Join our online Christian art degree and access outstanding expertise and digital archives.

Explore the fascinating relationship between art and faith in the Christian world, from medieval to modern times.

Study with an ancient university founded in 1495, and access our world-class university collections, including the Aberdeen Bestiary, wherever you are in the world.

Together we’ll explore:

  • the power of images in ritual, liturgy and popular culture
  • the architecture of devotion
  • visual culture’s impact on the history of Christianity, its debates and controversies.

You’ll examine a broad spectrum of objects, images, texts, and aesthetic discourses to deepen your knowledge of Christian art and its histories, beyond the western European context.

Flexible study options

  • Study for the MLitt or exit early with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.
  • Set your own study hours with this flexible online degree that’s designed to fit around work and life commitments.

You can also study this degree on campus.

Who can join online MLitt Christianity and the Visual Arts?

This online degree is open to anyone with an undergraduate degree in a humanities subject, such as art history, theology, or religious studies.

We also welcome those working in the professional sectors who are seeking upskilling opportunities, such as the clergy and those employed in museums and galleries.

You can study this degree as preparation for further postgraduate research, for future employment or vocational training – or simply out of interest.

1st in the UK for Theology and Religious Studies (Research Excellence Framework 2021)

Outstanding Theology research

We’re rated 1st in the UK for the quality of our research in Theology in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

By the end of this degree, you’ll be able to...

  • Explore the intersections of art and Christianity from medieval to modern.
  • Describe and evaluate important discourses on theological aesthetics and its long history.
  • Reflect on historical and contemporary discourses on art and faith.
  • Use interdisciplinary methodologies to evaluate art historical and theological topics.
  • Contribute to debate via online discussion and coursework.
  • Share original research into Christianity and the arts that you’ve carried out as part of your dissertation.

What you’ll study

You’ll study the following courses that make up the 180 credits of this Masters degree.

You can also choose to exit early, earning a:

  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance learning Masters in Christianity and the Visual Arts is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can study with us anywhere in the world with no need for a study visa, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

You’ll learn and interact within a virtual classroom, using digitised resources, archives, and discussion boards. Wherever you’re based, we aim to give you the unique experience of studying art and Christianity in a meaningful way.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:


This degree is assessed entirely online via:

  • essays
  • book reviews
  • discussion boards
  • creative assessment, eg, posters.
Extract from the Aberdeen Bestiary

Amazing archive access

You’ll have access to our outstanding Special Collections online.

They’re Scotland’s most significant university holdings. Within our collections, you can explore digitised illuminated manuscripts, including the Aberdeen Bestiary, oil paintings, early modern print collections, archives including the Scottish Catholic Archives, and much more.

Outstanding expertise

You’ll learn from leading experts in Art History and Divinity, based in our School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History (DHPA).

Dr Joanne Anderson, Head of Art History

Joanne is Reader in Art History specialising in late medieval and Renaissance art, with particular expertise in the visual representations of Mary Magdalen. She is author of Moving with the Magdalen: Late Medieval Art and Devotional Practice in the Alps and has featured on Britain’s Lost Masterpieces (BBC4) and In Our Time (BBC R4) on the topic of the saint. Her broader research interests extend to the sacralising of the landscape and female patronage in the Late Middle Ages, and 20th-century exhibition history.

View Joanne’s profile

Professor Tom Greggs, Marischal Chair of Divinity

Tom Greggs holds the Marischal Chair of Divinity at the University of Aberdeen and is a founding co-director of the Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology. He has published widely on systematic theology, including The Breadth of Salvation: Rediscovering the Fullness of God’s Saving Work and Barth, Origen, and Universal Salvation: Restoring Particularity. His current work focuses on ecclesiology, theology and social class, theology and identity politics, redemption and illumination. Tom serves on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and regularly appears on radio.

View Tom’s profile

Dr Karl Kinsella, Lecturer in Medieval Art History

Karl is Lecturer in Art History, specialising in the history of architecture and manuscripts in the early and central Middle Ages. Karl works on the development of architectural drawings within theological texts and exegesis. His book, God’s Own Language: Architectural Drawing in the Twelfth Century was recently published with MIT Press. Karl has also appeared on radio and lectured widely on the subject of medieval architecture. He’s regularly nominated for university awards for his inspirational and supportive teaching.

View Karl’s profile

Reverend Professor John Behr, Regius Professor of Humanity

Fr John Behr is a world-leading patristics scholar and Orthodox theologian. He recently joined the University of Aberdeen from St Vladimir’s Seminary, New York, where he served as Dean. John has published widely on the early church and Orthodoxy, including The Way to Nicaea, The Nicene Faith, and John the Theologian and His Paschal Gospel: A Prologue to Theology.

