Find me a postgraduate course!

I’m looking at doing a Masters’ degree in Theology with the aim of then going on to a doctorate, probably in something New Testament-y. Yesterday I visited the postgraduate open day at the University of Aberdeen – currently top of the rankings for UK research in theology, or something like that. I was particularly interested in the MTh in Biblical Theology that they offer – it differs from the courses at some other universities in that the course is self-consciously Biblical Theology rather than Biblical Studies; that is, it looks at the Bible not only as literature, but also as something to be read theologically. There’s even a compulsory module in “The Use of the Bible in Theology” which looks at the way(s) the Church has used and been shaped by Scripture. It’s also fairly well-regarded by other universities, particularly for New Testament, which would be helpful for Doctoral degree applications. There are also some studentships available via the AHRC for taught Masters’ programmes, though these are competitive. I’d really need to get a studentship to be able to afford to do a postgraduate degree, so this was good news! They’re allocated on academic merit, so hopefully if I get a first that’ll help my application.

Other universities I’m considering are Nottingham (natch!) and Durham (visiting in December).

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I think this photo captures the weather...

The campus itself is quite nice, and I blagged my way into the library to see how it compares to Nottingham… the actual building is smaller and (oddly) a bit dark inside, but they do seem to have more books for (Christian) Theology, especially Systematic and Biblical stuff. Which is what you need, really. There’s also a specific Divinity library, which is mainly for Undergraduates, but looked pretty good.

The city also seemed quite nice – King’s campus is located a short way out of the city centre but I went in to have a look around anyway. Aberdeen did seem a bit more expensive than Nottingham, so I’ll need to bear that in mind. It’s also a long way from home! As the cabbie at the airport helpfully pointed out, it’s at the “very edge of the empire”. I flew, which was fast, and not too expensive from Birmingham (to go from Nottingham East Midlands Airport would have been a joke amount of money though…) but to drive or take the train would take most of a day.

I realised on the plane home that I’d also unintentionally come home with £15 in Scottish banknotes. A quick Google search reveals that nobody is obliged by law to accept them in England (they’re not, contrary to popular belief, “legal tender”) but I’m hoping that I can find somewhere that’ll take them. If not, I know what my sister (at Southampton Uni) will be getting inside her Christmas card…

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