Introduction

Divinity at Aberdeen focuses on the study of the Christian faith and tradition in the context of its history, institutions and its role today. Whether you have a personal, vocational or intellectual interest in learning more about the Christian faith, or want to explore the world's major religions, Aberdeen is the place for you. You will gain accreditation with the Church of Scotland and great transferable skills which open a wide range of career options, in addition to ministry.

This programme is studied on campus.

Divinity and Theology degrees at Aberdeen both concentrate on the study of Christian faith, life and doctrine in its historical, institutional and contemporary contexts and both the Bachelor of Divinity and Bachelor of Theology degrees are accredited by the Church of Scotland.

Divinity has been taught at Aberdeen since the university was founded in 1495. You will join an international community of students and leading academics carrying forward this 500+ years of tradition in the highest-quality teaching and researching all aspects of theology and ministry and with close links to experts in all the world’s major religions.

You will explore the history of the church, Old and New Testaments, practical theology and theological ethics and choose from a vast array of courses including Biblical languages, the history of the Church in the West, the Reformation in Scotland, classical and contemporary Christian doctrine, the role of religion in ethical and political debates, and religious aspects of disability.

You will get to grips with the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek and Latin, study the Quran, Confucian and Daoist sacred texts, explore the anthropology and sociology of religion and examine the links between spirituality, health and healing.

In addition to ministry and other roles in the church, your career options will be wide due to the intellectual skills you’ve gained, media and journalism, public service and administration, the NGO sector, business, government service, publishing, education and research.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
BD
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
V600

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Rise of Christianity (DR1038) - 15 Credit Points

The course will introduce you to the first five centuries of Christian life and belief. It traces the rise of Christianity from its origins as a Jewish sect to a position of cultural and religious dominance in the Roman Empire. It also looks at the development of central themes in early Christian theology and spirituality. The course consists of lectures on key topics, workshops on preparing and presenting written work and seminars on early Christian texts. It should also include your own reading and research. Download Course Guide

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Exploring the New Testament (DR1073) - 15 Credit Points

What we know today as the New Testament, a single book between two covers and most often bundled with the Old Testament, is in fact a small library of twenty-seven texts produced by various followers of Jesus between the 30s and about 120 of the Common Era. The small collection has had an enormous impact not only on Christian churches but also the whole of Western civilization until today. This course explores the origins of these texts, their authors and audiences, and the events behind them. It neither requires nor expects any prior experience with these texts. Download Course Guide

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Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (DR1543) - 15 Credit Points

This course will contain a survey of the biblical literature of the Hebrew Bible and of the critical methods involved in its study. The course will survey the content, theology, and history of formation of key books within the Hebrew Bible. It will also present and critically evaluate source-critical, redaction-critical, form-critical, and canonical approaches to the biblical texts.

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Introduction to Christian Theology (DR1547) - 15 Credit Points

What do Christians believe? Why do they believe it? Can it (despite everything!) possibly be true? And if so, what difference does it make? Taking an 'insider's view' of Christian belief, this course asks what it means to think and to speak Christianly--about God, Jesus, creation, religion, human community and responsibility, death, life and other little things.

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Optional Courses

  • Select EITHER How Should One Live (PH1522) OR Religions of the World: The Near East (DR1550)
  • Select a further 45 credit points from level 1 Divinity or Religious Studies courses
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
How Should One Live? (PH1522) - 15 Credit Points

Why do the morally right thing when you have much more to gain by doing evil and know you could get away with it? Should you save five lives even if this requires you to kill someone in exchange for them? Would you lie on the witness stand to protect your guilty mother from life in prison? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Judith Thomson, Shelly Kagan, and T.M. Scanlon.

