Theology & Religious Studies


Theology & Religious Studies encompasses the study of religion, religions, the Bible and theology – not as worlds apart, but as they relate to politics, history, literature, philosophy, art and culture as well as to personal belief and practice. It is open to students of all faiths and none.

You can study new languages from scratch: Greek and Hebrew are available from beginner level upward, so that you can learn to read the ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in their original languages.

Programme structure

You can take Theology & Religious Studies as an MA degree, or if you are training for the ministry or specialising in Christianity for other reasons, we also offer the specialist/professional BD and BD (Min) degrees. The structure of the programmes differs in the first two years of study.


Theology and religious studies is concerned with the critical study of religion. This programme is designed to cater for the interests of students of all faiths and none, allowing you to study a variety of religions or to focus upon the Christian tradition. It will develop your awareness of the rich scriptural, cultural, artistic and philosophical heritage of humankind. 

As part of this programme you will be able to study a wide variety of subjects across the sub-disciplines of theology and religious studies and you may customise your degree by choosing to specialise in particular areas. You are also able to study other subjects offered by the University and shape your own degree programme. 

Year 1

In first year you might choose to focus upon the Bible and Christianity or gain a greater understanding of a wide range of religious traditions. At the same time you will be introduced to some key concerns shared by those who work in theology and religious studies: 

  • How do we read sacred texts? 
  • How do we think and speak about God? 
  • What defines religion and culture? 
  • What impact does religion make upon our social and political life? 

Year 2

In second year you will develop your understanding further by progressing in your studies of the Christian tradition or other world faiths. More advanced courses will enable you to explore what religious believers consider to be the most significant aspects of their faith and how these impact upon their daily lives. You are also required to take a study skills course before entry to year 3. 

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Degrees in Arts, Life Sciences, Science and Social Sciences.

BD and BD (Min)

The BD and BD (Min) have been developed in conversation with partners from a number of churches and voluntary bodies. These specialist degrees are primarily designed for those who intend to focus on theological concerns in their later professional life through working in pastoral ministry, the caring professions or voluntary organisations. They combine rigorous academic study with placement work and small group reflection and offer the opportunity to reflect in depth upon experience in a supportive and challenging environment. 

The BD (Min) programme is only available to recognised candidates of the Church of Scotland. However, the BD is open to all and covers a very similar syllabus. We have an open and ecumenical spirit and you will be enriched by relationships with staff and students from a wide variety of denominations and traditions. Church of Scotland students who are candidates for ordination become members of a foundation of the Church of Scotland.

Year 1

You will take introductory courses on the Bible, theology and religious studies. These will introduce you to some of the basic concerns of those studying religion today and give you tools for analysis and critical thinking. You will also take courses exploring theological reflection and worship which will help you to understand how theology is ‘put to work’ in the daily lives of Christians and the practice of the Church. You will undertake a placement which is an integral part of the degree programme.

Year 2

In your second year you will continue to take courses in the Bible and theology. You will also study ethics and pastoral practice. You will explore some of the issues that confront believers today as they seek to reconcile their faith with the many challenges presented by contemporary technological, social and environmental change. You will continue to reflect upon your experience through structured group work. 

MA and BD/BD (Min)

Years 3 and 4

f you successfully complete the courses in first and second year, you may progress to Honours (years 3 and 4). 

Your Honours courses are chosen from a wide range of options including:

  • Bible, literature and culture
  • Buddhism
  • Chan and Zen
  • Contemporary theology
  • Contemporary issues in Islam
  • Christianity and bioethics
  • Church and society in Scotland
  • Classical Hebrew
  • Doctrine of God
  • Early church and patristics
  • Media Bible
  • Modern Judaism
  • New Testament ethics
  • New Testament Greek
  • New Testament texts
  • New Testament theology
  • The Holocaust and ethics of representation
  • Old Testament/Tanakh texts
  • Pastoral theology
  • Political theology
  • Roots of sectarianism in Ireland and Scotland
  • Radical spiritual and social visions in women’s writing
  • Reformation studies
  • Sufism
  • Wisdom literature in the Old Testament
  • Worship and witness

Our Honours courses are generally offered on a two-year rotation. In your final year, you will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on an approved topic of your own choice.

