Master of Arts


The Master of Arts degree is a 8 or 12 unit (i.e. 1 or 1.5 year) postgraduate award in Theology. It is designed for graduates who hold a tertiary qualification in a theological discipline (this may be a Grad Cert in Arts), who wish to pursue a graduate qualification in Orthodox theology as part of their continuing education for ministry or academic study. Please note those holding tertiary degrees in a non-theological discipline may enter via the Grad Cert in Arts. It is designed to provide a graduate-level education in biblical and theological study, spiritual formation, and cultural literacy that will prepare them for ordained or other ministry in the church, and other vocational settings; as well as laying the foundation for further postgraduate study and research (i.e MTh or PhD).

Master of Arts (MA)

Award Summary: AQF Level 9

Entry Requirements

  • Category 1: an AQF Level 8 award in the discipline of theology (i.e. Grad Cert); or
  • Category 2: a three-year bachelor award (AQF Level 7) in the discipline of theology.
  • Category 1: 72 credit points (i.e. 8 units)
  • Category 2: 108 credit points (i.e. 12 units)
English Proficiency

Applicants who have obtained qualifications from institutions where English is not the language of instruction require a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 with no result below 7.0. Equivalent qualifications may be considered.


See our Tuition Fees.


Students must be enrolled in order to undertake a unit of study. Applications for admission should be made by contacting the registrar.


Graduates will have:


  • Specialized knowledge or practice
  • A thorough knowledge of theology generally that will form the basis for independent further learning.


  • Cognitive, communication, and technical skills in a theologically-related body of knowledge, so that they are able to:
    • analyse critically, reflect on and synthesize complex information, problems, concepts and theories associated with a theologically-related body of knowledge
    • research and apply established theories to a theologically-related body of knowledge or practice
    • interpret and transmit knowledge, skills and ideas through coherent and sustained argument to specialist and non-specialist audiences in relation to a theologically related body of knowledge

Applications of Knowledge and Skills

  • the ability to
    • apply knowledge and skills in a way that demonstrates autonomy, expert judgment, adaptability, and accountability as a practitioner and/or learner in relation to the interdependent building up of the church and good of the wider community.
    • plan and execute a research-based project, and/or piece of scholarship in an area of theology.
Admission to Candidature
  1. Applicants for admission to candidature for a degree of Master of Arts will be classified into one of two categories:
    1. those who have completed an AQF Level 8 award in the discipline of Theology (Category 1), or
    2. those who have completed an AQF Level 7 award in Theology from an accredited Australian tertiary institution, or hold, from a university or other tertiary institution, qualifications approved by the Student Administration Committee as equivalent to such an award (Category 2);
      1. Applicants in Category 1 will be required to complete 72 credit points (8 units). Applicants in Category 1 who hold an SCD Graduate Diploma in Arts will be required to complete a further 36 credit points (4 units), and hand back the Graduate Diploma in Arts upon graduation.
      2. Applicants in Category 2 will be required to complete 108 credit points (12 units).
  2. Applicants who hold a Vocational Graduate Diploma (VET accredited) or a hold a Vocational Graduate Certificate (VET accredited) may be granted provisional admission into Category 2.
  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of this regulation the Student Administration Committee may require an applicant to demonstrate fitness for admission as a candidate for a degree of Master by carrying out such work and/or sitting for such examinations as the Student Administration Committee may determine.
  4. In exceptional cases an applicant may be admitted as a candidate for a degree of Master if the applicant submits evidence of other academic and professional attainments to the Student Administration Committee.
  5. A candidate for the award shall be designated as full-time or part-time. A student is designated as a full-time if enrolled in three units (27 credit points) or more in a semester or part-time if enrolled in less than three units (27 credit points) per semester.
  6. No candidate for the award may be concurrently enrolled in any other undergraduate or postgraduate course within the Sydney College of Divinity or any other tertiary institution, unless approval has been granted by the Academic Board.
  7. Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction normally will be required to demonstrate competency in English by an IELTS (or equivalent) result of 7.0 in all bands of the test and may be required to attend such English language courses as prescribed by the Sydney College of Divinity.
  8. Application for enrolment in the Master of Arts program is made to the Registrar of the appropriate Teaching Body offering the program.
Course Structure
  1. The Master of Arts degree requires candidates to complete credit points as follows:
    1. Those in Category 1 are required to complete 72 credit points in units whose content is not similar to those covered in their previous studies;
    2. Those in Category 2 are required to complete 108 credit points in units whose content is not similar to those covered in their previous studies.
    3. Those holding the SCD Graduate Diploma will bring 36 credit points into the MA.
  2. The course may be taken with or without a specialisation. A specialisation in the MA comprises 54 credit points in a sub-discipline with at least two 9600-series units.
  3. All course units shall normally be taken from 8500 and 9600 series units in the Schedule of Units of Study.
  4. The course shall include a Generic (Research) unit and / or a Capstone unit and /or a Research Project with a professional focus as found in the SCD Schedule of Units of Study;
  5. A candidate may take a maximum of 36 credit points in units listed as Generic (Research) units in the Schedule of Units of Study with a maximum of 18 credit points in Independent Guided Study units, 18 credit points in Research Project units, and 18 credit points as a Research Essay. Students who transfer from the MA to either the MDiv or the MTh cannot exceed this limit in total across both programs.
  6. A candidate may include 18 credit points in the Research Project (10,000-12,000 words in length and written in the area of specialisation under supervision) providing the candidate completes a 8500 series Research Methodology Unit (9 credit points) before or concurrently with the Research Project.
  7. Candidates wishing to proceed to the degree of Master of Philosophy must include one 18 credit point research unit or two 9 credit point research units at Distinction level.

