MA Biblical Interpretation
Overview of the programme
The programme offers a high quality student experience through a unique programme of study taught by a range of experts within the field of Biblical Studies, encouraging the student to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the Bible, both from historical and contemporary perspectives.
We have a long and distinguished tradition of specialist teaching in Biblical Studies going back many decades and, today, all our Biblical Studies staff continue to participate nationally and internationally in significant biblical research projects.
The School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies has a vibrant research culture, and MA students are encouraged to participate in research seminars.
Module Content and Structure
Part 1 of the MA comprises six modules; three compulsory modules and three option modules, devised in such a way as to equip the student with essential knowledge about the Bible, its formation and reception before undertaking the dissertation.
Research Methods introduces students to the nuts and bolts of research and to a broad range of textual and bibliographical sources. Two further modules at the start of the programme provide the student with an overview of the formation of the Bible and a critical framework within which the student can contextualise specific biblical books and texts. Thus, The Bible: Text and Transmission deals with how the texts of the Bible as we have it today came to be stabilised and the importance of the ancient versions, Septuagint, Targum and Vulgate. In The Bible: Contemporary Approaches, contemporary and interdisciplinary approaches are explored, such as literary, feminist, gender, postcolonial and anthropological.
Within the MA, students can opt to specialise in either the Old Testament or the New Testament or alternatively opt for a more general route. If specializing in Old Testament, the modules offered are Genesis and Isaiah; if New Testament, the modules on offer are The Gospel of John and Paul and his Letters.
In choosing the final module, students can choose an interdisciplinary option such as Modern and Contemporary Approaches to Hermeneutics or Perspectives on Islamic Sources. It is also possible to take Greek as part of your programme (with prior consultation from the Programme Co-ordinator).
Part 11 of the programme is a 15,000 word dissertation.
Mode of Study
The programme is delivered as a full-time and part-time programme of study, and is also available as distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums or wikis.
Campus-based students will be supported through lectures, research seminars and public lectures. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.
Each module is assessed individually. We employ a range of assessment methods including summative assignments, course work, essays and a final dissertation.
Normally the entry requirement for this programme is a first class or upper second class undergraduate degree. In addition, the School encourages students with an equivalent and appropriate professional qualification or significant and relevant professional experience to apply.
A non-graduate may also be admitted to candidature provided that she/he has gained a minimum of three years professional experience relevant and appropriate to the programme and they can demonstrate a satisfactory level of writing /analytical skills.
The MA programme equips the student with a range of skills appropriate for a broad variety of posts including teaching and ministry and prepares the student to progress to MPhil / PhD.
- Opportunity to specialise in the Old Testament or the New Testament
- We have a long and distinguished tradition of specialist teaching in Biblical Studies
- Vibrant research culture
MA (180 credits)
PG Diploma (120 credits)
PG Certificate (60 credits)
On graduating with an MA Biblical Interpretation, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a critical understanding and competence in the area of biblical studies;
- demonstrate a critical understanding and competence in other academic disciplines as they relate to the interpretation of biblical literature;
- read and use primary texts both critically and empathetically;
- evaluate the significance of major religious, social, cultural and philosophical movements which influenced – and continue to influence – the interpretation of biblical literature;
- demonstrate an awareness of and critical engagement with the variety of overarching methodologies available in biblical studies and an ability to situate themselves in relation to this range of methodologies;
- demonstrate an ability to draw on, synthesise and analyse a range of academic discourses and relevant specialist methodologies in reflecting critically on the interpretation of biblical literature;
- offer informed and critical comment on issues deriving from the interpretation of biblical literature in relation to contemporary issues;
- make independent use of information and biblical resources relevant to the topic.
Knowledge and Understanding:
On graduating with an MA Biblical Interpretation, students should be able to:
- understand different theoretical and methodological perspectives and how they relate to other ancient literatures;
- analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information in other sacred scriptures;
- locate and contextualize biblical material when it appears in related disciplines, for example in theological arguments or in the study of comparative religions.
MA degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:
- a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice;
- a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;
- originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
- conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline;
- conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
Holders of the qualification will be able to:
- Deal with complex issues both systematically, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
- Demonstrate self-direction in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;
- Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills at a high level.
Holders of this qualification will have:
- the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
- the skills required for decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
- an independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
For further information please contact:
Dr Martin O'Kane
University of Wales Trinity Saint David