University of Edinburgh

School of Divinity

MSc/MTh Theology in History


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MSc/MTh Theology in History

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Masters programme 'Theology in History' looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives — theology, philosophy, history — and provides options for special study of themes from the early Church to modern times.

The aim of the programme is to enable students to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has been developed, tested, and affirmed.


Our programme is comprehensive and specialised. Two of the core courses focus on the most authoritative ecclesiastical constructions of Christian thought from the beginnings to the present day, and explore the debates and challenges that have shaped belief and practice.

Beyond the core courses we offer a wide range of special options, lending the programme a great deal of flexibility. It allows students to explore a variety of fields, if they wish. Equally, it allows students to follow up special interests in depth, perhaps with a view to a PhD.

Our interdisciplinary approach

Our lecturers come from different disciplines within the School: historians, philosophers of religion, systematic theologians. Our work builds on the excellent resources of New College Library (the largest single-site specialist theological library in Britain) and is enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in Theology and Ethics, and in the History of Christianity.

Our focus on skill development

Our teaching aims to develop in students the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for work in religious history or systematic theology at a postgraduate level. A core component of the programme is a research methods course: this offers a practical approach to improving postgraduate-level skills of critical thinking and writing. As we encourage students to use this Masters degree as formal preparation for a PhD, acquisition of language skills for research can be built into the programme. With permission, students can take up to 40 credits in an ancient or modern language.

Our status as a world-leading university

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. As host to almost 40,000 students from some 144 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 6 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)

CORE COURSES: Creeds, Councils and Controversies I: Patristic and Medieval Creeds, Councils and Controversies II: Reformation and Modern Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies: This core course introduces 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 PROGRAMME COURSES Students must choose at least one course from the range of courses offered within the programme (please note that a selection of these courses are offered each year):

 - Augustine: Confessions, City of God, On the Trinity

 - Byzantine Theology 451-1672

 - Calvinist Theology and Piety in Britain and America, c.1590-1660

 - Church and Society in Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland

 - Church, State and Civil Society

 - Early Christian Writers from Ignatius to John Chrysostom

 - Early North African Christianity from the Scillitan Martyrs to the Vandals

 - Friedrich Schleiermacher's The Christian Faith

 - God in German Philosophy from Kant to Hegel

 - Philosophy of Religion

 - Hegel’s God: Advanced Readings in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

 - History of Science and Religion in the Christian Tradition

 - Kant’s God: Advanced Readings in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason

 - Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics

 - People, Prelates and Purgatory: Religious Perspectives in Late Medieval Scotland

 - Reformation in Sixteenth Century Britain and Ireland


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

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