Our international links

You may study for one year of your degree at an overseas university as part of a student exchange programme. In recent years our students have studied in countries including Argentina, Austria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and the United States, returning with a fantastic experience of different cultures and traditions.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2016


  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include at least one arts, humanities or language subject.


  • Standard academic entry requirements: S5 entry requirement = AAAA/AAABB. S6 entry requirement = AAAAAB (S6 entry requirements only apply to applicants who achieved the minimum S5 requirements and have been made a conditional offer).
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: Applicants who achieve less than AAAA or AAABB in S5 but have achieved at least ABBB MAY receive an offer based on S6 results. A decision will be made in March 2016 once all applications have been reviewed. 
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English and a humanities subject or language at Grades A/B or B/A.

See Access Glasgow for pre-entry programme eligibility and adjusted grade requirements.

Accepted humanities and languages Highers

Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.

  • Art & Design
  • Business Management
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Classical Greek
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Personal and social education
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Russian
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Three HL subjects at 6,6,5 including English and Humanities/Language. Whilst HL6 is preferred for English and Humanities/Language subjects, SL6 will be considered for one of the subjects. Applicants wishing to study Maths or Computing Science as optional subjects require Maths at HL6 or SL6 (Mathematics Studies is not accepted where Maths is required).

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: Arts European Requirements [pdf]

A-level and IB applicants can expect offers to be between the minimum and standard entry requirements depending on demand for places on the degree.

Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20*
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English language: B minimum.

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

my academic qualifications are below the requirements?

Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Career openings include all jobs where employers are looking for graduate skills. Former students have gone into business or journalism, and have worked in the charity and voluntary sectors, as well as becoming teachers, civil servants, industrial managers, university lecturers, social workers and Christian ministers (of various denominations).

Our recent graduates have been employed by:

  • Ithaca College, lecturer in religious studies 
  • Church of Scotland, minister
  • NHS, chaplain
  • Edinburgh City Council, principal teacher.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:


  • KIS
    Theology: V600


  • KIS
    Ministry: V650


  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies: V621
  • KIS
    Archaeology/Theology & Religious Studies: VV46
  • KIS
    Celtic Civilisation/Theology & Religious Studies: QV56
  • KIS
    Classics/Theology & Religious Studies: QV86
  • KIS
    Digital Media & Information Studies/Theology & Religious Studies: GV5P
  • KIS
    Economics/Theology & Religious Studies: LV16
  • KIS
    French/Theology & Religious Studies: RV16
  • KIS
    History of Art/Theology & Religious Studies: VV36
  • KIS
    History/Theology & Religious Studies: VV16
  • KIS
    Mathematics/Theology & Religious Studies: GV16
  • KIS
    Music/Theology & Religious Studies: WV36
  • KIS
    Philosophy/Theology & Religious Studies: VV56
  • KIS
    Portuguese/Theology & Religious Studies: R854
  • KIS
    Psychology/Theology & Religious Studies: CV86
  • KIS
    Scottish History/Theology & Religious Studies: VVF6
  • KIS
    Scottish Literature/Theology & Religious Studies: QV26
  • KIS
    Sociology/Theology & Religious Studies: LV66
  • KIS
    Spanish/Theology & Religious Studies: RV4P
  • Theology & Religious Studies/Business & Management: VN61
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Comparative Literature: VQ62
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Computing Science: VG64
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/English Language: QV36
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/English Literature: VQ63
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Gaelic: VQ56
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Politics: VL62
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Russian: VR67
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Social & Public Policy: VL64
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Theatre Studies: VW64

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.


We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That’s why we’ve invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding over the last year.

For a full list of scholarships including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please see:

How to apply

UCAS deadlines

The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.

The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students.

Apply at or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

UCAS tariff points

The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

How soon will I receive a decision?

We will usually respond before the end of March.

If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

Will I be interviewed?

An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

Is deferred entry available?

For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

University Transfers

Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
  2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

Widening participation

We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

British Sign Language

UCAS has launched seven new videos using British Sign Language, including details on how to apply and a Parents' Guide.  

Apply at or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.