Jewish Studies Related MA Programmes
The University of Manchester is a major centre for teaching and research in Jewish Studies. The MA in Religions and Theology (Jewish Studies focus) has a high taught course unit content and offers specialised courses and advanced supervision in Jewish Studies. The programme provides students with access to the expertise of leading scholars in the fields of Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, Jewish history, Holocaust Studies, Israel Studies, Jewish philosophy, Jewish literature, Hebrew language, Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and Rabbinic literature. Staff are mostly located in the old-established and distinguished subject areas of Religions and Theology and Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. The Jewish Studies library resources available in the University Library and the John Rylands Library are among the best in the country and include important archives and manuscripts. Additionally, the Centre houses the Bill Williams Library which includes rare items for the study of British Jewry. Students of the MA programme can specialise in antiquity or in the modern world, as well as combine course units dealing with different periods.
Outside the classes, the Centre for Jewish Studies environment makes available to MA students a wide-ranging programme of seminars by local and by visiting academics allowing them to keep abreast with recent research in a wide range of Jewish Studies sub-disciplines. At Manchester, students of Jewish Studies have the opportunity of participating in a rich and challenging learning experience.
For information about study costs, and how to apply online, see the programme profile of the MA in Religions and Theology. Information on funding opportunities is found on a separate page dedicated to Funding. For information about life as a postgraduate at the University of Manchester, see the Postgraduate Study website. For information regarding the benefits of studying at Manchester as a foreign student, see Study in the UK.
The MA in Religions and Theology
2017-18 Jewish Studies routes through MA Religions and Theology: MA students take two core courses and up to six options, then write a dissertation. The programme takes 12 months full-time or up to 27 months part-time. In the core courses, on methods and impacts, all students meet together (16 this year, from all sorts of places and backgrounds) but are assessed by essays supervised by a lecturer in your area of interest, such as Jewish Studies. There is then a choice of over 100 options from within and beyond the department. There is also a placement option. For 2017-18, the following options of particular interest for Jewish Studies are currently planned: Jews among Christians and Muslims; Interpreting Bible and Early Jewish texts; Ethnic Minorities and Religious Identities in Britain; Classical Judaism and its Modern Constructions; Holocaust Theology; Sacred Spaces; Women and Gender in the Biblical World; Introductory Biblical Hebrew; Biblical Hebrew Texts; Modern Hebrew (level 1, 2 or 3); Archaeology and Society in the Near East and Mediterranean; Papyrology; Producing and Consuming Heritage. (Note – The exact course unit options may vary from this list). Students are also free to attend further course units at BA or MA level and are invited to regular research seminars in Jewish Studies and Bibiical Studies as well as to annual special lecture series, the Bogdanov Lectures in Holocaust studies and the Sherman Lectures in Jewish Studies.
AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME
For a general description, please see the programme’s profile page on the central University website.
The programme offers specialised training in Jewish Studies through its choice of relevant courses and supervision. Applicants interested in the literature, history and institutions of Judaism of the biblical era, the period of the Second Temple, the classic Rabbinic period, the Middle Ages, the early modern period, the period of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel, and contemporary Jewish life in the State of Israel or in the Diaspora are encouraged to apply.
STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAMME
A selection of currently available units include the following (please note that these are subject to change):
- Jews among Christians and Muslims: Introduction and Methodology in Jewish Studies (RELT70561, 15 credits, Optional)
- Beginner's Hebrew (Biblical) (RELT70140, 30 credits, Optional)
Additionally, students can arrange Guided Reading modules to pursue their individual research interests by agreement with individual Centre for Jewish Studies staff. Recent topics investigated in this way include: "The structure and use of Talmudic quotations in the Letter of Rav Sherira Gaon", "The function of biblical quotations in early Rabbinic literature", "A comparative study of Jewish Sufism in Spain and Egypt", "The escape of Benito Arias Montano from the Spanish Inquisition", "Jewish and Christian musical interaction during the Italian late Renaissance" and "The Construction the ‘Jew’ in William Holman Hunt’s painting ‘Finding the Saviour in the Temple’".
In addition to the successful completion of the taught course units, students are required to write a dissertation for which they will have one-to-one supervision. The MA dissertation is of 12,000-15,000 words.
"The MA in Jewish Studies was intellectually stimulating, and rigorous, and prepared me well for my doctoral studies. The Department of Religions and Theology provides a good learning environment, with a range of excellent courses available, and the university library's resources supported my research well." (Katharina Keim)
"The Centre for Jewish Studies offers an impressive range of course modules as part of their taught MA programme... I found that the Centre’s programme of research seminars and other events is a good way to make informal contact with researchers, which fosters a sense of being part of a thriving academic research community. Manchester itself is a great place to live as it is a vibrant city which is home to a diverse range of communities; my initial plan was to return to London once I completed my MA, but I grew to love Manchester so I decided to stay." (Owen Power)
"The decision to return to university after pursuing a career in IT consultancy was not an easy one. My interest in Religious Studies, in particular Jewish history, Jewish philosophy and Jewish-Christian relations, had been awakened by a series of courses at other institutions. I was determined to take this interest to the next level but I did not want to abandon my career. Manchester provided the perfect environment. Firstly, the department was very supportive of my decision to study part-time over two years so that I could continue to work. Secondly, there was a lot of flexibility about the construction of a course to suit my own interests." (Simon Mayers)
"Manchester, one of the largest and growing Jewish communities in Europe, is very fortunate to have an excellent Centre for Jewish Studies on its doorstep. The department is small and friendly and it was a privilege for me personally to be taught by scholars with such international reputations. The range of courses available is impressive and the library facilities and collections available are admirable. I enjoyed my MA studies so much I stayed on for my PhD." (Aron Sterk)