Biblical Studies MA (Hons) 2020 entry
The MA (Hons) in Biblical Studies provides an opportunity to explore the profound influence that the Christian and Jewish Scriptures have had on Western civilisation. Your studies will focus on the Old Testament and New Testament, but you will also encounter a large number of other Jewish and Christian writings from these periods, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The MA course is particularly suited for those wanting a wider range of options across Arts subjects, but who still want to give most of their attention to Divinity. Many students choose to take Biblical Studies alongside subjects such as ancient history or classical studies in order to study important texts within the wider context of the ancient world, or with English in order to discover the way in which biblical ideas and themes have found their way into literature.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 7 September 2020
- End date: 30 June 2024
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAA
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of Biblical Studies or Theology is required.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of Divinity has enjoyed an international reputation for teaching excellence since it was founded in 1539.
Theology and religious studies at St Andrews were ranked second in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.
The School of Divinity was also ranked top in Scotland for research quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2019 as 95% of St Andrews final year students were satisfied with the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Biblical Studies alongside modules in at least one other subject.
Typically, you will take one to two Biblical Studies modules per semester during your first two years, and three or four Biblical Studies modules per year during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
Students take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- Old Testament 1: Torah and Prophets: introduces the life, literature and religion of Ancient Israel, with particular consideration of the main literary types of the Old Testament literature.
- New Testament 1: Jesus and the Gospels: considers the historical contexts of the New Testament texts, including political, socio-economic and religious factors within the Greco-Roman world and Early Judaism.
And at least one of:
- Hebrew 1:Introduction to Hebrew Language: aims to give students a sufficient knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary of Old Testament Hebrew to be able to read and analyse prescribed texts.
- New Testament Greek 1: introduces the essential grammar, morphology, and vocabulary of New Testament Greek which will continue into New Testament Greek 2.
Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules:
- Old Testament 2: Wisdom, Psalms, Apocalyptic and Apocryphal Literature: an introduction to the literature and theology of the period of Israel’s history from exile to the consolidation of the canon.
- New Testament 2: Paul and the Epistles: examines the developing theology of the New Testament, paying particular attention to the issue of unity and diversity, and to the themes of Christology and soteriology.
And at least one of:
- Hebrew 2: aims to extend students' skills in reading the Hebrew Bible and in the techniques of textual criticism and of exegesis.
- New Testament Greek 2: continues from New Testament Greek 1 and introduces the second half of the essential grammar, morphology, and vocabulary of New Testament Greek.
If you decide to take Biblical Studies in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options in exegesis and hermeneutics.
Biblical Studies Honours modules which have been offered in previous years include:
- Ancient Jewish Literature from 1 Enoch to the Mishnah
- Creation and Chaos in the Old Testament and Ancient Near East
- Epistle to the Hebrews: English Text
- Hebrew Prose and Poetry
- Hebrew Readings
- Reading in the Greek New Testament
- The Gospel of Mark: Greek Text
In fourth year, students also undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. The School provides significant support for the dissertation, with a breakdown of the assessment into different stages and a programme of seminars to assist in the development of advanced research and communication skills.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Biblical Studies as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
“I have enjoyed being part of a close-knit community in Divinity where you are able to get to know other students and lecturers well, making it a very supportive environment.”
Eilidh (Inverclyde, Scotland)