Masters degrees in Judaism involve advanced study of the Jewish faith, including its scared texts, literature, history and languages.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Biblical Studies, Hebrew Studies and Jewish Studies. Programmes usually award MA or MRes degrees, but in some cases you may receive a Master of Theology (MTh) or an MSc.
As one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, Judaism has a rich history spanning more than 3,000 years. By studying its traditions, sacred texts and philosophical foundations, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of a fascinating religion.
Postgraduate courses in Jewish Studies often take a broad, interdisciplinary approach to Judaism. This means you might take modules in topics as varied as Yiddish literature, the Holocaust and Arab-Israeli relations, providing you with a well-rounded view of the subject.
An important part of many programmes is a language component, where you take lessons in Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew or Yiddish, enabling you to study texts in their original form.
Careers with a Masters in Judaism are diverse, and you could find work in heritage, diplomacy or a non-governmental organisation (NGO), to give a few examples. Alternatively, you could enter the clergy or carry on your studies to PhD level.
This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a PhD. Its emphasis is on adding depth and breadth to expertise in biblical languages.
Finely-honed language skills are central to the programme’s engagement with the Bible, the world that produced it, and its later readers. It provides expert in-depth study of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, the wider ancient Near East and Mediterranean World, and related extra-biblical literature including the Dead Sea Scrolls.
You will be taught by leading academics with research interests in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, early Judaism and early Christianity.
You will benefit from weekly research seminars in biblical studies, and from our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.
This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.
This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.
Compulsory courses comprise two biblical language/reading courses, in Greek or Hebrew/Aramaic, and two in research methods. Many scenarios for language study can be chosen in consultation with the Programme Director. If you have only one year’s prior biblical languages study you may take Intermediate Biblical Hebrew or Intermediate New Testament Greek.
You will choose three options. At least two must be from courses in biblical studies, of which the following are examples:
The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes in the School or University, and from advanced undergraduate courses such as Historical Jesus or Jesus in Film.
This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.
In this distinguished MA degree, students can tap into our rich tradition of excellence in textual, theological and philosophical study while also gaining perspective on ways religion shapes and is shaped by the contemporary world. Attracting students from around the globe, the MA in Religion offers an outstanding range of teaching from internationally leading scholars, with the option to follow one of four pathways of study or to forge your own path.
The MA in Religion is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. Under the umbrella of a single MA, you will have the choice of four pathways that can be tailored to your interests.
If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of religion in the contemporary world from political, sociological and anthropological perspectives, follow the Religion in Contemporary Society pathway.
For a comprehensive understanding of Christian thought and practice as it has been reasoned and debated over the centuries, take the Systematic Theology pathway.
The Biblical Studies pathway introduces students to the world, text and context of the Bible in antiquity and in the modern world, reading it as literature and as a theological text.
The Jewish Studies pathway opens up the richness of Jewish texts and experience from antiquity to modern times, with particular attention to current issues in multi-religious societies.
The final option available to you is to not follow a pathway and to instead forge your own path, choosing the MA-level teaching you desire from across our diverse and interdisciplinary Department of Theology and Religious Studies and beyond.
We strongly believe that teaching and research should be closely related. All our teaching staff are therefore research-active, many enjoying international reputations as leaders in their fields. Our commitment to original research means that we can introduce students to new discoveries in a diverse range of fields being explored by our staff.
If you are a full-time student, each week we will provide six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study.
If you are a part-time student, each week we will provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 17 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Methods of assessment vary between modules, but typically involve the submission of some coursework (usually an essay) and a written examination. A few modules are assessed through only one of these methods.
Our graduates use the skills and knowledge that they develop with us to pursue careers in teaching, journalism, media, civil service, policy consultancy, museum work, community organisations and the church or other religious institutions. Others have continued their studies to further research.