Please consult the registrar for more information.

Period of Candidature
  1. Category 1: 1 year full-time or up to 3 years part-time.
  2. Category 2: 1½ years full-time or 4½ years part-time.
  3. In certain circumstances the Student Administration Committee of the SCD may grant extensions.
Leave of Absence
  1. The Student Administration Committee of the SCD, at the recommendation of St. Cyril’s may grant leave of absence from the Master of Arts. The period of leave shall not be counted as part of the period of candidature for the degree.
  2. The period of leave shall normally be one semester after which a candidate may apply for a further period of one semester or will be required to complete candidature.
  1. The assessment of subject units shall be in the manner approved by the Academic Board of the SCD in line with its established guidelines for assessment packages.
  2. Students may be required by the Academic Board of the SCD to present themselves for oral examination.
  3. Academic and non-academic misconduct will be penalized severely in accordance with the regulations of the SCD.
Credit for Previous Study
  1. A candidate may seek credit up to a maximum of 54 credit points in the Master of Arts.
  2. Credit will be granted for units that are from an equivalent award or institution and have outcomes, content, demand hours, and assessment equivalent to that of units in the Master of Arts
Delivery of Units
  1. Units are delivered in weekly lectures on campus.
  2. Units are also offered via distance education (online) mode. Some units may require a compulsory on-campus component.
External Studies

The requirements of specific units in majors and sub-majors can also be fulfilled if a student undertakes an equivalent unit at another member institution of the SCD or at a university or recognised tertiary institution after consultation with the Registrar and subject to Faculty approval.

Exit Points

Category 1 candidates:

  • Graduate Diploma of Arts (36 credit points);
  • Master of Arts (72 credit points)

Category 2 candidates:

  • Graduate Certificate in Arts (36 credit points);
  • Graduate Diploma of Arts (72 credit points);
  • Master of Arts (108 credit points)

The following is a sample course program for a part-time student (12 units). Please note the first 4 units may be from a Grad Cert. Once completed a further 8 units may be completed allowing graduation with an MA. Also note our unit offerings vary year by year.

Semester 1, Year 1Semester 2, Year 1
T8501 - Introducing TheologyT8581 - Church Fathers: An Introduction
H8510 - The Early ChurchP8501 - Introduction to Pastoral and Practical Theology
A8510 - Introduction to Biblical HebrewA8520 - Introduction to New Testament Greek
B8530 - Introduction to the New TestamentB8520 - Introduction to the Old Testament
Semester 1, Year 2
T9683 - Exploring the Philokalia
T9684 - Patristic Profile: St Cyril of Alexandria
B9672 - Romans
X9699 - Capstone Unit



© 2016 St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College • 72 Wollongong Rd, Arncliffe, NSW 2205 • Tel: +61-2-95673076 • Fax: +61-2-95563311 • Contact Us