The MA (Hons) in Biblical Studies is a four-year course run by the School of Divinity. The course is designed to introduce you to the complexities and wonders of reading biblical texts: contexts, content, methods and hermeneutics (the reading of ancient texts in a modern world).
In your first two years, you will take compulsory modules focusing on both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament modules focus on the history, religion and culture of Israel, and incorporate a wide range of texts from prophetic, hymnic, wisdom and apocalyptic literature. The New Testament modules focus on Jesus and the Gospels, Paul’s letters and the rest of the New Testament writings in the context of the history and theology of early Christianity. In addition, you will study at least one biblical language – either Hebrew or Greek, or both – which will provide a basis for Honours level exegesis courses.
Alongside Biblical Studies, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.
The skills you gain in detailed analytical study will prepare you for your final two years, during which you will take advanced exegesis and hermeneutics modules. You will also be able to choose from a range of specialist subject modules in areas including (but not limited to):
- New Testament texts in Greek or English
- Old Testament texts in Hebrew or English
- extra-biblical texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls
- biblical themes such as monarchy
- further languages such as Biblical Aramaic.
Final year students must also complete a 10,000 to 12,000-word dissertation on a Biblical Studies topic chosen in consultation with teaching staff.
The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.
Find out more about studying Divinity at St Andrews.