Theology & Religious Studies BD/BD(Min)/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. It is open to students of all faiths and none.

Our staff have a wide range of specialties which will help you to understand world religions: including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism; in their cultural, political and intellectual context. In addition, we have a team of knowledgeable and friendly staff who help make TRS at Glasgow a great place to study. 

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

  • September start
  • Theology & Religious Studies BD (Hons): V600 4 year degree
  • Theology & Religious Studies BD(Min) (Hons): V650 4 year degree
  • Theology & Religious Studies MA (Hons): V621 4 year degree

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 will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

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 primarily aimed at recognised candidates for ordained ministry. 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 Trinity College, a foundation of the Church of Scotland, and all other students are also welcome to join its weekly worship and lunch.

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

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 including:

  • Bible, literature and culture
  • Buddhism
  • Catholicism
  • Chan and Zen traditions
  • Church and society in Scotland: current issues
  • Christianity and bioethics
  • Classical Hebrew
  • Doctrine of God
  • Genesis
  • Holocaust and the ethics of representation
  • Introduction to Christian ethics
  • Jesus Christ since 1900
  • Media Bible
  • Modern Judaism
  • Muhammad
  • New Testament Greek
  • New Testament texts
  • New Testament themes and topics
  • New Testament theology
  • Old Testament/Tanakh texts
  • Pastoral theology
  • Political theology
  • Reading Islam
  • Religion in modern Iran
  • Roots of sectarianism
  • Science and religion
  • Scottish church history since 1500
  • Studies in early church history and theology
  • Studies in the history and theology of the Reformation
  • Sufism
  • Theology through creative writing
  • The historical Jesus
  • Wisdom literature
  • Worship, liturgy and preaching.

Our Honours courses 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.

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 2019

About entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.

Admissions Policy

A-levels and International Baccalaureate

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

Admissions Policies

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


  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: One A-level arts, humanities or language subject.


  • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB.
  • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: ABBB.
  • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade A or B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade A or B.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

  • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB.
  • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AABB-BBBBB.
  • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade B.

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/social science Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages/social science Higher subjects are listed below:

  • Business Management
  • Cantonese
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Media
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 
  • Other mandatory requirements: HL subjects should include English and a Humanities (or language) subject. SL6 will be accepted for one of English or the Humanities subject. 

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences‌ [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.

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

English language requirements

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 the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk

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, 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:

BD (Hons)

  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies: V600

BD(Min) (Hons)

  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies: V650

MA (Hons)

  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies: V621
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Archaeology: VV46
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Business & Management: VN61
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Celtic Civilisation: QV56
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Celtic Studies: Q5V6
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Classics: QV86
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Comparative Literature: VQ62
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Computing Science: VG64
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Digital Media & Information Studies: GV5P
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Economics: LV16
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/English Language & Linguistics: QV36
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/English Literature: VQ63
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/French: RV16
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Gaelic: VQ56
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/German: R2V6
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Greek: Q7V6
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/History: VV16
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/History of Art: VV36
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Italian: R3V6
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Latin: Q6V6
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Mathematics: GV16
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Music: WV36
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Philosophy: VV56
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Politics: VL62
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Portuguese: R854
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Psychology: CV86
    Applicants must meet the Psychology requirements
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Russian: VR67
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Scottish History: VVF6
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Scottish Literature: QV26
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Social & Public Policy: VL64
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Sociology: LV66
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Spanish: RV4P
  • 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 2019/20 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 2019 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2019-20 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

More Information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2019

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). 

More Information

African Excellence Scholarship (IE Abroad)

The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either South Africa or Zimbabwe who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – IE Abroad.  The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake an undergraduate programme excluding Medicine or Dentistry.

More Information

Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust

The Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust offers bursaries of £500-£3000 to students experiencing financial hardship. As a University of Glasgow student, you are eligible to apply if you have your ordinary residence in Scotland or outside the United Kingdom, and are either an undergraduate in your second year or above, or a postgraduate pursuing a taught or a research degree.

More Information

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2019 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

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.

More Information

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

How to apply

If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

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 www.ucas.com 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.

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

More information about this programme


MA Theology & Religious Studies students were satisfied overall

Data published by Unistats, March 2018
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