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16,000 word Minor Thesis

(formerly ‘Research Essay’)

The purpose of the Research Essay is to demonstrate advanced theoretical knowledge in one or more disciplines and to assess the capacity of the candidate to undertake further independent research and learning. Students undertaking the extended Research Essay will be expected to show advanced cognitive, technical and communication skills that enable them to review, consolidate, synthesise and evaluate critically a broad body of knowledge. Students undertake their research with a suitably qualified supervisor in the chosen discipline of study.

Eligible students may apply to enrol in a Research Essay either as a single subject enrolment or as part of a postgraduate coursework award. Students may elect to take the Research Essay in a single semester, or across two consecutive semesters. The Research Essay is 16,000-words in length, inclusive of all elements except its bibliography.

A student who receives a final mark of Distinction (75%) or above may, subject to meeting all other admission requirements, apply for admission to a higher degree by research at the University of Divinity.

Students should discuss the option of undertaking a Research Essay with the Stirling Registrar and the Head of Field in which the student is interested in researching. All applications must first be approved by the Stirling Research Coordinator prior to enrolling in the Research Essay.

Students who have agreed on a research topic with an appropriate supervisor may enrol in the Research Essay at the beginning of each semester. Students must complete a Research Essay Outline, together with the supervisor, and return an electronic version of the Outline for approval to the Stirling Research Co-ordinator at least one week prior to the census date of the semester in which the essay is begun.

Postgraduate: 48 points
Offered: every semester
Part time/Full time

Words: 16,000

Minor Thesis Approval Form
Must be submitted one week before the census date of the semester in which the essay is being written 

A 16,000-word research essay may be arranged in any of the following disciplines:

  • Biblical Studies (Old or New Testament)
  • Systematic Theology
  • Church History
  • Counselling
  • Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies
  • Mission and Ministry
  • Missiology
  • Spirituality
  • Spiritual Direction

The bibliography is selected with the faculty advisor.

Two copies of the 16,000-word research essay are to be submitted no later than the last day of the examination period of the semester in which it is due, which then is assessed by two examiners (neither of whom is the supervisor).

Click here for some advice on where to start

Click here for some advice on how to begin developing your proposal

Click here to see the University’s procedures