University of Edinburgh

School of Divinity

MSc/MTh Religious Studies


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Our dedicated Masters programme in Science and Religion is almost unique in European universities. It aims to inform and engage with the debate in depth, looking at it from scientific, philosophical, historical, ethical and theological perspectives.

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Masters programme in Religious Studies allows a deepening engagement with the methodological ramifications of the field, while encouraging in-depth study of one or more religious traditions. These include Jewish, Christian, Islamic, South Asian, New Age and new spirituality, and other global religious traditions. Why study with us..? A global approach At the University of Edinburgh our focus extends beyond theory and method in Religious Studies to specific local, national and international religious traditions. Courses are offered on Jewish, Christian, Islamic and South Asian traditions, as well as on indigenous religions of Africa and South Asia, and New Age and Diasporic traditions. Language studies For the study of Islam and Indian religions, we work with specialists in Asian Studies and in Islam and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES), who also offer training in appropriate languages (Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian). Students interested in Christian texts may wish to take language courses in Hebrew or Greek. Theory and method We take a longer look at the history of the field of Religious Studies, and explore modern histories of the category ‘religion’ and related categories in cross-cultural contexts. We take an interdisciplinary approach, using core methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Develop skills The programme ensures that students develop the skills, knowledge and understanding appropriate for work in Religious Studies at a postgraduate level. The programme can be taken as an end in itself or as preparation for a research degree. A degree from a prestigious world-leading institution The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top 50 universities. We are 17th in the 2014/2015 QS World University Ranking. As host to more than 30,000 students from some 137 countries, the University of Edinburgh attracts the world’s greatest minds Degree Structure The degree can be taken full-time over 12 months, or part-time over 24 months. Students are typically expected to take six courses over two semesters. This includes 3 core and mandatory courses and 3 additional courses to suit your particular interests. Students must choose at least one course from the range of courses offered within the programme. In addition, students must take two further courses either from the list of programme courses and/or courses offered in other taught Masters programmes in the School of Divinity, or in another School (subject to approval from the Programme Director) Our Core courses are: Theory and method in the study of religion We explore key theoretical and methodological issues in the study of religion by reviewing some of the foundational figures associated with the development of Religious Studies as a discipline. Selected themes in the study of religion This core course explores the evolution and development of a variety of central themes and concepts in the academic study of religion. Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies: Introducing students to the norms of the different disciplines within Divinity and Religious Studies, this course also addresses critical thinking, succinct critical speaking, research project approaches and best scholarly practice. Other courses We offer a variety of exciting courses. This list changes and expands yearly. The list below includes the courses available in the 14-15 academic year: • New Age Spirituality in Contemporary Culture • Contemporary Theories of Religion • New Dimensions in Jewish Thought • Themes and Explorations in Jewish-Christian Relations • Reflections on Gender and Ethics in Classical and Contemporary Islam • Religion and the New African Diaspora • The Practice of Field-Work in the Study of Religion • Religion and Nationalism: Theory and Performance • Christian History in Asia • The Holocaust in Visual Culture • Hindu Traditions: Critical Investigations Dissertation A vital part of the programme is a Masters dissertation of 15,000 words. The dissertation should show advanced knowledge of the subject, as well as good writing and analytical abilities. Careers The programme prepares students for careers where a comprehensive understanding of the cultural impact of religions is important. Equally, it provides the necessary basis for a further research degree. As such, the programme could form a useful stepping-stone for careers in education and research, journalism, innovation policy and management, information technology, knowledge exchange and communication, and civil service, to name just a few. All students have access to the Edinburgh University Careers Service during the programme. The service provides both general and specific guidance on career options, runs career fairs, talks and training sessions, offers assistance with a CV, applications forms and interview preparation, and helps in exploring further study options.


Fully accredited by The University of Edinburgh and Globally recognised

International Student Requirements:

For students whose first language is not English, detailed information about required English language qualifications can be found on our website. Our website will also inform you which international qualifications meet our general entry requirements.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

# of Credits Required: 180

Classification: Higher Education Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Midsize City

Find Schools