MTh and MLitt by Research

The School of

Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History

Maintaining a tradition of teaching & learning dating back over 500 years

MTh and MLitt by Research

Masters degrees by research are research based degrees and do not include mandatory course attendance. The Masters by Research programme allows students to work with a supervisor on an area of research resulting in a 40,000 word dissertation.

Overview of the MLitt and MTh by Research

Duration: full-time 12 months; part-time 24 months (p/t option is not available to international resident students). We offer research students the option of commencing study in January or September.

Research degrees at the University of Aberdeen are defined by the student’s own research proposal, on which (s)he will write a thesis. Research students read on their own research topic and work closely with their supervisors to define research and write a thesis. They also attend regular research seminars and are provided with opportunities to attend conferences.

To be accepted into an MTh or MLitt by research programme, an applicant must secure a research supervisor. Applicants should write directly to the most suitable member of staff regarding their intended project.

The School of Divinity, History and Philosophy offers PhD supervision in the following areas (links will direct you to potential supervisors and their specific areas of study):

Entry Requirements

Normally, the minimum entrance requirement for admission as a student for the research masters is a degree with Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in an appropriate field, or its equivalent.


An MTh or MLitt by research degree is normally 12 months of residential study, working with a supervisor and attending research seminars, taking part fully in the research community here. If you are an international student, wanting to be residential during your studies, you will need to have a Tier 4 student visa. We also offer research masters programmes via distance learning, either full-time (12 months) or part-time (24 months). The distance learning programmes on offer for the MTh and MLitt by research include: Master of Theology, MLitt in History, MLitt in Art History, MLitt in Philosophy, MLitt in Religious Studies, and the MLitt in Scandinavian Studies.

Part-time Study

UK and EU students can undertake their research masters on a part time basis if they wish totalling 24 months of supervised study. This option is not available to resident international students. 

How to Apply

You can make your application online. Please read the guidance to help you complete your application form.

Alongside your application form, you will need to upload the following supporting documents online:

  • Copies of your undergraduate and graduate degree certificates
  • Academic transcripts for your undergraduate and graduate degrees.
    The transcript, which lists all of the classes taken and marks gained, must be requested by the student. You should therefore get in touch with the University where you gained your degree, and arrange for this to be sent to you.
  • Two academic references; either the details of your referees provided on your application form or uploaded online with your application.
  • Your research proposal
  • If English is not your first language and you have not studied previously at an institution in the UK, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English by taking an IELTS, TOEFL or PTE academic test.

If you need to send some of your supporting documents at a later date, you can upload your supporting documents online after you have submitted your application. Please note that your application will not be processed until all supporting documents have been submitted.

If you have any questions about the programme you are interested in or the application process,  please contact the Postgraduate Administrator at, or call +44 (0) 1224 272199.