The UCL Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies is the only university department in the UK dedicated to the field of Jewish Studies. We are a world-leading centre which integrates all aspects of Jewish Studies, from antiquity to modernity, through the prism of history, literature, and languages. Research interests at the University include the Ancient Near East, early rabbinic literature, Eastern European Jewish history, Yiddish culture, Hebrew and Jewish languages, contemporary Israeli culture and society, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Jewish-Muslim relations. Recent major research projects include Jewish time and calendars; code switching in the Talmud; the first Hebrew Shakespeare translations; the grammar of Enlightenment Hebrew; the Jews and photography; intercession (‘shtadlanut’) in Jewish political tradition; and gender in modern Hebrew literature. Our research has been funded by major grants from the ERC, AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, and the British Academy, among others, and we regularly host postdoctoral researchers.
This interdisciplinary department offers a wide variety of different undergraduate degrees. We have a dedicated BA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies which allows students to focus on Jewish history, culture, and languages. This degree is offered either as a four-year programme including a Year Abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, or as a three-year programme based solely in London. We also offer a three- or four-year BA in Ancient Languages in conjunction with UCL’s Department of Greek and Latin. This degree, which is unique in the UK, provides training in an extensive range of ancient Semitic and Indo-European languages alongside their history, culture and textual traditions. Similarly, we offer a four-year BA in History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies in conjunction with UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. This degree allows students to specialise in Eastern European Jewish history, culture, and politics. Finally, we offer a four-year BA in Modern Languages in conjunction with UCL’s School of European Languages, Culture and Society, which allows students to combine intensive study of Hebrew or Yiddish with that of a modern European language.
At the graduate taught level, the Department offers an MA in Jewish Studies. This degree introduces students from diverse academic backgrounds to the disciplines, theories, methods, and practice of learning in Jewish Studies and provides the opportunity for in-depth specialisation in Jewish history, culture, literature, and languages in addition to independent research in the field.
The Department also has a strong PhD programme for students who wish to pursue independent doctoral research in Jewish Studies under the supervision of a specialist in the field.
The Department offers over forty taught modules ranging from antiquity to the modern era at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The taught modules facilitate the study of topics that have impacted on the Jewish people throughout history and have influenced the relationship between Jews and non-Jews to the present. The teaching pursues a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Jewish history, language, culture and religion, and offers the opportunity to examine the experiences of Jewish communities and individuals in various contexts from life under Greek and Roman rule to Jewish life in America, Europe, Britain, and the Middle East and North Africa. UCL also offers a broad range of language tuition options, including Modern and Biblical Hebrew, Yiddish, Syriac, Ugaritic, Biblical Aramaic, Jewish Literary Aramaic, and Sumerian.
You can find out more about the department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL here.
UCL is also home of the Institute of Jewish Studies (IJS), which is dedicated to the promotion of all aspects of Jewish scholarship and civilisation at the highest level of academic excellence. The Institute provides a programme of weekly public lectures on all aspects of Jewish Studies as well as an annual public conference organised by Departmental staff on topics related to their research areas.