Taught Postgraduate (MLitt and MPhil)

Our MLitt in Systematic and Historical Theology is a one-year, residential Masters course offering a rigorous training programme for theology graduates who want to gain specialist skills in the field, whether as preparation for future research or as further training for ministry.

Our MPhil in Systematic and Historical Theology is a two-year, residential Masters course comprising the taught element of the MLitt, as well as a one-year, 40,000-word dissertation written under the supervision of a faculty member.

Students receive an integrated education in the structure and development of Christian thought through attention to the Origins of Christian Theology (from Paul to Nicaea), the history of Biblical interpretation, major theological loci, and some major theologians.

The planned teaching programme for 2018/19 is as follows:

Semester 1:

  • Origins of Christian Theology (Dr TJ Lang / Dr Steve Holmes)
  • History of Biblical Interpretation (Prof. Mark Elliott)
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity (Prof. Christoph Schwoebel)

Semester 2:

  • Christology (Prof. Christoph Schwoebel)
  • A Selected Medieval Theologian: Bonaventure (Dr Bill Hyland)
  • A Selected Modern Theologian: C.S. Lewis (Prof. Judith Wolfe)

Summer (MLitt only):

  • MLitt Dissertation (c. 15,000 words)

Year 2 (MPhil only):

  • MPhil Dissertation (c. 40,000 words)

Students may be able to substitute some modules with certain other Divinity modules or intensive language training.

The programme may be subject to change and cannot be guaranteed.

The programme leader is the incoming 1643 Chair in Divinity, Prof. Christoph Schwoebel.

>> Find out more and apply at the university’s postgraduate admissions pages.

>> Meet the Faculty

West Sands St Andrews

The West Sands © SierraWhiskeyBravo

MLitt and MPhil students also attend the weekly Research Seminar in Theology, which brings together faculty and graduate students around a text or speaker. They are encouraged to receive language instruction and to attend other lectures, seminars and reading groups as appropriate. The majority of their time, however, is spent on specialized coursework and research.
>> Research Seminar

The School of Divinity and the University as a whole work together to provide graduate students with the skills they need to succeed in an international job market, both academic and non-academic. The University’s Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development offers tailored workshops and courses for M.Litt. students. The School of Divinity also hosts subject-specific workshops and panel discussions in areas such as publishing, conference presentations, and job searches. English language support for non-native speakers is available from the excellent English Language Centre.
>> Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD)
>> English Language Centre

The School and University offer a number of scholarships and bursaries, though as at all of the most prestigious UK universities, many of our graduate students are self-funded. Full scholarship information can be found on the University’s funding pages.

>>The MLitt is an ideal stepping stone towards the Divinity School’s Ph.D. programme, which centres on a three-year independent research project. The MPhil is an ideal course for those seeking strong teaching and independent research that is substantial but not of PhD length.


img_1815During my time at St. Andrews, I have been refined as an academic and scholar through various reading groups, seminars, and daily interactions with staff and peers. The community of St. Mary’s strives for excellence and has pushed my work to levels and areas I had not anticipated or imagined. My life and work have been enriched and shaped by this truly unique place which fuses tradition and innovation to create an intellectual environment unlike anywhere else I have experienced.

— Adam Renberg
MLitt Year of 2016