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Theology and the Arts (MLitt) 2022 entry

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 standalone Masters course or a stepping stone for those considering doctoral research in the field.

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 September 2023

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

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.

Tuition fees

Home: £10,395
Overseas: £21,390

Application deadline

Thursday 11 August 2022. As competition for places is strong, early application is highly recommended. Applicants should also apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

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 
  • 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.

Course information

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.
  • Engages with diverse forms of culture of different eras, including literature, drama, the visual arts and music.

Teaching format

The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters followed by a 15,000-word dissertation written over three months during 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. Assessment comprises a combination of coursework and written examination.

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.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


Each module typically comprises:

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

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2021–2022 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2022 entry.

  • Christian Doctrine and the Arts: examines key Christian doctrines and their artistic presentation throughout the centuries.
  • Religious Experience and Aesthetic Forms: 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 modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2022 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Online information events

Conferences and events

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 quarterly 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 CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and their literary circle.
  • Ashgate Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts book series.


Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MLitt

Research degrees

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 coursework grounding to begin an independent doctoral research project.

PhD in Divinity


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 on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

"St Andrews has given me a clear sense of the academic opportunities available in theology and the arts. It has introduced me to the theory and history of theoartistry, which has been invaluable in shaping my doctoral focus. It has also provided me with an academic model for interdisciplinary research in the arts that I hope to implement later in my career."

- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


School of Divinity
University of St Andrews
St Mary's College
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JU

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2826

School of Divinity


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Curriculum development

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.

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online.

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