Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies Part 1

This programme combines Jewish Studies with Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew Language acquisition. The programme aims to facilitate the achievement of fluent Hebrew and Aramaic reading and general competency. In addition to intensive language study there are introductions to key subject areas such as the Jewish life-cycle and its liturgy and the Festival cycle, introduction to the Hebrew Bible, introduction to rabbinic literature, history, Jewish thought and general methodology.

The Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1 will be awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits. There are 360 contact hours. It can be studied either full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).

This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.

To read the Programme Specification please Click Here

Entry requirements

  1. First/second class honours degree.
  2. Students whose mother tongue is not English are expected to meet a minimum level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), band 6.
  3. Students must provide evidence of having completed Ulpan (Hebrew Language School) level Gimmel by the time they enrol for the Graduate Diploma in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Part 1.
  4. Students may be invited for an interview to determine the range and depth of their previous reading in an area of Jewish Studies in which they have explored their own interests.

Prospective students over the age of 21, who do not satisfy the normal entry requirements, may be admitted to a programme or subject provided that they can submit evidence of previous serious study and demonstrate the capacity and attainments to pursue successfully the proposed programme.

Teaching and Assessment

A variety of teaching methods including tutor led, group work and independent study will be used. Types of assessments include: examinations, essays, presentations, textual analyses, sermons, short tests, designing a service.

Click here for Assessment Regulations.

Click her for MDX Academic Regulations

Module Descriptions

This module presents an introduction to Aramaic, focusing specifically on the Jewish Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible, the so-called Targums. The student shall be prepared for independent professional and academic study of these texts by acquiring the necessary practical skills in reading, translating, vocabulary retention, and grammatical analysis. The Targumic texts will be discussed in relation to the Hebrew original and the mode of translation, exegetical traditions, and linguistic developments.

This two semester module is designed to allow the student to engage with the Hebrew Bible with confidence and fluency. The student shall be prepared for independent professional and academic study of the Hebrew Bible, acquiring the necessary practical skills in (un)pointed reading, translating, vocabulary, and grammatical analysis. Students will gain familiarity with a range of Biblical styles and genres and learn how to effectively use the full range of grammars, aids and reference works.

Cantillation is the traditional mode for public reading of the Torah in Hebrew. Following the cantillation accents closely leads to accurate reading; the music enhances the nuances of meanings.
As well as adding a musical dimension, the cantillation accents outline the syntax of the biblical text. Awareness of the particular role of each accent is necessary for understanding the text.
In class, the cantillation accents will be introduced by their names, shapes and music. There are certain rules that govern the application of the accents to the text. These will be learnt and applied by
each student, taking it in turn to chant aloud in class. Preparation of a few Hebrew verses for reading aloud and translating in class will be expected weekly. Attendance is of paramount importance, as the
constant feedback and corrections from the teacher constitute the most important tool for progress.

This module is designed to introduce students to the liturgies of annual and life‐cycle events, focusing on their theological and historical implications. It will help students understand the liturgy in terms of
its history, showing how it illuminates belief in relation to annual and life events. Particular attention will be paid to the theological implications of the sacred narrative.

This module will critically examine methodological approaches to the text of the Hebrew Bible over the centuries, particularly those of the medieval commentators, of whom Rashi is the leading
example, and of the major trends in modern biblical criticism up to the present day.

This module is an intensive introduction to rabbinic literature, which offers thorough, intensive training in the area of rabbinic language and literature. Students shall gain familiarity with the major
genres and works of rabbinic literature, in particular Mishna/Tosefta, Midrash and Babylonian Talmud, acquiring the necessary skills to read, translate and analyse rabbinic sources. Students shall also be
introduced to modern scholarship in the field. Acquisition of skills related to primary and secondary sources shall allow the student to engage in further study at more advanced levels.

In order to understand the development of various aspects of Judaism including Jewish thought, rabbinic students must understand the complexities of Jewish history as well as having knowledge of the ‘names, places and dates’ of Jewish history. Understanding and being able to identify and use primary sources and artefacts as well as secondary source material is vital to this study.

Through an appreciation of tensions and resonances between Athens and Jerusalem we will explore diverse sources within Western Culture and ways that have helped shape Greek and Hebraic traditions of philosophy, language and experience. By contrasting a Hebraic notion of time, history and memory with a Greek focus upon space, meaning and knowledge, we will engage with the priority of the ethical in Jewish philosophy and religious traditions. We will draw on Leo Baeck’s writings on THE ESSENCE OF JUDAISM as well as his work on JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY in order to explore different notions of ‘the human’ that are at stake in the self‐understandings of Western Culture and its diverse inheritances. We will explore, for example, contrasts between thoughts and deeds, what it means to be a person within Jewish traditions and different notions of being created in the image of the divine, responsibilities of memory, ideas of covenant and repairing the world.

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Application Process

Download Application Form


Sandy Potashnick

+44 (0)20 8349 5622

Application Deadline

30 June in the year preceding admission

Course Team Leader

Dr Ben Williams