Theology and the Arts (MLitt) 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

The MLitt in Theology and the Arts gives students a theoretically inflected and historically contextualised introduction to the field of theology and the arts, acting as a stand-alone Master’s course or a stepping stone for those considering doctoral research in the field.

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2025
One year full time
School of Divinity

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

“The MLitt in Theology and the Arts is interdisciplinary by nature, offering you opportunities to tailor your experience to your specific interests. I hope to enter a career that combines my professional skills and my love of the arts: I may continue in publishing as an acquisitions editor, pivot into art and design, or pursue a role in nonprofit work as an arts ministry program coordinator or instructor. ”
blond girl in a hat
- Arizona, USA

Entry requirements

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.

Application requirements

  • CV 
  • statement of purpose (300 to 500 words) 
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic work in English (2,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates  

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.  See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MLitt in Theology and the Arts is a one-year taught programme run by the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA), part of the School of Divinity.

The course is designed to provide a broad introduction to postgraduate work in the field of theology and the arts. It can be taken as self-contained programme of study or as a grounding for those intending to pursue doctoral research in this field. 


  • A unique training programme for artists wishing to reflect on the theological dimensions of their work, and for theologians wishing to explore the place of art within theological thought and practice. 
  • An ideal stepping stone towards the Institute's PhD programme, which centres on a three-year independent research project. 
  • An opportunity to engage with diverse forms of culture from different historical periods, including literature, drama, the visual arts and music. 


The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

Each module typically comprises: 

  • three hours of weekly lectures and seminars 
  • coursework assessment 
  • in some cases, a written exam. 


  • Christian Doctrine and the Arts: examines key Christian doctrines and their artistic presentation throughout the centuries. 
  • Religious Experience and Aesthetic Theory: explores how historical and cultural contexts through the ages have shaped religious art, and examines critically how different art forms – painting, music, literature, drama, architecture, film – and different styles within those forms mediate different kinds of religious experience. 
  • Theological Engagements with the Arts: Methodologies and Critical Theories: addresses theological questions about human artistry and introduces students to different ways of engaging the relationship between Christian theology and the arts. 
  • Practical Criticism: exposes students to a multiplicity of forms and themes, with an emphasis on the practice of close reading(taught by ITIA staff). 
  • a module from another of the School of Divinity's MLitt programmes. 
  • a module from another academic School (e.g., English, Art History, Film Studies). 

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development). 

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. The completed dissertation of 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August. 

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 finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. 


The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters followed by a 15,000-word dissertation written over three months during the summer. 

Modules are interdisciplinary in nature, integrating various artistic media and theological themes, and are taught through weekly lectures and seminars.

Class sizes typically range from 6 to 12 students. 

Students attend ITIA’s weekly research seminar, and may, if they wish, enrol in language classes and attend other lectures, seminars and reading groups as appropriate.

The School offers classes in Hebrew and Greek, which are open to all students. 

Assessment comprises a combination of coursework and written examination.


The Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) is a vibrant community of established scholars, post-docs, and graduate students. The weekly research seminar, at which internal and guest speakers discuss their ongoing work, is at the heart of the Institute’s day-to-day life. 

The ITIA Research Forum allows graduates to discuss ongoing research and provides professional training for graduates. 

The Transept, a student-led artist group, meets weekly to discuss original work in all art forms. 

ITIA is home to, and associated with, a number of publications: 

  • Transpositions – an award-winning blog edited by ITIA's graduate students.  
  • Journal of Inklings Studies – ITIA hosts the editorial office of this leading academic journal on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their literary circle. 
  • Ashgate Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts book series. 




Application fee

Before we can begin processing your application, a payment of an application fee of £50 is required. In some instances, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Details of this, along with information on our tuition fees, can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.

15% Recent Graduate Discount

If you have graduated from the University within the last three academic years, you may be eligible for a 15% discount on postgraduate taught tuition fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree


Students on the Theology and the Arts MLitt programme are provided with the skills they need to succeed in an international job market, both academic and non-academic. 

Graduates have taken up roles in a wide variety of occupations including: 

  • work for arts institutions and museums 
  • church ministry 
  • secondary school teaching. 

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

Further study

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year residential Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Theology and the Arts. 

Many Divinity graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews.

ITIA provides a competitive and rigorous PhD programme aimed at those who already have the necessary scholarly grounding to begin an independent doctoral research project. 

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

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.

Postgraduate online visiting days

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

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2826
School of Divinity
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South Street
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