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Biblical Languages and Literature (MLitt) 2020 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.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

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 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.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £19,400

Application deadline

Wednesday 12 August 2020. 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 (optional)
  • 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 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.

Teaching format

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. 

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 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 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 are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

Optional modules in recent years have included:

  • Biblical Aramaic
  • Biblical Themes
  • Book of Revelation
  • Creation and Chaos in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East
  • Epistle to Hebrews
  • Greek Readings
  • Guided Study in Divinity
  • Hebrew Readings
  • Johannine Literature and Theology
  • Kingship and Messianism
  • Origins of Christian Theology
  • Textual Criticism.

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

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 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

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Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

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

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 Biblical Languages and Literature.

Some Divinity graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

PhD in Divinity

Careers

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.

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 on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Contact

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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2841
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).

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