Taught course

Bible and the Contemporary World

University of St Andrews · School of Divinity

Entry requirements

M.Litt. -- A good degree with Honours from a U.K. university or its equivalent: USA GPA of 3.6; PR China GPA of 3.2, Upper Second class, or better. Postgraduate Diploma -- A degree from a U.K. university, its equivalent or other relevant qualification. For this programme we do not require applicant's undergraduate degree to have been in theology or biblical studies.

Months of entry


Course content

Two versions of this programme are available; one is full-time and taught in St Andrews, the other is taught using distance learning.

Full-time residential programme: This degree is designed to offer an opporutnity for learning that is interdisciplinary between biblical and theological studies, and between these and various other human disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences.This is possible by making substantial use of an internet-based virtual learning environment and of face-to-face teaching.

Distance-learning: Connecting biblical and theological studies with other disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences is at the heart of the programme. From guided reading, lectures and online discussions students gain an understanding of how culture shapes, and has been shaped by, Christian belief, practice and theology. Students become critically aware of disputes, how these are addressed in scholarly literature, and learn how to develop their own judgements on matters of serious common concern.

Students take three consecutive one-semester modules. Postgraduate Diploma students finish their studies after three semesters. MLitt students continue by writing a 15,000-word dissertation.

Module fee: £1,510 (UK/EU) or £3,800 (Overseas)

Dissertation fee: £2,270 (UK/EU) or £5,690 (Overseas)

Full-time residential programme: £7,500 (UK/EU), £17,090 (Overseas)

Course highlights

  • Gain an understanding of how public issues and culture both shape and are shaped by Christian theology, biblical interpretation and practice.
  • Combines campus-based and virtual learning modules.
  • Join an international and interdenominational group of 20 to 25 students in relating the Christian traditions to a host of public issues.

Teaching format

The MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Divinity.

Each semester begins with a residential study week held at St Mary's College, the School of Divinity. A typical residential study week, which is shared with the distance learning part-time students, includes lectures, seminars and other learning activities. Attendance is required at each study week from Monday through Wednesday, but students are encouraged to stay for the remainder of the week. You will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation costs to attend these mandatory study weeks.

After the study week, students take one residential module and two Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) modules, which are shared with students on the part-time, distance learning version of this programme.

Each VLE module comprises 15 weeks of study (typically divided into four units) and focuses on independent learning. In each unit of a module, students are supplied a number of scholarly articles and extracts from books which are supplemented by two written lectures available online in digital format; you will also have access to the library's extensive online subscriptions of journals and ebooks. In lieu of seminars, you will participate in online bulletin board discussions with your peers (not held in real time). Students will have one personal tutorial (usually via online video messaging or telephone) with a tutor per module.

Assessment comprises four essays for each VLE module and a combination of essay and written examination for the campus-based module.

The taught portion is followed by a 15,000-word dissertation written over three months during the summer and submitted mid-August. Students are assigned a supervisor who gives guidance on the topic and provides academic support during the research and writing phases.

Information for international students

Students are expected to have IELTS grade 7.0 overall, or equivalent. Pre-sessional English language courses are available. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/elt/entry/

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


distance learning
24 months


distance learning
18 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations33
Written coursework / continuous assessment67
Dissertation (15000 words)

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0)1334 462850