Biblical Languages and Literature (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature offers students with existing competence in Biblical languages the opportunity to increase their linguistic and exegetical skills through sustained close and critical engagement with the Biblical texts and themes.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in Biblical Studies or a closely related discipline. Students must also have taken at least two semesters each of Hebrew and Greek, plus at least an additional semester of one or the other, at undergraduate level.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
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.
UK and EU: £7,500
- sample of academic work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate
- letter of intent (optional).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Biblical Languages and Literature MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
The MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity. The course focuses on text-critical issues, and students will gain proficiency in the grammar and syntax of Hebrew and Greek, and become familiar with the use of critical editions of texts and the methods, sources and norms of Biblical scholarship.
- Focus on the reading of biblical manuscripts and the use of the apparatuses of the critical editions of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and the New Testament with preparation for research degrees.
- Increase proficiency in the grammar and syntax of both Hebrew and Greek.
- Gain a critically and historically informed understanding of biblical traditions and their textual development.
- Contextualise the various methods and sources employed in bibilical scholarship to use textual investigations in broader biblical, historical and theological research.
The programme comprises two semesters of taught modules, featuring both lectures and discussions, and a 15,000-word dissertation. Class sizes for this degree are small, typically fewer than 10 students, so students have ready access to instructors. Students also have access to substantial library holdings in the areas of biblical languages and literatures.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
Students take four compulsory modules.
- Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament: critically surveys the most important witnesses, that is both manuscripts and text traditions, of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Septuagint and the New Testament.
- Biblical Themes: develops exegetical skills by tracting a biblical theme through both the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament.
- Greek Readings: a technical introduction to reading the Greek New Testament.
- Hebrew Readings: intends to acquaint the student with a range of Hebrew readings from the Old Testament.
Students choose one optional module. Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
- Second Temple Texts
- Guided Study in Divinity
- Biblical Aramaic
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
Over the course of the year, but with particular focus over the last three months, you will research and write a 15,000 word dissertation. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award 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.
Conferences and events
The School of Divinity regularly hosts international conferences and smaller symposia on themes across the field of biblical and theological studies.
Students are also welcome to participate in the School's weekly research seminars in Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year residential Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Biblical Languages and Literature.
Some of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.
The MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature provides excellent preparation for a PhD in Biblical Studies. Many of its graduates have moved on to PhD programmes either at St Andrews or other major institutions.
Regular workshops, both general and subject-specific, in areas such as publishing, conference presentations, and job searches are offered by the School of Divinity and the University.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
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. (PDF, 72 KB).
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. (PDF, 84 KB).