Introduction

History and Theology & Religious Studies at Aberdeen is a great combination to add to your wide and deep study of all aspects of human activity in the past with a fascinating exploration of the origin, function, and meaning of religion, studying and comparing the major religions across the world, and with special focus on Christian faith in historic and contemporary contexts. You’ll graduate with language and highly-developed academic skills applicable in many careers.

This programme is studied on campus.

History research at Aberdeen is rated top in Scotland for its impact and 2nd in the UK, in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework, with teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national quality assessment, and student satisfaction of 95%.

You’ll be enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields, with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia, and enthralled by our wonderful collections of historic treasures collected by distinguished alumni over the centuries.

In Theology & Religious Studies you’ll gain a sound understanding of the major religious traditions of the world, including their historical development and contemporary importance, with a special focus on Christian faith, life and doctrine in its historical, institutional and contemporary context.

You’ll study biblical languages, the history of the church in the west, the Reformation in Scotland, the role of religion in ethical and political debates, and religious aspects of disability.

As a graduate you’ll have the specialist and the transferable academic skills to be highly employable in a wide range of roles including church ministry and administration, media and journalism, public service, charities, NGO and international affairs, business, publishing, and education.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
VV16

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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Sacred Rites and Worship (DR1071)
Europe in the Twentieth Century (HI1022) - 15 Credit Points

A comprehensive treatment of this enormous subject is obviously impracticable in an introductory course within the space of one semester, so we aim to highlight a selection of six key political, economic, social and other themes. The selection varies from year to year, but is likely to include the rise of Bolshevism, reconstruction and European integration after WW2, and the Cold War. The twice-weekly lectures introduce the topics, while the eight tutorial meetings emphasise the development of practical transferable research and presentation skills as well as the building of historical knowledge. Download course guide.

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Making History (HI1027) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians. Download course guide.

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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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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 15 credit points from level 1 History or History of Art courses.
  • Select at least 45 credit points from level 1 courses in Divinity and Religious Studies.
  • Select further courses of choice to make up 120 credit points.
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Sacred Texts and Scripture (DR2071)

Optional Courses

  • Select two of the courses listed below.
  • Select a further 45 credit points from level 2 courses in Divinity and Religious Studies.
Birth of Modernity: Politics, Culture and Science in Europe, 1700 - 1870 (HI2020) - 30 Credit Points

Course introduces students to the crucible of the modern age. Hinging on the American, French and 1848 Revolutions, it explores how men and women in elite and popular communities generated new modes of living, experience and expression and how they understood and manipulated the natural world. Attention will be given to the Enlightenment, Revolution, Empire, Romanticism and Ideology with interrelated developments in politics, culture and science also being explored. Students will be introduced to the works of figures such as Newton, Voltaire, Paine, Goethe, Marx, Darwin and Nietzsche. Topics will include Salons, the Terror, nationalism and secularisation. Download course guide

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Power & Piety: Medieval Europe, 1100 - 1500 (HI2021) - 30 Credit Points

Between 1100 and 1500 western Europe underwent fundamental transformations: new technical, economic and political challenges, fresh developments in religious and intellectual life and catastrophes like wars, diseases and climate change fundamentally shaped European societies for centuries to come. This course offers a thematic survey of medieval western societies, focusing on religion, kingship and warfare, economy and environment, cultural renaissances and intellectual novelties, the emergence of national states and identities and the discovery of new worlds. Download course guide.

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Global Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century (HI2520) - 30 Credit Points

The long nineteenth century (c.1760-1914) saw dramatic rises and falls in political units and power systems (empires) bringing together a range of peoples and territories. Generally, but not exclusively, they were dominated by Europeans (or those who at least claimed European descent). These global empires are now recognised by historians as a key feature of modern history, and have generated an increasingly rich and varied literature. This course offers you the chance to examine this crucial and controversial phenomenon which, for better or worse, made the modern world. For more information please see course guide.

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Introduction to Scottish History (HI2523)
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Thinking History (HI356J) - 30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 courses in History.
  • Select 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Divinity and Religious Studies.
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

One of the following options:

Option 1:

  • History in Practice II (HI4518) and Dissertation (DR4044) or Dissertation (DR4544)
  • Select 30 credit points from a History Special Subject Course.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Divinity and Religious Studies courses.

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in History (HI4516)
  • Select 30 credit points from a History Special Subject Course.
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 Divinity and 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.

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History in Practice II (HI4518) - 30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

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Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516) - 30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout. Download Course Guide

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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; and
  • 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 History and Theology & Religious Studies?

Why History

  • Ranked top University in Scotland for the impact of its History research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment, and with student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavia, late medieval/early modern period, and research centres studying global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, and Russian and Eastern European history.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, where King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including well-known historians to campus every spring.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.

Why Religious Studies

  • 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.
  • An international community of eminent professors, including leading author and influential thinker Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics.
  • Specialist research and teaching centres include the Aberdeen University 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 GD Henderson.
  • Major historic treasures of national and international significance, including the archives of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland pre-1878 and fascinating local records of local estates and families through 500 years of religious turmoil.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and the beautiful Divinity Library with an extensive collection of theological material.
  • A packed campus programme of events, including theological lectures, café discussions, exhibitions, seminars, and the annual May Festival with high profile speakers, scientists, authors and broadcasters debating big issues facing the world today.
  • 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.

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, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences 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.

Undergraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out More

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