Study Week

This information is for participants in the ‘Bible and the Contemporary World’ distance learning programme. Here you will find all you need to know in preparation for the next Study Week.

The next study week begins at 9.00am on Monday 20 January 2020 and ends at 12.30pm on Friday 24 January 2020. The programme will be made available in December 2019 but may be subject to amendment.

Your attendance is required from the start until 1pm on Wednesday 22 January 2020 but we schedule seminars and lectures for Thursday and Friday so hope that you will stay for the whole week. A provisional programme for the week will be emailed to you.

In order that we can make preparations for your arrival it is vital that we know the length of your stay in St Andrews in advance. Please email the Distance Learning Officer, by 5 January 2020 telling him if you are departing after Wednesday lunchtime or when later in the week.

The information we need from you by 5 January 2020 – please email

  1. Your departure day and time.
  2. Your biographical entry (not more than 60 words) for the pamphlet we issue to students at the RSW.
  3. Any disability you wish us to know about.


You need to arrange your own accommodation in St Andrews. Places in University Halls of Residence may occasionally be available, upon request, but in September only. Most students choose local B&B (Bed & Breakfast) at a cost from typically £80 per person per night.

To enquire about places in University accommodation for a September Study Week, please email: and remember to indicate that you are a distance learning student attending the study week for ‘Bible and the Contemporary World’. You should do so as soon as possible but preparations at the halls of residence for the new undergraduate semester means that places, if any, are extremely limited.

Lists of commercial accommodation are also available at these, and other, sites:

Listing here does not imply recommendation or endorsement.

Advance Preparation

You will have access to a wide range of electronic resources via your St Andrews IT account. This will include scholarly journals, e-books and other digitised materials provided under license.

A core reading list will be made available. Digital extracts from the core list will be made available to participants once the module is underway. The further extensive list contains items that, in most instances, will be available as e-journals or e-books accessible using your St Andrews IT account. For new entrants this becomes fully active closer to the commencement of the module.

Some reading lists may be available a few weeks before the module commences – but you are not normally expected to do reading in advance.


We assemble at 9am on the first day of the Residential Study Week in the Senior Common Room of St Mary’s College. A map showing the location of the College within St Andrews is available here.


It greatly helps you to get to know the other students, and they you, if you are willing to provide brief biographical details which are made available to the group upon arrival at St Mary’s College. Just a few words (no more than 60 please) about your family, hobbies, professional context, and reasons for choosing this course may be emailed to the Distance Learning Officer by the date above.

Registration and Matriculation

You should complete as much of the registration processes as possible before arrival. Full instructions are emailed to you by the Registry shortly before you commence your first module. Although these instructions will ask you to arrange a meeting with your supervisor/tutor in order to finalize your selection of module this is not applicable to our distance learning programme. This is handled on your behalf – as we offer only one module each semester – and we hold a matriculation clinic on the first day of the study week to iron out any last minute details.

Social Activities

Refreshments (tea, coffee, soft drinks) are provided in the Senior Common Room at most breaks. Lunch is not provided but the Senior Common Room will be available for those who would like to bring their food back to the College. There are a number of food outlets, including Tesco and Sainsbury stores, very close to the College.

On one of the evenings of the Study Week it has become our custom to have a meal together at a local restaurant. Arrangements are made once everyone arrives but you might wish to estimate spending £25 on that occasion.

On the Sunday evening before the Residential Study Week commences you will usually find a number of the students gathering in The Saint Bar and Kitchen (formerly The WestPort Bar) a little along the road from the College, at the east end of South Street (not the Cathedral end). We hope that new entrants will join those returning to the programme. Further details will be emailed to you nearer the time.


The main University website has an extensive section on how to get here. That information is available here.


We normally arrange an individual tutorial for each student. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions about studying at postgraduate level, or explore aspects of your progress on the course. These will be conducted by phone or web-based video-conference during the semester.


In August and September, St Andrews can be bathed in sunshine but it might also be chilly, wet and windy. The same can be said for January – but being on the shore of the North Sea we don’t normally get much snow in the town itself although the surrounding area can be quite different.

You should come prepared for wet weather but also for beautiful, bright days. The maritime climate is difficult to predict but very healthy.