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.
This MA draws on the wide-ranging expertise of UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies, the only department of its kind in the UK, and offers modules in all areas, periods, and aspects of Jewish studies. The programme prepares students for further research, personal engagement, and interdisciplinary study.
All students are introduced to the disciplines, theories, methods, and practice of learning and research in Jewish Studies BA, and those without prior knowledge of Hebrew learn the language at elementary level. An extensive range of optional modules are available in Jewish history, literature, languages, and Jewish thought, from antiquity to the modern world.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one or two (see below) core modules (30/60 credits), between four or six optional modules (60/90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Options may include the following:
All students undertake an independent research project which should be based in part on primary sources. The project culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and other media such as occasional film viewings. Students will be expected to visit the major archives and libraries in the London area, depending on their specific areas of research and interest. Assessment is mainly through unseen examinations, coursework, long essays, and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Jewish Studies MA
Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies, while others have pursued a wide range of professional careers, including education at all levels, NGO activity, electronic and print media, the clergy (Jewish and non-Jewish), diplomacy, film-making, and much more.
This programme provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career, but it is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, law, business, museum and heritage, charities, and the education sector. Small-group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and communication skills for their future career. The analytical and research skills gained by taking this programme are highly valued by employers from a range of industries. Many additional activities are available, both within the department and the wider UCL community, to help students focus on employability skills whilst they are here. Both the department and UCL Careers offer advice and support to our MA students who are looking towards the next step in their career development.
UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies is unique in the UK and Europe, with an outstanding international reputation for its research, teaching, and expertise. We are warm, friendly, and highly ambitious.
We offer a wide range of taught modules, with further options available in other departments at UCL and elsewhere in London. Our students are given individual attention and encouraged to pursue their own interests and research.
UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum, the British Library, and other specialist libraries such as the Warburg Institute, and SOAS, University of London. With its own specialist library in Jewish Studies, UCL has access to the best resources for academic research in the subject.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Hebrew & Jewish Studies
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
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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Find out more about living in Aberdeen
Our MA programme is designed both for specialists to deepen their knowledge and skills and for graduates of other Humanities disciplines to switch into postgraduate level understanding of our subjects. The key to us being able to do this is the centring of the courses around high-level, small-group seminar discussion, mainly assessed by essays that form mini-research projects in areas of your interest. These courses are followed by one-to one supervision for a research dissertation. This structure means that if you have studied an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy, Ethics or related subjects, the MA provides an extended opportunity to work in depth in what fascinated you in your BA, while also offering the chance for exploring other areas that you might have missed. On the other hand, if your degree is in another area of Humanities, the small-group and one-to-one focus gives us the chance to provide tailored help to get up to speed in any area of Religions and Theology. You are also able to join in undergraduate classes, whether that is to have an extended exposure to the basics of a topic or to learn a language. In fact, even students who already have a BA in the field quite often find that they want to pick up a subject that they previously missed. One of Manchester's key distinctive features is that you are very free to do this.
This programme enables specialisation, while stressing a broad, interdisciplinary and comparative approach. Courses can be taken from across the offerings within the discipline and beyond. Courses cover a wide range of topics, including Biblical studies, Jewish studies, Christian studies, South Asian studies, philosophy, ethics, gender studies and politics.
Twilight menu of courses available for CPD and other study. The core courses and the main MA course unit options are generally timetabled between 4-6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday evenings, enabling the MA to be completed by studying in time-slots designed to be as suitable as possible for continuing professional development for school-teachers and others in full or part-time work.
Multi-religious Manchester . We offer the opportunity to study the religious life of one of the world's most ethnically rich cities. Our MA covers a wide range of religious traditions. There are particular dissertation and other learning opportunities in South Asian Studies : study of religions of India, Pakistan and their neighbours, and of UK communities with roots in those countries, ethnic minorities and religious identities.
John Rylands Library . The library houses many collections of world importance, including papyri, manuscripts and the world Methodist archive. As an MA student you are able to access the archives and propose a dissertation topic using archive material, for use of which you will receive training.
Bill Williams Library. A study space for Religions and Theology, housing a major collection on Anglo-Jewish history and other resources for Jewish Studies.
Please see our Facilities section below for further information on:
MA students take two core courses and up to six options, then write a dissertation. The programme takes 12 months full-time or up to 27 months part-time. Assessment is usually by essay on a topic agreed between the student and lecturer. Language course units may also involve an examination. The dissertation is 12-15000 words and you will receive one-to-one supervisory support.
The primary focus of all our postgraduate degrees is to give people research skills, whether for academic work or for another career. Many professions today require investigative skills. Some in the media spend time researching angles of events that relate to religions. Some in the health service investigate the experiences of various cultural groups in accessing services. Many in museums, libraries and other archives require the textual and historical research skills that our courses teach. Postgraduate study in Religions and Theology gives you a high level qualification for a wide range of investigative tasks.
Our masters degrees qualify you for research study at Manchester or at virtually any other high-level academic institution in the world. Many of our MA students are preparing for PhD study. Other students take Manchester MAs to enhance their understanding of a particular religious tradition, either their own or that of others. The programmes in Biblical Studies and Theology, Culture and Society offer particular opportunities for continuing professional development for church ministers. All of our courses offer valuable further professional development for teachers of Religious Education. In applying for a job in any field, a Manchester postgraduate degree will mark you out as someone with high-level skills and a track-record of successful engagement with serious and complex issues.