The International Jewish Studies MA program in Jewish history, philosophy and thought. The course offers a comprehensive combination of Judaic studies that weaves together Biblical and Talmudic Studies, Jewish History, Philosophy, and Mysticism. The program’s focus extends from the Biblical to Modern era, and is taught by experts in the fields of Biblical studies, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early and Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, early Modern and Modern Jewish History and Thought. Our parallel Hebrew-language program draws over two-hundred students annually and we are now happy to be able to offer it to students from around the world.
The year-long program will be taught over three semesters and includes a final examination. The courses are split according to three chronological groups: the Biblical period, Antiquity (the Rabbinic period); and the Medieval to the Modern period. In order to obtain a master’s degree, the student will need to accumulate 36 credits over three consecutive semesters. The credits may be made up from any of the three groups of his/her choice and include the following fields of study:
For a full list of courses available please refer here.
The English-language MA program is aimed at students who seek to deepen their knowledge of the Jewish tradition and its many facets, and for those who would like to gain a solid and broad foundation from which to continue with more specialized post-graduate studies in the field. Over the course of the program, students will also participate in several educational excursions, visiting some of Israel’s main historical sites.
Additionally, the program can be pursued for a semester for use as credit at students’ home universities. Those who wish may combine the program with language studies in Hebrew and Arabic.
The courses will be divided into three chronological cohorts: Biblical; Antiquity (Rabbinics); and Medieval through the Modern period. In order to obtain a Master degree, the student will need to accumulate 36 credits (usually in three semesters: Fall; Spring and Summer\or Fall).The student may choose to focus on one cohort (with, nevertheless, a few courses from other cohorts) or to divide his studies between the three.
Following are examples of the courses we propose for 2015-2016:
The biblical north:
a. Israel, Canaan, Philistia, under the Great Empires 1300-333 BCE
b. Prophets and Kings between North and South
c. The Dead Sea Scrolls in their Context
d. Archaeology and Urban Politics: Hazor, Dan, Meggido, Dor.
The Sages of the Galilee:
a. Sepphoris and Tiberias: Regional cultural productions, rivalries, and exchange.
b. From Midrash to the Genizah.
c. Eschatological expectations and apocalyptic literature in Byzantine Palestine.
d. Conversion in Rabbinic Literature: From the academies of Tiberias to the Rivers of Babylon
Medieval and Early Modern Safed and the region:
a. Saints and pilgrims of the middle ages.
b. Mysticism, Law and Renaissance in Safed at the 16th century.
c. Lurianic Kabbalah in depth.
d. Aggadic Midrash in the Cairo Genizah: From a Galilean Cradle to Mediterranean Spread.
e. The Land of Israel in Early Modern Jewish Thought and Philosophy.
a. Midrash in the making, From Qumran to the Modern Edition.
b. Apocalypse across the Ages: Armageddon and the Messiah from Mt. Arbel.
c. Field Course (a day excursion for each):1. Megido, Hazor and Dan; 2. Beit Sharim and Sepphoris; 3. Safed; 4. Haifa
For more information on courses available please refer here.
The faculty is made up of experienced teaching staff each specializing in fields that cover the Biblical, Antiquity, Medieval, Modern and Post Modern periods. For a full list of faculty and their fields please refer here.
For information on additional scholarship opportunities and financial aid please click here.
Qualified applicants from Asian countries are eligible for scholarships of up to $4,000 US. For more information on this scholarship please contact Dr. Micha Perry at [email protected]%3e.
If you want to widen the scope of careers open to you within the discipline or go on to teach, work in the ministry, in church leadership or charitable organisations this programme may help you achieve your career aspirations. Biblical and Religious Studies has been taught at Aberdeen since its inauguration in 1495 making it one of the oldest and most established universities to study this discipline area. Teachers are highly regarded internationally and the programme is made up of wide ranging spiritual areas of study. Students come from the British Isles and overseas and follow a wide range of professions upon graduation.
The programme in Biblical Studies is designed to stimulate reflection on the use of the Bible in theology by crossing the conventional disciplinary boundaries between biblical exegesis and systematic theology. Special attention will be given to the issues of canonical criticism, narrative reading, and the use of Scripture in the construction of theological arguments.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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