Whilst St Andrews does not offer Hebrew as a single Honours degree, you can take Hebrew in combination with a wide variety of other subjects as part of a joint Honours degree.
At St Andrews, the focus is on Classical or biblical Hebrew, though you have the opportunity to take advanced modules in post-biblical Hebrew – particularly by studying the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Modern teaching methods in language study are used to help beginners. And for those with a background in languages, Hebrew makes a fascinating language to study as it belongs to the Semitic, as opposed to the Indo-European, family group.
If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Hebrew MA page. 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.
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.
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 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 Hebrew portion of the four-year joint Honours degree course is run by the School of Divinity. Studying Hebrew allows you to become attuned to the thought patterns of a distinctive culture, and gives you access to the world of biblical literature and the extraordinary range of writing found in the Hebrew Bible.
Your first two years focus on enabling you to read and analyse prescribed texts in Hebrew, especially the Old Testament.
Alongside Hebrew, 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 how academic years are organised.
In your third and fourth year, you will have the opportunity to take more advanced modules which focus on reading Hebrew in a variety of contexts, including prose and poetry.
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.
Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:
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.
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.
Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:
Hebrew 2: aims to extend students' skills in reading the Hebrew Bible and in the techniques of textual criticism and of exegesis.
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.
If you take Hebrew in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced modules ranging from reading the Hebrew Bible to studying Hebrew prose and poetry.
Here is a sample of Hebrew modules previoulsy offered at Honours level:
Ancient Jewish Literature from 1 Enoch to the Mishnah.
Creation and Chaos in the Old Testament and Ancient Near East
Hebrew Prose and Poetry
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.
Teaching in the first and second years is mainly by lectures (10 to 100 students), supplemented by regular small-group tutorials (8 to 12 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).
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.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Hebrew. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory 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.
In addition to your studies in the School of Divinity, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.
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 webpage.
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 visit the common reporting scale webpage.
Visit St Andrews
If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.
A degree in Divinity gives you the opportunity for significant intellectual and personal development, and you will acquire a wide range of transferable skills. Those who have studied Theology or Biblical Studies have learnt a range of skills including:
Graduates are in demand with employers who need rigorous but flexible thinkers with a broad knowledge base and an understanding of people and their religious and social contexts.
Recent graduates from the School of Divinity have, for example, become:
graduate students in the UK and abroad
religious studies teachers
lay chaplains at schools
journalists with the national and religious press.
Other Divinity graduates have gone on to become:
trainee manager at a national bank
art gallery assistant
Graduates have also gone on to postgraduate degrees in related areas here and at other top universities in the UK and across the world.
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.
Divinity students may 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.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of Biblical Studies may be interested in joining the St Mary’s College Society. The society organises social events for the staff and students of the School of Divinity. The society is very active with Friday lunches, pub evenings, the annual dinner, the annual ball and the Christmas lunch. They also have a charitable and spiritual role within the college, raising money for different charities throughout the year.
The School of Divinity is located in St Mary’s College, one of the oldest and most historic parts of the University, where theology has been taught for over 500 years. Today, teaching takes place in seminar rooms and lecture theatres equipped with the latest technology both within St Mary’s and around the University. The Divinity library is housed in the historic King James Library, and students have their own common room in the former Principal’s House.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
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).