Postgraduate study

Biblical Studies MTh, MSc

Awards: MTh, MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Biblical Studies

This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a PhD. Its emphasis is on adding depth and breadth to expertise in biblical languages.

Finely-honed language skills are central to the programme’s engagement with the Bible, the world that produced it, and its later readers. It provides expert in-depth study of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, the wider ancient Near East and Mediterranean World, and related extra-biblical literature including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

You will be taught by leading academics with research interests in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, early Judaism and early Christianity.

You will benefit from weekly research seminars in biblical studies, and from our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.

This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.

This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses comprise two biblical language/reading courses, in Greek or Hebrew/Aramaic, and two in research methods. Many scenarios for language study can be chosen in consultation with the Programme Director. If you have only one year’s prior biblical languages study you may take Intermediate Biblical Hebrew or Intermediate New Testament Greek.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least two must be from courses in biblical studies, of which the following are examples:

  • Hebrew Bible in Historical Critical Perspective
  • Hebrew Scripture Theology
  • The New Testament in its Graeco-Roman Context
  • Science and Scripture

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes in the School or University, and from advanced undergraduate courses such as Historical Jesus or Jesus in Film.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MThBiblical Studies1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MThBiblical Studies2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScBiblical Studies1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScBiblical Studies2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.

A UK 2:1 honours degree with a mark of at least 65%, or its international equivalent, in theology/religious studies or a related field in which biblical studies features prominently. Previous study of at least one biblical language is required.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MThBiblical Studies1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MThBiblical Studies2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScBiblical Studies1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScBiblical Studies2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

On average around 50% of Divinity postgraduate students are awarded some level of scholarship funding.

  • Scholarships are awarded on academic merit. Most are open to all, but some are ring-fenced for applicants from certain parts of the world.
  • Awards are made for both masters and PhD programmes.
  • Typically, awards are for full or partial fee costs. Fully funded awards are exceptional and highly competitive.

*(Revised 25 January 2019 to update the scholarship application instructions. Applicants will not be automatically considered for scholarships, and should instead make a separate application for any scholarships or funding opportunities.)

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Divinity
  • New College
  • Mound Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LX
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 31 August 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Divinity
  • New College
  • Mound Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LX