Systematic and Historical Theology (MLitt) 2017 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.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
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.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £7,500
- 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.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Systematic and Historical Theology MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
The MLitt in Systematic and Historical Theology is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity.
- Engage with the study of Christian doctrine in its historical context and systematic expression.
- Examine the historical development and present expression of a number of core doctrines, and investigate the theological contribution of some major figures in the tradition.
- Integrate the study of theology with biblical interpretation.
The programme comprises two semesters of taught modules, featuring both lectures and discussions, and a 15,000-word dissertation. Modules are assessed by a combination of essays and examination. Class sizes in the School of Divinity typically range from 6 to 12 students.
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 which is for the 2016-2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
- The Origins of Christian Theology: examines the beginnings of Christian theology in the New Testament texts and in early Christian writers.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
- A Selected Patristic Theologian: allows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a formative, patristic thinker.
- A Selected Mediaeval Theologian: allows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a formative, mediaeval thinker.
- A Selected Modern Theologian: allows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a formative, modern thinker.
- The Doctrine of the Trinity: the development of the doctrine of the Trinity from the fourth-century conciliar settlements down to the present day.
- History of Biblical Interpretation: critically 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 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
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. 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 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.
Students also participate in weekly Theology Research Seminar and are invited to attend any of the other research seminars pertaining to their interests.
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.
After the MLitt
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.
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.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
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).
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).