Divinity BD (Hons) 2021 entry
The BD (Hons) in Divinity is a shorter course intended for those who already have an undergraduate degree and are interested in focusing on theological and biblical studies. It is especially suited for those considering ordination within a Christian denomination.
You will have the option to specialise in subjects such as the Old Testament, theology, practical theology, church history or a combination of these.
Bachelor of Divinity (single Honours degree)
Three years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2024
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
Students must have an undergraduate degree in another subject in order to be accepted on the Divinity BD (Hons).
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
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 divinity is required, but applicants must already hold an undergraduate degree from a higher education institution.
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.
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 first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2021.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for 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.
The School of Divinity was also ranked top in Scotland for research quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
Find out more about studying divinity at St Andrews.
Throughout all three years of your degree, you will take the required modules in divinity only.
Typically, you will take three divinity modules per semester during your first year, and four modules per year during your second and third year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
Students take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- Philosophical Theology: introduces students to the relations between philosophy and theology in thought about God, including themes in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language.
- The Early and Medieval Church: History, Beliefs and Practices: explores key themes in the organisation, practice and beliefs of the early and medieval church, focusing mostly on the period from the first to the ninth centuries.
- New Testament 2: Paul and the Epistles: examines the literature and developing theology of the New Testament, paying particular attention to the issue of unity and diversity, and to the themes of Christology and soteriology.
- 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.
Students will also take two modules from the following:
- 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.
- Hebrew 2: aims to extend students' skills in reading the Hebrew Bible and in the techniques of textual criticism and of exegesis.
- Introduction to Practical Theology and Theological Ethics: introduces students to the work of a number of practical theologians as well as key concepts from the history of Christian ethics, such as natural law, divine command, virtue ethics, the relation of scripture to ethics, and political theology.
- New Testament 1: Jesus and the Gospels: considers the historical contexts of the New Testament texts; then studies the Gospels with a view to determining the particular interests of their authors, and with a view to assessing their portraits of Jesus in relation to the historical Jesus.
- New Testament Greek 1: introduces the essential grammar, morphology, and vocabulary of New Testament Greek.
- 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.
- Theology: Issues and History: addresses a variety of themes within Christian theology. Each theme will be approached with a view to its biblical roots and historical development, its critical reception and restatement in the modern period, and its significance for contemporary theological reflection.
During your second and third year in divinity, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options focusing on primary biblical and theological texts.
Divinity Honours modules which have been offered in previous years include:
- A Quest for God: The Religious World of Dante
- Analytic Theology
- Ancient Jewish Literature from 1 Enoch to the Mishnah
- Christian Ethics and Contemporary Society
- Creation and Chaos in the Old Testament and Ancient Near East
- Johannine Literature and Theology
- King and Messiah in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism
- Medieval Monastic Spirituality
- Reading in the Greek New Testament
- The Book of Daniel
- The Gospel of Mark: English Text or Greek Text
- Themes and Texts in Christian-Buddhist Dialogue
- Theology and Pastoral Care.
In third 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 appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
“I enjoy the close community in the School, not just between students but also with staff who are really engaging and helpful. As my classes are quite small I have great access to ask questions and get advice, whether it be through an email or in person. Also, studying in the King James Library is a great reminder of how lucky I am to be able to study here.”
Zac (Coleraine, Northern Ireland)