH7001: Catholic Theology – Scriptural Foundations and Doctrinal Themes

Module TH7002: The Effects of Baptism, the Supernatural Organism, and the Search for Happiness 


Year 2 : Pathway 1 – Catholic Spiritual Theology

Module TH7003: The Life of Prayer and the Journey toward Union with God

Module TH7004: Themes in Catholic Spirituality, Monasticism, and Models of Spiritual Direction

Module TH7007: Catholic Theological Research Methods & Dissertation


Year 2 : Pathway 2 – Apologetics, Discipleship, and Evangelisation

Module TH7005: Apologetics, Catechesis, and Evangelisation

Module TH7006: Discipleship and the New Evangelisation

Module TH7007: Catholic Theological Research Methods & Dissertation


How do I study on this programme?

You study mainly from home, following prepared materials, and using the Veritas online learning system. You attend two long weekends (residential study periods) each year in the beautiful setting of the Abbey at Buckfast. As well as having the opportunity to spend time with teachers during your stays at the Abbey, you have the support of dedicated personal academic tutors who provide regular guidance and feedback on your work.

How much time will it take?

The Master’s Level Theology Programme is normally studied as a two-year, part-time course, requiring approximately 15-20 hours per week. Five modules are taken, and a dissertation or project is completed. Four of the modules are equivalent to 30 UK credits (15 ECTS) each, and the research and dissertation module along with the dissertation or project comprises 60 UK credits.

When are the residential study periods at Buckfast Abbey?

2018-2019 Academic Year:

The first required residential study period will take place 4-7 October, 2018.

The second required residential study period will take place 7-10 March, 2019.

There is still time to apply for the 2018-2019 academic year.

What is the cost?

Tuition includes access to the Veritas online learning system, instruction from the faculty and tutors of SotA, as well as full room and board during the residential periods of study twice a year. (The cost of travel to and from Buckfast Abbey is not included.)

This programme is not currently validated. We are in the process of pursuing validation at this time. And although we are not able to guarantee anything, we are hopeful to receive validation for the next academic year (2019-20).

Since the programme is not validated at this time, we are offering a significant discount on this year’s tuition (2018-19 academic year). For those who start in October 2018, the tuition will be £2800 (instead of £3500). This means that in two years the overall saving is 10% (£700).

Annual tuition (all students) – (2018-19)

£3500  £2800  

 Annual tuition (all students) – (2019-20)


All applicants (both credit-seeking and non-credit auditors) must pay a non-refundable £50 application fee.

How can I apply?

You can download an application form here.

Please contact us by phone 01364 645660 or email We will be happy to deal with any enquiries you have.

Auditing Students – Study for Personal Enrichment Only

The School of the Annunciation also welcomes non-credit seeking students who wish to enrol in our blended learning courses for personal enrichment only. Students can have access to the online discussions and receive personal feedback from the tutor on up to five of the formative assignments. No final assignment will be required at the end of each module, and no grade will be given. Students can study individual modules only when they are offered.

The cost for non-credit seeking students for each year is: £1500

This includes two 30-credit modules as well as two on-site residentials, including live lectures, room, and board.

Number of Modules   (non-credit)

Number of Residentials

Total Cost

1 Module

1 Residential


2 Modules 2 Residentials


1. Module - one of the units which make up the complete programme (referred to as a course in US terminology).