Divinity BD (Honours) 2023 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. 

UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
End date
September 2026
Three years full time
School of Divinity
“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.”
- Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. 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.

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 entry requirements as outlined on their pages.

  • Standard entry grades:
    Minimum entry grades:
    Gateway entry grades:
    Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
  • Standard entry grades:
    Minimum entry grades:
  • Standard entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,6,5)
    Minimum entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,5,5)

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

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.

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.

Alternative study options

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:

Study abroad

Divinity students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The BD (Hons) in Divinity is a three-year course run by the School of Divinity. The course is only available to those who already hold an undergraduate degree and are now interested in focusing on theological and biblical studies. There is a four-year option for students who wish to also study biblical languages (see the Biblical Studies MA). 

The course focuses on the teachings and practices of the Christian faith as rooted in biblical and theological studies, and considers the significance of faith today as well as the challenges to it. Students can expect to have the opportunity to engage with a number of specialist topics including, for example, the study of the biblical text in its original languages or the interactions of Christian theology with current scientific and philosophical developments. 

During your first year, you will take modules covering both the Old and New Testaments, systematic theology, philosophy of religion, theological ethics, and the history of the early church. 

Throughout all three years of your degree, you will take the required modules in divinity only. Find out more about how academic years are organised.  

The skills you gain in detailed analytical study will prepare you for your second and third year, during which you will take reading-centred modules intended to bring you into close contact with the primary texts of Christian theology and biblical studies. These modules provide transition from the broader thematic study of subjects to a more detailed analysis of texts and traditions. 

Final-year students must also complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a divinity 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 web page.


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).

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. 
  • Paul and the Epistles A (English Texts): 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: Writings and Beyond A (English Texts): 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: 

  • God and the World: Introducing Theology: 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 which will continue into New Testament Greek 2. 
  • Old Testament: 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. 

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 Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
  • Johannine Literature and Theology: English Text 
  • King and Messiah in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism 
  • Medieval Monastic Spirituality 
  • Readings in Early Christian Greek Texts
  • 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.


Teaching in first year is mainly by lectures (10 to 100 students), supplemented by regular small-group tutorials (10 to 15 students). 

At Honours level, greater emphasis is put on individual study and on students taking a major role in preparing for, and conducting, seminars (5 to 15 students) and classes (5 to 35 students). 

When not attending lectures, tutorials and workshops, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve: 

  • working on individual and group projects 
  • undertaking research in the library 
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations 
  • preparing for examinations. 

All sub-honours modules are typically assessed by 50% coursework and 50% written examinations. At Honours level, at least 50% assessed work is coursework, with some modules including no exam element at all. 

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. 

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.  

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of divinity. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken tutor training may also contribute to the teaching of classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader. 

You can find contact information for all divinity staff on the School of Divinity website

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.


Tuition fees have yet to be set.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Channel Islands, Isle of Man

EU and overseas

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

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Joint Honours degrees

You can also take Divinity BD as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.

Course name UCAS code
Master of Arts (Honours) Classical Studies and Theological StudiesQV86
Master of Arts (Honours) English and Theological StudiesQV36
Master of Arts (Honours) Film Studies and Theological StudiesPV36
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Theological StudiesVR61
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Theological Studies (With Integrated Year Abroad)VRP1
Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Theological StudiesLV76
Master of Arts (Honours) German and Theological StudiesRVG6
Master of Arts (Honours) German and Theological Studies (With Integrated Year Abroad)RVF6
Master of Arts (Honours) International Relations and Theological StudiesLV26
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Theological StudiesGV16
Master of Arts (Honours) Medieval History and Theological StudiesVVD6
Master of Arts (Honours) Modern History and Theological StudiesVVC6
Master of Arts (Honours) Philosophy and Theological StudiesVV56
Master of Arts (Honours) Psychology and Theological StudiesCV86
Master of Arts (Honours) Russian and Theological StudiesR7V6
Master of Arts (Honours) Russian and Theological Studies (WIYA)RV10
Master of Arts (Honours) Social Anthropology and Theological StudiesLV66
Master of Arts (Honours) Spanish and Theological StudiesRV46
Master of Arts (Honours) Spanish and Theological Studies (With Integrated Year Abroad)VR64


Most graduates from the BD take the course as part of their preparation for ordination. That said, graduates from the theological and biblical disciplines develop key transferable skills in critical thinking and in written and oral communication, which make them highly attractive to potential employers. Accordingly, employment prospects are usually wide ranging. 

Recent graduates from the School of Divinity have become: 

  • religious studies teachers 
  • lay chaplains at schools 
  • ordained ministers 
  • journalists with the national and religious press. 

Others have gone on to become lawyers, corporate bankers, marketing managers, social workers, language therapists, and even wine tasters. 

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

What to do next

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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.

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

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2850
School of Divinity
St Mary's College
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JU

School of Divinity website

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