Sacred Music (MLitt) 2021 entry
The MLitt in Sacred Music offers a unique interdisciplinary formation in Sacred Music for musicians, scholars, and leaders in artistic ministry. It is taught jointly by the School of Divinity’s Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts and the University of St Andrews Music Centre.
Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 September 2022
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
One year full time or two years part time
- A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree and relevant experience in theology or music. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
Wednesday 11 August 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- personal statement (300 to 500 words)
- sample of academic work in English (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
Discover the MLitt in Sacred Music
Watch current staff discuss the MLitt in Sacred Music at the University of St Andrews.
Students are expected to take three core modules and one elective module followed by either a final dissertation or a practical project. Each module has varying teaching and assessment methods.
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.
- Music and the Sacred in Theory and Practice: introduces students to the wide diversity of music in its relation to the sacred, in and outside different denominational church contexts. It addresses topics such as the sacred in pop music, music theatre, and opera, as well as in contemporary Christian music, Gregorian and contemporary chant, traditional Catholic and Anglican music, and the relationship between music and liturgy in different Christian denominations.
- Making Music in a Church Context: invites students to reflect upon the practical role of a church musician in its different facets and contexts. In exploring roles such as choir director, organist, composer, and worship ensemble leader, students gain a better understanding of the technical, organisational, and interpersonal skills required for successful church music-making. Weekly seminars with specialist church music practitioners allow all students to engage critically with different types of church musicians. Specialist small group teaching allows theoretical insight to be developed alongside practice-based competency.
- Sacred Music in the West: History and Context: focuses on the history and development of sacred music-making in a variety of confessional traditions informed by Western musical practice. Students explore when, where, and why Christians have made music in their worship.
In Semester 2, students must pick an elective module. This elective module can either be from the Theology and the Arts MLitt or from another Divinity MLitt.
Examples of Theology and the Arts electives:
- Religious Experience and Aesthetic Theory
- Christian Doctrine and the Arts
- Theological Engagements with the Arts.
Elective choices are subject to the approval of the course coordinator and subject to change each year. Some also may require a minimum number of participants or only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).
The end-of-year assessment provides students the opportunity to draw together the theoretical, philosophical, and professional practice strands of the course. Students may choose from either a research or practical assessment.
Students choosing a research assessment must complete a 12,000-word dissertation on a topic in sacred music of their choice. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise students in their choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
Those choosing a practical project have the choice of either a recital of sacred music with a written exegesis of research on the programme (5,000 words) or a composition portfolio of sacred music with critical reflection (5,000 words).
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, an exit award is available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.