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Bible and the Contemporary World - Distance Learning (PGDip/MLitt)

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  • Study Type

    Distance learning available

  • Subject Areas

    Theology & Religious Studies

  • Start Date

    September, January

  • Course Duration

    15 weeks part time; minimum 18 months part time, maximum 4 years part time (PGDip); minimum 2 years part time, maximum 5 years part time (MLitt)

  • Course Type

    PgDip, Other

  • Course Fees

    UK and EU: £1,890 per module, £2,830 MLitt dissertation module
    Overseas: £3,910 per module, £5,870 MLitt dissertation module

Course content

The PGDip/MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World is a part-time distance learning programme aimed at both lay people seeking personal development and clergy seeking continued professional development.

Find out more about studying Bible and the Contemporary World.


  • A residential study week in St Andrews starts each module with lectures and seminar discussions and allows you to meet your fellow participants and tutors.
  • Join an international and interdenominational group of 20 to 25 students, most of whom are lay people without prior theological qualifications, in relating the Christian traditions to a host of public issues. 
  • Provides continuing professional and personal development for clergy and lay people together.

Teaching format

Each semester begins with a residential study week held at St Mary's College, the School of Divinity at the University of St Andrews. A typical residential study week includes lectures, seminars, sessions on using the Moodle and MMS internet platforms and study skills training. It is also a good opportunity for you to meet your distance learning peers and tutors in person.

Attendance is required at each study week from Monday through Wednesday, but students are encouraged to stay for the remainder of the week. You will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation costs to attend these mandatory study weeks. 

Both MLitt and PGDip students take three taught modules over the course of their programme. Each module comprises 15 weeks of study (typically divided into four units) and focuses on independent learning.

In each unit of a module, students are supplied a number of scholarly articles and extracts from books which are supplemented by two written lectures available online in digital format; you will also have access to the library's extensive online subscriptions of journals and ebooks. In lieu of seminars, you will participate in online bulletin board discussions with your peers (not held in real time).

Students typically write four essays for each module (one for each unit) and receive written feedback. Students will have one personal tutorial (usually via online video messaging or telephone) with a tutor per module where they can discuss their recent essay.

The MLitt programme is followed by a 15,000-word dissertation submitted at the end of two years study. Students are assigned an individual supervisor for their dissertation, and meetings with supervisors are normally held via online video messaging or telephone.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


Each module typically comprises:

  • online lectures and seminars.
  • 100% coursework assessment.

Students will take the modules in different orders depending on their point of entry.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018/2019 entry.

Visit the Bible and the Contemporary World - Distance Learning (PGDip/MLitt) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!




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