Bible and the Contemporary World (MLitt) 2019 entry

The MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World is a course that connects biblical and theological studies with other disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Bible and the Contemporary World is also offered as a part-time distance learning programme.

Apply now

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 9 September 2019
  • End date: 30 September 2020

If you started this programme in 2018, you can find information about 2018 entry on the 2018 Bible and the Contemporary World page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree. You do not need to have a degree in Theology in order to apply for a place on this programme; however, all applicants will be expected to have sufficient knowledge to equip them for postgraduate level of study in the field of theology.

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.

Apply now

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,000
Overseas: £18,480

Application deadline

Monday 12 August 2019. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
  • personal statement (200 to 300 words)
  • sample of academic work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates 
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

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

Course information

The MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity.

Highlights

  • Gain an understanding of how public issues and culture both shape and are shaped by Christian theology, biblical interpretation and practice.
  • Combines campus-based and virtual learning modules.
  • Join an international and interdenominational group of 20 to 25 students in relating the Christian traditions to a host of public issues.

Teaching format

Each semester begins with a residential study week held at St Mary's College, the School of Divinity. A typical residential study week, which is shared with the distance learning part-time students, includes lectures, seminars and other learning activities. Attendance is required at each study week from Monday through Wednesday, but students are encouraged to stay for the remainder of the week. You will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation costs to attend these mandatory study weeks. 

After the study week, students take one residential module and two Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) modules, which are shared with students on the part-time, distance learning version of this programme.

Each VLE module comprises 15 weeks of study (typically divided into four units) and focuses on independent learning. In each unit of a module, students are supplied a number of scholarly articles and extracts from books which are supplemented by two written lectures available online in digital format; you will also have access to the library's extensive online subscriptions of journals and ebooks. In lieu of seminars, you will participate in online bulletin board discussions with your peers (not held in real time). Students will have one personal tutorial (usually via online video messaging or telephone) with a tutor per module.

Assessment comprises four essays for each VLE module and a combination of essay and written examination for the campus-based module.

The taught portion is followed by a 15,000-word dissertation written over three months during the summer and submitted mid-August. Students are assigned a supervisor who gives guidance on the topic and provides academic support during the research and writing phases.

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 which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry. 

In the first semester, students take one compulsory VLE module:

  • Theological Issues in Medical Ethics: contemporary debates in medical ethics, including, for example, euthanasia, abortion, human enhancement technologies, and others.

and one or two additional residential modules from the following (students may not be eligible for all modules; see the module catalogue):

  • History of Biblical Interpretation: critically and historically surveys the most common interpretations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Septuagint and the New Testament. 
  • Theological Engagements with the Arts: Rationales, Methods and Texts: investigates some basic questions of definition and rationale pertaining to the conversation between theology and the arts.
  • Religious Experience and Aesthetic Forms: addresses questions related to artistic works in any media from any period. 
  • The Origins of Christian Theology: examines the beginnings of Christian theology in the New Testament texts and in early Christian writers.
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity: the development of the doctrine of the Trinity from the fourth-century conciliar settlements down to the present day.
  • A Selected Mediaeval Theologian: allows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a single, formative, mediaeval thinker.
  • A Selected Modern Theologian: allows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a single, formative, modern thinker.
  • A Selected Patristic Theologian: allows students to engage at length and in depth with the thought of a single, formative, patristic thinker.

With permission, credit may be taken from other postgraduate taught modules offered by the School.

  • Surveillance, Theology and the Bible: thinking critically about surveillance in contemporary life.

Students will begin research for the 15,000-word dissertation early in Semester 2, but will focus particularly on researching and writing from May through to submission in mid-August. 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.

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.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Postgraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 November 2018
  • Wednesday 13 March 2019

Sign up

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

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

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 Bible and the Contemporary World.

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

PhD in Divinity

Careers

Students on this programme have gone on to work in the charitable sector and to further studies. Previous students have held professional occupations in education, law, business, administration, charities and ministry.

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

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact information

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

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

Divinity website

Policies

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).