Taught course

Biblical Studies

Durham University · Department of Theology and Religion

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement is a BA (Honours) degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent, for example, a GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale) in Theology, Religious Studies or a related discipline.

The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  • Graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on
  • Students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level.

The University will contact the referees named in your application directly. Please ensure that your referees are able to provide a reference in a timely fashion. If you are also applying for a Durham MA bursary, please ensure that your referees understand that their references will be used both for admission and for a very competitive funding process.

Months of entry


Course content

Our MA in Biblical Studies offers you the opportunity to study in depth both biblical and falsely attributed religious texts known as pseudepigrapha.

This comprehensive course is one of the three key areas of teaching and research in the Department along with Christian theology and the study of religion, and consists of two core modules – Gospels and Canon and a dissertation.

You will also be given the opportunity to select additional optional modules on topics such as faith and reason, conceiving change in contemporary Catholicism and religion in the neo-Liberal age.

The full range of biblical and ancient languages including Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Middle Egyptian are also studied and we are proud to be one of only a small number of universities that offers the opportunity to study such a broad range.

Durham University has a long tradition of outstanding biblical scholarship, and our course provides a wide range of distinctive approaches to biblical studies, including the historical, critical and theological that will allow you to grow and mature as independent researchers, working in your own fields of biblical interest.

Course structure

Core modules:

Gospels and Canon examines non-canonical texts and enables you to create and test relevant hypotheses with the aim of developing the appropriate research skills and experience. It shows how the understanding of familiar canonical material can be transformed when put in a wider historical context and also look at relationships between historical, theological and interpretive issues of the texts.

The Dissertation consists of a 12,000-15,000-word project that enables you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject in the field of theology and religion that you have chosen with support from your supervisor. The independent nature of the dissertation will develop your skills in the research, analysis and synthesis of texts, data, ideas and arguments.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Paul and His Interpreters
  • Middle Egyptian
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Christianity in the Second Century
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Christian Gender
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Anglican Theology in Context
  • Faith and Reason
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Theology, Nature and Environment
  • Religion in the Neo-Liberal Age
  • Biblical language studies, including a choice of Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew
  • Extended Study in Theology and Religion

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
£11,800.00 per year
International students
£24,750.00 per year

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details