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Religions of the World: the Near East (DR1550) - 15 Credit Points

This course develops a Religious Studies perspective on religions. Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions will be explored in their historical, systematic, and practical/ritual dimensions. This course will not seek whether one religion is more advanced, better, or prefarable over another. The 'truth' claims made by those traditions are not the subject of the course. On the contrary, issues such as: what does the term 'Abrahamic' mean? What are the main differences and similarities between those traditions and their respective founders? lie at the core of this course's aims.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

History and Religion of Ancient Israel (DR2047) - 15 Credit Points

This course discusses the issues involved in reconstructing the history and religions of ancient Israel and Judah. It provides an overview of the history and religions of Ancient Israel and Judah, as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible, as illustrated by archaeological findings, and as understood within their larger Ancient Near Eastern context. It further teaches the students how to evaluate critically these portrayals and, as a result, how to reach independent and informed interpretations of the Biblical text. Download Course Guide

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Theology from Jesus to Calvin: The History of Christian Thought (DR2067) - 15 Credit Points

How did the Jesus movement turn into the church? At what point did the church decide Jesus was God? How can God be one and three? What is heresy and why did it matter? How did Christianity relate to surrounding philosophy? Did theology develop and change? What were the sources for Christian thought and doctrine? The course introduces students to these questions through the rich history of Christian thought by considering a number of representative theological thinkers, such as Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin. Assessment is through two short essays and a final essay. Download Course Guide

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Exploring the Tradition of Western Ethics (DR2576) - 15 Credit Points

How do we know right from wrong? What are our responsibilities towards others? How should we engage with social and political problems and issues? What constitutes a good life? This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the rich tradition of Western ethical reflection and moral formation. It does so by surveying the various ways in which ethics and morality have been understood and approached by major figures in the Western tradition.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 45 credit points from level 2 Divinity or Religious Studies courses
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

  • Select 90 credit points from level 3 Divinity or Religious Studies courses
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

  • Select EITHER Dissertation (Semester 1) (DR4044) OR Dissertation (Semester 2) (DR4544)
  • Select a further 90 credit points from Divinity or Religious Studies courses
Dissertation (DR4044) - 30 Credit Points

This course involves the writing of a dissertation in one of the sub-disciplines in Divinity and Religious Studies. Independent Research work is done under the supervision of a member of staff. The dissertation is an extended essay, of no more than 10,000 words inclusive of bibliography and references. Download Course Guide

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Dissertation (DR4544) - 30 Credit Points

This course involves the writing of a dissertation in one of the sub-disciplines in Divinity and Religious Studies. Independent Research work is done under the supervision of a member of staff. The dissertation is an extended essay, of no more than 10,000 words inclusive of bibliography and references.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Divinity?

  • Bachelor of Divinity degree accredited by the Church of Scotland.
  • An international community of eminent professors, including leading author and influential thinker Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics.
  • A wide variety of courses: from biblical languages to the Reformation in Scotland and from Buddhist philosophy to the stories of the prophets in Islam.
  • Specialist research and teaching centres include the Centre for Ministry Studies, the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability and the Kairos Forum for people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities.
  • Aberdeen has produced many notable Aberdeen scholars and theologians, including John Forbes, George Campbell, William Milligan, William Robertson Smith, David S Cairns and G D Henderson. 
  • The inspiration of the beautiful King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence and today a precious inter-faith space for a multi-faith university community.
  • Major international treasures in the Library’s Special Collections Centre, including the archives of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland pre-1878 and fascinating local records of local estates and families dating from the middle ages.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology and the dedicated Divinity Library with and extensive collection of theological material.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, including theological lectures, café discussions, exhibitions, seminars, and the annual May Festival, attracting thousands to discuss and debate with high profile speakers, scientists, authors and broadcasters the big issues facing our world today.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

Qualifications

SCOTTISH QUALIFICATIONS (SQA)
4H at AABB or 3AH at BBB
S at levels 1, 2 or 3 or National 5 at grades A, B or C in English required.

GENERAL CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION (GCE)
3 A Levels at BBB
GCSE in English or English Language

IRISH LEAVING CERTIFICATE/ ARDTEISTIMEIREACHT (ILC)
4H at AAABB, B at B2 or above
O in English

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB)
32 points including 5, 5 ,5 at HL. SL in English.

Further detailed entry requirements for Divinity and Theology degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

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.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX