Biblical Languages and Literature (MLitt) 2023 entry

The MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature offers students with existing competence in Biblical languages the opportunity to increase their linguistic and exegetical skills through sustained close and critical engagement with the Biblical texts and themes.

Start date
September 2023
End date
September 2024
Duration
One year full time
School
School of Divinity

Application deadline

Thursday 10 August 2023

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

“Studying here has inculcated in me critical thinking, rigour and precision in writing. The lecturers are always available and ready to help clarify an issue, answer a question, advise or give a listening ear. St Andrews is a unique family – home to students from a diversity of continents, cultures, races and languages.”
Mathew
- Kumbo, Cameroon

Entry requirements

  • A 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in Biblical Studies or a closely related discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • You must have taken at least two semesters (or equivalent) of either Hebrew or Greek at undergraduate level.
  • 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.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date. 
  • personal statement (optional) 
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates  

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

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity. You will gain proficiency in the grammar and syntax of Hebrew and Greek. You will become familiar with using critical editions of texts and the methods, sources and norms of Biblical scholarship.   

Highlights 

  • Focus on reading biblical manuscripts and using the apparatuses of the critical editions of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and the New Testament with preparation for research degrees.  
  • Increase proficiency in the grammar and syntax of both Hebrew and Greek. 
  • Gain a critically and historically informed understanding of biblical traditions and their textual development. 
  • Contextualise the various methods and sources employed in biblical scholarship to use textual investigations in broader biblical, historical and theological research. 

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details about each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue, which is for the 2022-2023 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2023 entry. 

Students who enter the programme with only one Biblical language must take two semesters of either Classical Hebrew 1 and 2 or Koine Greek 1 and 2.

Students who enter the programme with two semesters (or equivalent) of both Hebrew and Greek must take both the advanced Hebrew and Greek Readings:

  • Greek Readings: a technical introduction to reading the Greek New Testament. 
  • Hebrew Readings: acquaints the student with a range of Hebrew readings from the Old Testament. 

Optional modules in recent years have included: 

  • Biblical Aramaic 
  • Biblical Themes 
  • Creation and Chaos in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East 
  • Epistle to the Hebrews: English Text 
  • Guided Study in Divinity 
  • Johannine Literature and Theology: English Text 
  • King and Messiah in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism
  • The Book of Revelation 
  • The Origins of Christian Theology 
  • Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. 

Students may also take other eligible modules with the approval of the programme director.  

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development). 

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. 

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Teaching

The programme comprises two semesters of taught modules, featuring both lectures and discussions, and a 15,000-word dissertation. 

Class sizes for this degree are small, typically fewer than 10 students, so you have ready access to instructors.

Students also have access to substantial library holdings in the areas of biblical languages and literatures.  

Events

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

Students are also welcome to participate in the School's weekly research seminars in Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. 

Fees

Home
£11,120

Overseas
£23,530

More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Find out more about the scholarships and postgraduate loans available.

All taught postgraduate scholarships

After your degree

Careers

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

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.


Further study

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

The MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature provides excellent preparation for a PhD in Biblical Studies. Many of its graduates have moved on to PhD programmes either at St Andrews or other major institutions. 

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate virtual days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 2826
Email
divinitypg@st-andrews.ac.uk
Address
School of Divinity
St Mary's College
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JU

School of Divinity website