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.

Study 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

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 in 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, the 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.

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.

View detailed information about this course
Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), 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’.

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The 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 a series of lectures on key topics, and tutorial seminars on researching and presenting your work, and on various early Christian texts. The course also requires your own reading and research.

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Religions of Ancient Greece and Beyond (DR101B)

15 Credit Points

This course will explore religions of Ancient Greece and Rome.

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Exploring the New Testament (DR1573)

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 on 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 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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Literature and Society in Ancient Israel (DR152N)

15 Credit Points

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

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Optional Courses

Select 15 credit points from level 1 Divinity courses of choice, plus 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
The Rise of Christianity (DR201L)

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 a series of lectures on key topics, and tutorial seminars on researching and presenting your work, and on various early Christian texts. The course also requires your own reading and research.

View detailed information about this course
Religions of Ancient Greece and Beyond (DR201B)

15 Credit Points

This course will explore religions of Ancient Greece and Rome.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to Christian Theology: Thinking the Faith (DR251N)

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.

View detailed information about this course
Literature and Society in Ancient Israel (DR252N)

15 Credit Points

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

View detailed information about this course
Exploring the New Testament (DR251Q)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide a level 2 (SCQF 8) version of DR1073/1573, “Exploring the New Testament,” differentiated from this by an assessment format appropriate to the SCQF Level. The courses will be delivered together, allowing efficient delivery of content. The character and contribution of the course is that of a survey-type module, of the kind that is standard in the early years of a biblical studies curriculum, and that contributes foundational knowledge for the Divinity (Theology and Religious Studies) programme, as well as being of broader interest to students outside this programme.

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Optional Courses

Select 15 credit points from level 2 Divinity courses of choice, plus 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

Select 90 credit points from Divinity courses of choice at level 3 or above, plus 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following dissertation options:

  • DR4044 Dissertation (first semester)
  • DR4544 Dissertation (second semester)

Plus select 90 credit points from courses of choice, at least 60 of which must be from Divinity courses at level 4.

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 references. Please note the 10,000 words does not include the bibliography

View detailed information about this course
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 references. Please note the 10,000 words does not include the bibliography

View detailed information about this course

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?

  • According to the 2018 National Student Survey (NSS), Theology and Religious Studies is one of six subjects at the University of Aberdeen to receive a 100% student satisfaction rating.
  • Bachelor of Divinity degree accredited by the Church of Scotland. If you'd like to learn more about Church of Scotland ministry vocations.
  • 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 Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology (ACPT), 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, G. D. Henderson, Darrell L. Bock, Donald A. Hagner, Craig Blomberg, and Joel B. Green.
  • 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 an 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

Qualifications

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


General Entry Requirements

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Divinity and Theology degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate 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 - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

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

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

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

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22
EU / International students £18,000
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

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.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

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 and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

2018 National Student Survey results

The results from the latest National Student Survey (NSS) are in, and Theology and Religious Studies is one of six subjects at the University of Aberdeen to receive a 100% student satisfaction rating.

Find out more

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.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. 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