MSc Science and Religion
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.
Much of the recent debate surrounding ‘New Atheism’ has taken place within a poorly-informed view of the history and philosophy of science and its relationship with religion. The programme provides a strong grounding in these issues. The history of science will be studied from ancient times through the modern scientific revolution, together with philosophical trends in our understanding of reality.
In addition, the main core areas of dialogue between science and religion will be explored in depth, including cosmology, evolution, divine action and miracles, consciousness and the human person.
This programme is truly interdisciplinary and is taught by scientists, medics, historians, philosophers, biblical scholars and systematic theologians. Many of the courses are team-taught, although individual teachers also offer specialised options. All students have one-to-one supervision for their Masters dissertation.
Who is this programme for?
The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means, it can be approached from a variety of disciplines, and we welcome prospective students with a good first degree in a core science subject (e.g. physics, chemistry, biology) or a core humanities subject (e.g. philosophy, history, religious studies, or theology). We welcome students from all backgrounds, including those already in employment who wish to combine their work with study in our flexible part-time option.
Structure and Courses
The degree can be taken full-time over 12 months, or part-time over 24 months.
The programme requires full-time students to complete six courses over two semesters as well as a dissertation.
History of Science and Religion in the Christian Tradition
Cosmos, cell, and Creator: Current debates in Science and Religion
Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies
Students must choose at least one course from the range of courses offered within the programme and listed below. In addition, students must take two further courses either from the list above 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)
• Ecology, Ethics and Spirit
• The Ethics of Climate Change
• Key Thinkers in Science and Religion
• Science and Scripture
• Science and Religion in Literature
• Philosophical Issues in Evolution
• The Philosophy of Time
• Man and the Natural World in the Enlightenment
The programme prepares students for careers where a comprehensive understanding of the cultural impact of science is important, as well as those which require expertise in handling complex and sensitive debates such as those surrounding live religious and philosophical questions. 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 recognised internationally
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.