Theology & Religious Studies BD/MA

Theology & Religious Studies students

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.

We are passionate about exploring the way that religion shapes political and cultural life. We will help you understand the impact of religion in the contemporary world, in literature and art, in political conflict, and in responses to urgent challenges such as armed conflict and climate change. 

Our students reported 100% overall satisfaction in the NSS 2016, 2018 and 2019.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Theology & Religious Studies BD (Hons): V600 4 year degree
  • Theology & Religious Studies MA (Hons): V621 4 year degree

Programme structure

We offer two programmes, MA and BD, which differ in how the first two years of study are organised. 

Students who wish to specialise in Christianity, or who are training for the ministry, often take the BD. 


You will explore the role of religion in the rich textual, cultural, artistic and philosophical heritage of humankind, and the influence of religion in politics, conflict and social attitudes.

You can choose from a variety of subjects across the sub-disciplines of theology and religious studies.

The programme can be structured to introduce you to a variety of religions or to focus on the Christian tradition.

Year 1


In Year 1, you will study 2 courses (from a choice of 4) from Theology & Religious Studies with courses from two other subjects. You may also take Greek or Hebrew. See flexible degrees.

Year 2

You will take at least two of these courses, and a language if you wish.


In Year 2, you must study at least 2 courses from Theology & Religious Studies, but you can choose up to 4 courses in this subject. Your remaining courses will come from other subjects. See flexible degrees.


If you are hoping to work in pastoral ministry, a caring profession or a voluntary organisation, the BD could be suitable for you. It combines academic study with practical application and offers the opportunity for in-depth reflection on your experience in a supportive and challenging environment

Year 1

Introductory courses in the Bible and Theology & Religious Studies introduce you to some of the basic concerns of those practising religion today and give you tools for analysis and critical thinking.

You will also explore worship and liturgy, considering how theology is “put to work” in the practice of the church. You may choose to study a biblical language: Hebrew or Greek.


You must take at least 4 courses from Theology & Religious Studies. Your remaining courses will come from Theology & Religious Studies or other subjects. See flexible degrees.

Year 2

You will take further courses in the Bible, history and theology. You will also explore some of the issues that confront believers as they seek to reconcile their faith with the challenges presented in contemporary cultures.


You must take at least 4 courses from Theology & Religious Studies. Your remaining courses will come from Theology & Religious Studies or other subjects. See flexible degrees.

MA and BD

Years 3 and 4

If 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 and are generally offered on a two-year rotation. In your final year, you will complete a 12,000-word dissertation on an approved topic of your own choice.

You will take courses making up 120 credits each year in years 3 and 4 in MA Single Honours Theology & Religious Studies. For MA Joint Honours, you will take 60 credits in each year, alongside 60 credits from your other degree subject. See flexible degrees.

Example courses

These are examples of courses you may study in Years 3 and 4. Courses may not run every academic year due to staff research interests, student interest, timetabling etc.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

You may study for one semester or one year (usually your third 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

for entry in 2021

Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

Summary of entry requirements for Theology & Religious Studies

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)

  • AAAAA Higher or AAAA Higher + B Advanced Higher (BBBB S5 minimum for consideration)
  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)

  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: one A-level Humanities subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL English and HL Humanities subject.

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

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

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*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • 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 (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* 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 External Relations

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

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.

Recent graduates have become lawyers, teachers, social workers, bankers, civil servants, youth workers, or work in NGOs, the NHS or the churches.

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:

BD (Hons)

Theology & Religious Studies: V600 (4 years)

MA (Hons)

Theology & Religious Studies: V621 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Archaeology: VV46 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Celtic Civilisation: QV56 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Celtic Studies: Q5V6 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Classics: QV86 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Comparative Literature: VQ62 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Computing Science: VG64 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Digital Media & Information Studies: GV5P (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Economics: LV16 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/English Language & Linguistics: QV36 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/English Literature: VQ63 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/French: RV16 (5 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Gaelic: VQ56 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/German: R2V6 (5 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Greek: Q7V6 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/History: VV16 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/History of Art: VV36 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Italian: R3V6 (5 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Latin: Q6V6 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Mathematics: GV16 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Music: WV36 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Philosophy: VV56 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Politics: VL62 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Portuguese: R854 (5 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Psychology: CV86 (4 years)
Apply via UCAS
Applicants must meet the Psychology requirements
Theology & Religious Studies/Russian: VR67 (5 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Scottish History: VVF6 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Scottish Literature: QV26 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Social & Public Policy: VL64 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Sociology: LV66 (4 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Spanish: RV4P (5 years)
Theology & Religious Studies/Theatre Studies: VW64 (4 years)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply


Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also 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

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS

More information about this programme


students satisfied

Discover Uni, January 2020
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guardian newspaper

5th in UK: Guardian University Guide [Religious studies & theology]