University of Edinburgh

Islamic-Studies & Christian-Muslim Relations. Masters by Research/PhD


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Islamic-Studies & Christian-Muslim Relations. Masters by Research/PhD

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Pursue interdisciplinary research into Islamic thought and practice, and into historical, theological, ethical and political encounters between Christianity and Islam.

Staff research interests currently span a variety of specialism including:  Islamic theology (kalam), law (shari‘a and fiqh), and philosophy; Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir; Muslim views of Christianity and Judaism; Christian theological engagements with Islam; constructive theology and ethics from a Christian or Muslim perspective; Arab Christianity, classic and contemporary; political Islam; political theology; comparative theology; migration, religion and politics.


• Our reputation for research excellence: 

The School of Divinity scored exceptionally highly in the UK's Research Excellence Framework (2014).

We were ranked first in Scotland for Theology and Religious Studies, and fourth in the UK, on the quality and volume of our research. 78% of our total submission was rated at the top levels (4 star and 3 star), denoting work considered world-leading and internationally excellent. On research environment, we scored 100% at the top levels, a testimony to our extremely strong research culture - putting us second in the UK on this front in theology and religion

Our vibrant and welcoming community:

At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. You will benefit from the School’s programme of events and you will be part of the research seminars in Theology and Ethics and Religious Studies, to which visiting speakers are invited and to which postgraduates present work-in-progress.

Our interdisciplinary approach:

Our lecturers have a wide variety of research interests and bring different perspectives to the programme.

• Access to impressive research resources:

In addition to the rich bibliographical resources of New College Library (one of the largest theological libraries in the UK). You will also have access to the main University of Edinburgh Library, and the National Library of Scotland.

• Our focus on skill development:

You will be able to follow taught courses that contribute to your interests and research needs, and can also take advantage of opportunities to learn ancient and modern languages.

• Our reputation as a prestigious world-leading institution:

The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top 50 universities. We are 19th in the 2017/2018 QS World University Ranking.

Types of research programmes

Masters by Research:

If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the one-year Masters by Research may interest you.

Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation.  Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path.  All students receive research training.

Master of Philosophy

Studying for an MPhil commits you to two years full-time study and to writing a thesis of up to 60,000 words. 

You will have regular 1:1 supervision and work with advice from two supervisors.

During the first year you explore your chosen area of research and refine your research proposal.  At around the nine-month mark, you will submit a draft chapter for discussion at a Review Board, together with a developed proposal for the whole thesis. 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Research for a PhD will require you to undertake at least three years full-time study, and to write a thesis of up to 100,000 words. 

You will have regular 1:1 supervision and work with advice from two supervisors.  From the beginning, the British pattern of PhD studies focuses on working towards the thesis – there is little or no coursework.  This means that from the start you need to be well-prepared in any special skills you need for your research project, including languages.


The University of Edinburgh is an internationally recognised Higher Education institution. We are one the world's leading research universities and our degrees as valued the world-over.

Eligibility Requirements:

You should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject from a recognised university or college with a minimum 3.25 GPA. If your first language is not English, you will also have to meet English Language requirements to apply. For admission to the PhD programme, you will need to show a proven ability to sustain independent research under supervision, normally in the form of a masters programme that includes a dissertation.

International Student Requirements:

If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national, and you will come to the UK to study for more than six months, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa. You will also need to apply for a Tier 4 visa if you wish to do a work placement as part of your studies, or look for a part time job.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

In State Tuition (per year): £13,800 - £17,400 GBP

Out State Tuition (per year): £13,800 - £17,400 GBP

Classification: Higher Education Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Midsize City

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