Biblical Studies MTh

Biblical Studies, MTh

Introduction

MTh Biblical Studies provides knowledge required for independent research and teaching of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and or New Testament Studies in academic, religious and other settings.

Key Facts

Duration
1 Year / 2 Years
Study Mode
Full Time / Part Time
Start Month
September
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning

Interested in this Degree?

Apply Now

Overview

Biblical studies draws on diverse academic disciplines and study of Jewish and Christian scriptures, archeology, literary criticism, history, philology and social science. The discipline has affected civilisation in the Western World, philosophy, and ethics of some nations, and it affects how we interrelate with each other throughout life.

MTh Biblical Studies is designed to provide advanced training in Biblical Studies to you if you have a significant undergraduate, seminary or comparable background in biblical or related studies. Through seminar-style courses and directed research, you can acquire the skills and knowledge required for independent postgraduate research and teaching in this field. The programme offers you a firm basis for work in the area of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and/or New Testament studies, whether in an academic, religious or other settings.

The programme is a stepping stone for you if you want to undertake further academic research, work with charitable and voluntary organisations, and leadership of congregations.

In addition to our taught programme, we also offer the MTh in Biblical Studies as a research degree. For more information about this option, please click here.

What You'll Study

Degree Structure

Compulsory Courses

Research training: DR502H or 30 credits from: DR503N, DR502T, DR551Q, DR503M, DR5089, DR552K, DR503F, DR552V, DR502X, DR4543, DR4043, DR503H, DR553H, DR452G, DR452A

Dissertation Colloquium (DR502H)

For the first four sessions we will meet as a group to take an overview of the process of finding a suitable dissertation topic and embarking on research in Divinity and Religious Studies. Then students will develop their own dissertation topics in consultation with their supervisors.

Creation in Christian Ethics (DR502T)

This course examines the account of creation in the biblical book of Genesis in order to explore the theological account of human moral action it offers. By exploring different movements of the creation story, the course lays out the basic structure of Christian moral theology. The aim is to develop a theological approach to the fundamentals of Christian ethics, clarifying its relevance for issues of sexuality and procreation, economics, work, governance, health, animals and the environment. The course offers a broad theoretical framework for thinking about the whole scope of ethical questions in contemporary society.

Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics (DR551Q)

This course will introduce students to a number of major thinkers in the area of Theological Ethics. Its focus will be on reading and discussing texts by prominent figures who are of ongoing significance. Moreover, this course will include figures from different theological and confessional backgrounds (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, non-Conformist, etc.), and explore whether and how their theological commitments connect with practical stances and approaches (i.e. on issues of war and peace, sexual ethics, bioethics, etc.)

Preaching to Change the World: Exploring the Theology and Practice of Christian Witness (DR503M)

This course engages students in a sustained exploration of the theology and practice of preaching in the context of Christian worship with a view to the wider horizon of public communication. Initial investigation of traditional and contemporary theologies of the Word prepares us to focus upon the theological and rhetorical analysis of actual sermons considered in video, audio and textual forms. We will critically examine the theological frameworks within which preaching is understood, various possibilities for understanding the relation of biblical text, contemporary context, and preached sermon, as well questions concerning the interplay of form and content in the act of preaching

Interpreting Myth (DR5089)

A survey of eight leading theories of myth from the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and religious studies. The focus will be on the differing answers the theories give to the common questions of the origin, the function, and the subject matter of myth. Each theory will be applied to a familiar myth.

The Life of Muhammad: Religion, History, Literature (DR552K)

We will discuss the biography of Prophet Muhammad, the main figure in Islam, through whom the Qur’an was revealed. We will look at existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. We will examine various research approaches to this topic and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of each. Through a discussion of main episodes in the life of the Prophet we will learn of various ways for understanding these episodes. We will also discuss the status of Muhammad against other prophets in Islam and against the Qur’an.

The Emergence of Christology (DR503F)

How did the Jesus of history become the proclaimed Christ of faith? At the heart of the earliest Christian Christology is the variously expressed association of the pre-Easter Jesus and his message with the post-Easter proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, as testified in the New Testament. This course explores some of the early expressions and trajectories of the early Christian conviction to this effect, how these related to contemporary messianic expectations as well as other relevant Early Jewish and Graeco-Roman concepts and beliefs, and, of course to the focal point of early Christianity: the Christ-event itself.