View John’s profile

Hours for taught courses

If you plan to study part-time, we recommend you take no more than one 30-credit course per term.

30 credits

  • Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 15 – 20 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

This is a guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

Activities at fixed times

There may be some activities scheduled at fixed times, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.

Hours for 60-credit dissertation

A 60-credit dissertation is around 600 hours of study time.

Work on your dissertation happens over both years of study with a preparation course in your first summer and the main period for research and writing in the second summer of your degree.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your coordinator via email, MyAberdeen and Microsoft Teams. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Joanne Anderson

Joanne is the degree coordinator. She’ll be on hand to answer any questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

Kate Smith

Kate is part of the School’s support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Ask us a question
Dr Karl Kinsella

We are working in the spirit of true collaboration to explore the relation of Christian art and theology across time and space. Aberdeen has phenomenal resources in its high-profile academics, its inspiring students and its world-class collections.

Dr Karl Kinsella, Lecturer in Medieval Art History

Where this will take you

Towards further research

Your MLitt will give you robust research training, preparing you to undertake further research in Art History and/or Theology.

You could go on to carry out PhD research on campus or with distance supervision.

Many of our students also go on to have distinguished academic careers.


Your MLitt in Christianity and the Visual Arts can help you upskill or work towards employment in the arts, culture, faith and heritage sectors.

It provides valuable transferable skills of:

  • visual analysis
  • critical and ethical thinking
  • debate and presentation.

It can also be part of professional development in parallel with vocational training.

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

Fees and funding

The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative cost includes a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full degree fee upfront.

You can pay for your degree one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.

Pay as you go allows you to spread payments over several terms.

When you pay

You make a payment before the start of each term.

How much you pay

You only pay for the credits you want to study in the upcoming term.

It’s up to you how many credits you take each term. This gives you control over your costs and your workload.

  • Taking fewer credits will increase the length of your studies.

We break down the total cost of this qualification into cost per 30 credits.

Costs per 30 credits for this degree, starting in academic year 2024/25

  • £1,680 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £1,760 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £1,850 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Tuition fees typically rise a little each academic year and will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Fees for 2026/27 are based on a further 5% increase, but are provisional and subject to change.

This is an example payment schedule for tuition fees. It’s based on the typical route through the degree studying part-time.

You can take more or fewer credits per term than is shown in this example.

Term 1) September – December 2024 | Academic year 2024/25

  • Take one 30-credit course.
  • Fee for term = £1,680.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 2) January – April 2025

  • Take one 30-credit course.
  • Fee for term = £1,680.
  • Payment due in January.

Term 3) May – August 2025

  • Summer break. There is no teaching in the summer of your degree.
  • No payment due.

Term 4) September – December 2025 | Academic year 2025/26

  • Take one 30-credit course.
  • Fee for term = £1,760.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 5) January – April 2026

  • Take one 30-credit course.
  • Fee for term = £1,760.
  • Payment due in January.

Term 6) May – August 2026

  • Embark on your 60-credit dissertation.
  • Fee for dissertation = £3,520.
  • Payment due in May.

MLitt complete

On passing your dissertation, you’ll have earned 180 credits and will be awarded an MLitt.

Total fee for this route to your MLitt = £10,400.

Learning resources

Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details.

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.

Why study Christianity and the Visual Arts online with the University of Aberdeen?

Founded in 1495

Divinity has been taught at the University of Aberdeen for more than five centuries.

Top 30 in the world

We’re one of the top 30 universities in the world for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies (QS World University Rankings 2023).

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

Entry requirements


  • A 2:1 (upper-second) honours degree or equivalent (normally a 3.0 GPA in North America).

We also welcome alternative qualifications combined with relevant professional experience. If you don’t have a formal degree qualification, please submit a supporting personal statement with your application.

These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.

English language tests and scores

If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.

IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 90 overall
  • 17 for listening
  • 21 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening and speaking
  • 169 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 62 overall
  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.

You apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Degree certificate

Apply now

Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2023 intake

For our September 2023 intake, the application deadline is 3 September 2023.

You will need to accept your offer and provide any outstanding documents to meet the conditions of your offer by 10 September 2023.

Teaching starts on 18 September 2023.

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.


We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

NEW: Try our degree scheduler

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Manage your study schedule

Control the pace and cost of your degree. Decide how much you want to study each term.

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Master of Letters

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Apply for this programme

Start month

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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