Study at St Andrews

Systematic and Historical Theology (MLitt) 2016 entry

The MLitt in Systematic and Historical Theology offers students the opportunity to engage at a high level with the study of Christian doctrine in its historical context and systematic expression.

2017 entry

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in Theology or a closely related discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £6,800
Overseas: £17,090

Application deadline

Applications for 2016 entry are now closed. Please check back for applications information for 2017 entry.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • sample of academic work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates 
  • English language requirements certificate
  • letter of intent (optional).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes. 

Applications for 2016 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Course information

Course highlights

  • Engages with the study of Christian doctrine in its historical context and systematic expression.
  • Examines the historical development and present expression of a number of core doctrines, and investigates the theological contribution of some major figures in the tradition. 
  • Integrates the study of theology with biblical interpretation.

Teaching format

The MLitt in Systematic and Historical Theology is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity. 

The programme comprises 120 credits from taught modules held over two semesters, featuring both lectures and discussions. Modules are assessed by a combination of essays and examination. Class sizes in the School of Divinity typically range from 6 to 12 students.

Over the course of the year, but with particular focus over the last three months, you will research and write a 15,000 word dissertation. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.

Compulsory module

Optional modules

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and require a minimum number of participants to be offered (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

  • A Selected Patristic Theologianallows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a single, formative, patristic thinker.
  • A Selected Mediaeval Theologianallows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a single, formative, mediaeval thinker.
  • A Selected Modern Theologianallows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a single, formative, modern thinker.
  • The Doctrine of the Trinitythe development of the doctrine of the Trinity from the fourth-century conciliar settlements down to the present day.
  • History of Biblical Interpretationcritically and historically surveys the most common interpretations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Septuagint and the New Testament. 
  • Theology Special Topic: the project enables students to research a special topic under the guidance of a member of staff and to develop it at length in dissertation form.

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.

Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Dissertation

Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.

Conferences and events

The School of Divinity regularly hosts international conferences and smaller symposia on themes across the field of biblical and theological studies.

Previous conferences

Funding

There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.

St Salvator’s Chapel Choir scholarship
This provides choral and organ scholarships for home and EU postgraduates which subsidises music lessons and provides opportunities to attend organ academies, recitals and the annual choir tour.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year residential Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Systematic and Historical Theology.

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews.

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.

PhD in Divinity

Careers

Students on the MLitt programme are provided the skills they need to succeed in an international job market, both academic and non-academic. 

Regular workshops, both general and subject-specific, in areas such as publishing, conference presentations, and job searches are offered by the Institute, the School of Divinity and the University.

Contact

School of Divinity
St Mary's College
South Street
St Andrews
Scotland
KY16 9JU

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2850
Email: divinitypg@st-andrews.ac.uk

Divinity website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)