Jewish History and Culture (DR552V)

Key topics in Jewish history in the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Mediaeval and modern periods. Selected aspects of Jewish culture through the ages, concentrating on religion and ritual.

Special Subject (DR502X)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies agreed upon with his or her supervisor and approved by the Head of School. It may be offered in conjunction with the student sitting in on level 4 lectures relating to the subject material.

Senior Honours Special Subject (DR4543)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies. The specific content of the course may vary, but the focus will include work on enhancing research skills and the completion of a academic research paper. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study need to obtain the permission of a supervisor and of the Head of School.

Senior Honours Special Subject (DR4043)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies. The specific content of the course may vary, but the focus will include work on enhancing research skills and the completion of a academic research paper. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study need to obtain the permission of a supervisor and of the Head of School.

Ancient Greek for Postgraduates 1 (DR503H)

The course will is a synthesis of current Undergraduate level 1 course delivery with further emphasis on text based analysis and interpretative methodology.

Ancient Greek for Postgraduates 2 (DR553H)

This course, which builds on the foundations laid in DR503H, introduces further study of the grammar and vocabulary of New Testament Greek. The programme will follow the textbook by J. Duff, Elements of New Testament Greek (Cambridge University Press, 2005). This is not to be confused with the textbook with the same title by John Wenham. By the end of the course the textbook will have been covered and the students will begin to read and translate unaltered texts from the New Testament.

Optional Courses

3 courses (or 90 credits) from: DR503F, DR552V, DR502X, DR552X, DR4043, DR4543, DR503H, DR553H, DR452G, DR452A, DR503N, DR553N, DR502T, DR551Q, DR503M, DR5089, DR552K, DR553P, DR552G

The Emergence of Christology (DR503F)

How did the Jesus of history become the proclaimed Christ of faith? At the heart of the earliest Christian Christology is the variously expressed association of the pre-Easter Jesus and his message with the post-Easter proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, as testified in the New Testament. This course explores some of the early expressions and trajectories of the early Christian conviction to this effect, how these related to contemporary messianic expectations as well as other relevant Early Jewish and Graeco-Roman concepts and beliefs, and, of course to the focal point of early Christianity: the Christ-event itself.

Jewish History and Culture (DR552V)

Key topics in Jewish history in the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Mediaeval and modern periods. Selected aspects of Jewish culture through the ages, concentrating on religion and ritual.

Special Subject (DR502X)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies agreed upon with his or her supervisor and approved by the Head of School. It may be offered in conjunction with the student sitting in on level 4 lectures relating to the subject material.

Special Subject (DR552X)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divnity or Religious Studies agreed upon with his or her supervisor and approved by the Head of School. It may be offered in conjunction with the student sitting in on level 4 lectures relating to the subject material

Senior Honours Special Subject (DR4043)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies. The specific content of the course may vary, but the focus will include work on enhancing research skills and the completion of a academic research paper. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study need to obtain the permission of a supervisor and of the Head of School.

Senior Honours Special Subject (DR4543)

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies. The specific content of the course may vary, but the focus will include work on enhancing research skills and the completion of a academic research paper. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study need to obtain the permission of a supervisor and of the Head of School.

Ancient Greek for Postgraduates 1 (DR503H)

The course will is a synthesis of current Undergraduate level 1 course delivery with further emphasis on text based analysis and interpretative methodology.

Ancient Greek for Postgraduates 2 (DR553H)

This course, which builds on the foundations laid in DR503H, introduces further study of the grammar and vocabulary of New Testament Greek. The programme will follow the textbook by J. Duff, Elements of New Testament Greek (Cambridge University Press, 2005). This is not to be confused with the textbook with the same title by John Wenham. By the end of the course the textbook will have been covered and the students will begin to read and translate unaltered texts from the New Testament.

Creation in Christian Ethics (DR502T)

This course examines the account of creation in the biblical book of Genesis in order to explore the theological account of human moral action it offers. By exploring different movements of the creation story, the course lays out the basic structure of Christian moral theology. The aim is to develop a theological approach to the fundamentals of Christian ethics, clarifying its relevance for issues of sexuality and procreation, economics, work, governance, health, animals and the environment. The course offers a broad theoretical framework for thinking about the whole scope of ethical questions in contemporary society.

Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics (DR551Q)

This course will introduce students to a number of major thinkers in the area of Theological Ethics. Its focus will be on reading and discussing texts by prominent figures who are of ongoing significance. Moreover, this course will include figures from different theological and confessional backgrounds (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, non-Conformist, etc.), and explore whether and how their theological commitments connect with practical stances and approaches (i.e. on issues of war and peace, sexual ethics, bioethics, etc.)

Preaching to Change the World: Exploring the Theology and Practice of Christian Witness (DR503M)

This course engages students in a sustained exploration of the theology and practice of preaching in the context of Christian worship with a view to the wider horizon of public communication. Initial investigation of traditional and contemporary theologies of the Word prepares us to focus upon the theological and rhetorical analysis of actual sermons considered in video, audio and textual forms. We will critically examine the theological frameworks within which preaching is understood, various possibilities for understanding the relation of biblical text, contemporary context, and preached sermon, as well questions concerning the interplay of form and content in the act of preaching

Interpreting Myth (DR5089)

A survey of eight leading theories of myth from the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and religious studies. The focus will be on the differing answers the theories give to the common questions of the origin, the function, and the subject matter of myth. Each theory will be applied to a familiar myth.

The Life of Muhammad: Religion, History, Literature (DR552K)

We will discuss the biography of Prophet Muhammad, the main figure in Islam, through whom the Qur’an was revealed. We will look at existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. We will examine various research approaches to this topic and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of each. Through a discussion of main episodes in the life of the Prophet we will learn of various ways for understanding these episodes. We will also discuss the status of Muhammad against other prophets in Islam and against the Qur’an.

Dissertation (DR552G)

20,000 word dissertation written on a topic related to the student's taught Master's programme and agreed to by the supervisor and the programme co-ordinator.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out more

How You'll Study

Assessment

The taught courses will be assessed by coursework, by written examination, or by a combination of these, as prescribed for each course. The dissertation course will be assessed by submission of the dissertation. An oral examination may be held at the discretion of the Examiners.

Why Study Biblical Studies?

  • The University of Aberdeen has a long-standing reputation as one of the foremost UK research institutions in Biblical Studies offering you a variety of career options and further academic research.
  • The programme is largely research-oriented and Aberdeen offers internationally recognised experts among its permanent staff in a broad range of sub-disciplines.
  • As an additional benefit, our Divinity School has a large postgraduate community so there are several vibrant postgraduate research seminars open to students and staff.
  • This one-year programme provides advanced training in Biblical Studies to students with a significant undergraduate, seminary, or comparable background in biblical or related studies. Through seminar-style courses and directed research, students can acquire the skills and knowledge required for independent postgraduate research and teaching in this field.
  • Our students come from all over the British Isles and from overseas and go on to a wide range of professions after they graduate.

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition fee for main award £4,500
International Students Tuition fee for main award £13,800
  • You will be classified as one of the fee categories above.
  • All International students entering in year 2016/17 will pay the 2016/17 fee for each year of study.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.

Funding

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Entry Requirements

For more information about the application process, including details about which supporting documents you will be asked to provide, please click here.

Qualifications

In general, an upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in Divinity or Religious Studies or an equivalent degree is required.

Language Requirements

For international students, proof of proficiency in English is required. The accepted certificates and minimum scores are listed as follows:

  • IELTS test overall score of 6.5, with a writing and reading score of 6.0 and a listening and speaking score of 5.5
  • TOEFL overall score of 90, with a writing and reading score of 21, a listening score of 17 and a speaking score of 20
  • PTE Academic Test overall score of 62 with a writing and reading score of 54 and a listening and speaking score of 51

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. Please visit the English language requirements page for more information.

Please note: Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found at the link above.

Document Requirements

  • Degree Transcripta full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statementa detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications
  • Referencea reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability

Careers

An MTh in Biblical Studies prepares students for a wide variety of career options including PhD research. It offers students a firm basis for working in the fields of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and New Testament Studies, whether in an academic or religious setting.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Dr Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer
Professor Joachim Schaper
Professor Grant Macaskill
Programme Coordinator
Dr Tomas Bokedal

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Contact

Address
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds

Aberdeen

AB24 3DS
Email
Phone
+44 (0)1224 272890
What do you think of our new Prospectus?
Feedback