Christianity and the Visual Arts, MLitt

Christianity and the Visual Arts, MLitt

Introduction

The MLitt in Christianity and the Visual Arts combines the study of art and faith in the Christian world from medieval to modern times. Explore faith and the interpretation of Christian artworks in and beyond the western European context, with access to world-class ecclesiastical, artistic and cultural resources at the University.

MLitt Christianity and the Visual Arts is also available to study full-time or part-time online.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MLitt
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

The programme combines historical and theological approaches allowing students to develop critical skills and a sensitivity to the demands of a lived religion and its visualised expression. Examine a broad spectrum of objects, images, texts, and aesthetic discourses to deepen your knowledge of Christian art and its histories.

The MLitt has strategic cultural relationships with organisations, including Blairs Museum, offering unique opportunities to receive valuable vocational training and undertake original research in a supportive, inspiring environment.

Taught by leading experts in Divinity and Art History, this programme aligns art historical expertise in religious art with Divinity’s innovative and accessible approaches to the study of faith, vocational training of the profession and working with faith communities.

Our programme provides bespoke taught content and robust research training, giving you the ideal preparation for further research, future employment or vocational training – or simply to be enjoyed out of interest. The programme is also open to those working in the professional sectors seeking upskilling opportunities, such as the clergy and those employed in museums and galleries.

Campus teaching will take place in Kings College with the chapel and the Divinity Library operating as key spaces for classes and informal meetings, as well as organising displays as part of the assessment. For students studying online, interaction will take place in the virtual classroom, utilising digitised resources and discussion boards. In both formats, this degree aims to provide a unique experience to study art and Christianity in a meaningful way.

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Art and Christianity (AH501B)

30 Credit Points

The course offers an introduction to the intersections of art and Christianity, from the earliest days of the institution to the present. Through detailed examination of art and architecture, students will engage with some the church’s earliest debates and conversations, defining the spaces in which Christians worshipped and central identity of Christianity as it existed both in experience and in the imagination of people throughout its 2000-year history. Whereas Judaism and Islam restrict the making of images, Christianity was one of the greatest patrons of the arts, recognising visual culture’s intrinsic power in shaping the minds of the faithful and potential converts. The strategies the Church employed were innovative and successful, but always remined debated and significantly contributing the urge towards Reformation in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Researching Art and Faith (AH501E)

15 Credit Points

This core course focuses on methodological enquiry into art and Christianity through team-taught sessions by Divinity and Art History staff through organised research seminars. The course provides training and support for a small independent research project attached to this course but also the dissertation that concludes the programme.

Theology and Aesthetics (AH551H)

30 Credit Points

This core course considers the aesthetic tradition within biblical and systematic theology. Traditions of iconography will be discussed as will ideas of participation and semiotic theory. It offers an overview of the figures and movements in theological aesthetics beginning in Hebrew and bronze age concepts of the representation of the deity running to figures such as Augustine, Aquinas, Eastern traditions, The Reformers, Counter Reformers, Barth, von Balthasar featuring along the way.

Displaying Faith (AH551C)

15 Credit Points

This core course focuses on Christian art displayed in various sites and institutions in Aberdeen and further afield in Scotland, supported by class-based sessions. Students will meet with curators and custodians to engage with issues of collecting, display and care of devotional objects as part of their daily usage and/or afterlives.

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Select TWO from the following:

Please Note: students may, at the discretion of the course and programme coordinators, substitute up to 30creditpointsfrom the above courses with other courses offered within the University, including different Level 5 courses in the School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History as well as in other schools.

Latin 1 (LT1009)

15 Credit Points

Latin 1 is an introductory, intensive course for those with little or no previous exposure to Latin. Students completing this course should have a Latin vocabulary of about 400 words and a basic understanding of Latin grammar and syntax. Students successfully completing this course will be adequately prepared to attend Latin 2. Students will very likely discover that their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar/syntax is improved by their study of Latin. The etymological roots of many English words can be traced to the Latin language.

Latin 2 (LT1507)

15 Credit Points

Latin 2 picks up where Latin 1 finished in first term. By the end of this course students should have a more or less comprehensive understanding of Latin syntax and grammar, a Latin vocabulary of 700-800 words, and should be capable of translating simple Latin texts into idiomatic English. Students will very likely discover that their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar/syntax is improved by their study of Latin.

Palaeography i (HI501D)

15 Credit Points

A postgraduate student of medieval and early modern history or literature often needs to be able to use unedited literary and archival sources, or to check the completeness and accuracy of existing editions. Medievalists often need to consult material available only in later copies, extracts and antiquarian notes. To do so, you must be able to read pre-modern scripts. This course is designed to give students the necessary skills to use manuscript sources for themselves, whatever their date, describe manuscripts, and transcribe texts. Assessment is by exercises and a final essay.

Approaching Archives (HI552L)

15 Credit Points

What is an archive and how can it be used? Students are introduced to some archives in Aberdeen and learn how to make best use of these important resources for research. Seminars investigate the history and philosophy of archival collections, and how they relate to museums, libraries and galleries; approaches to the evaluation of contents of archives and qualitative analyses of specific collections. Assessment is based on a 5000-word essay in which students are asked to identify and analyse material from a specific archive which may be in Aberdeen, or elsewhere in Scotland, the UK, or abroad.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Christianity and the Visual Arts Dissertation (AH591B)

60 Credit Points

A 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.

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £22,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home / RUK £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

Campus Students

For those taking the degree on campus at Aberdeen, teaching will take place in Kings College with the medieval chapel and the Divinity Library operating as key spaces for classes and informal meetings, as well as organising displays as part of the assessment. We will also teach out on location, making use of the University's world-class resources and rich cultural heritage.

Why Study Christianity and the Visual Arts?

  • Explore the intertwined relation of art and Christianity, with access to rare artistic and cultural resources at the University.  
  • The programme draws on cutting edge research and expertise from the departments of Art History and Divinity.
  • Develop critical skills and a sensitivity to the demands of a historic and lived religion and its visualised expression.
  • Theology has been taught at the University of Aberdeen since its foundation in 1495.
  • Excellent opportunities to gain practical training and undertake original research through our regional cultural partners including Blairs Museum, Scotland's Museum of Catholic Heritage.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A 2:1 (upper-second) honours degree or equivalent (normally a 3.0 GPA in North America). We also welcome alternative qualifications combined with relevant professional experience.

If you don’t have a formal degree qualification, please submit a supporting personal statement with your application. These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Careers

Our programme provides bespoke taught content and robust research training, giving you the ideal preparation for further research, future employment or vocational training – or simply to be enjoyed out of interest.

Divinity, Theology and Religious Studies

We rank 29th in the World for Divinity, Theology and Religious Studies

(QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)

Theology

We rank 1st in the UK for Research in Theology 

(The Research Excellence Framework 2021)

Our Experts

Head of Department
Dr Joanne Anderson
Head of Discipline
Professor Tom Greggs
Other Experts
Karl Patrick Kinsella
Professor John Behr

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds
Aberdeen
AB24 3DS