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Jewish Studies - MA

Course Description

This MA draws on the wide-ranging expertise of UCL Hebrew and 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.

Degree information

All students are introduced to the disciplines, theories, methods, and practice of learning and research in Jewish Studies, 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 and six optional modules (60/90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Jewish Studies MA Core Course
-Biblical Hebrew or Modern Hebrew (for students without prior knowledge of Hebrew)

Optional modules - options may include the following:
-Ancient Jewish Magic; Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions; Judaism and the Origins of Christianity
-European Jewry and the Holocaust; History of the Jews in Poland; Jews and the Metropolis
-Hebrew (biblicial, rabbinic, modern)
-Moses Maimonides in Jewish Thought and History; Hasidism and Modernity
-Old Testament Historical Texts; Introduction to Talmud
-Representation of Trauma; Family Politics in Israeli Literature; Rattling the Gender Agenda
-The Arab-Israeli Conflict; Israel and the Occupied Territories; Anglo-Israeli Relations
-Yiddish; Aramaic; Ugaritic; Syriac; Judeo-Spanish
-Yiddish Memoirs; Yiddish Literature; Special Topics

Dissertation/research project
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.


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 for our MA students who are looking towards the next step in their career development.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Hebrew and 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.

Visit the Jewish Studies - MA page on the University College London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in an arts or social science subject from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Only basic knowledge of Hebrew (beginners level) is required. Hebrew language skills will be assessed in a short placement test during induction week. Students without prior knowledge will be obliged to take one module in Hebrew.

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