This programme provides the opportunity to study a variety of religious traditions, in combination with advanced learning in the theory and method of the study of religion.
Religious beliefs, behaviours and institutions are powerful components in human societies. Understanding their motivations and structures can help the search for solutions to major challenges in the contemporary world.
This programme allows a deepening engagement with theory and method in religious studies while encouraging the in-depth study of one or more religious traditions. This combination of theoretical know-how with studies in specific traditions equips you to compare, interpret and explain religion from a cross-cultural perspective.
You can study Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Indian traditions, as well as indigenous religions of Africa, North America and East Asia, and new age and diasporic traditions. The programme also offers the opportunity to learn Sanskrit, Arabic or Persian (subject to availability) through our expertise in Asian Studies and in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.
This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000-word dissertation.
Compulsory courses comprise Theory and Method in the Study of Religion; one further course from the options specific to this programme; and two courses in research methods.
You will choose three options. At least one must be a course in religious studies, such as:
- Contemporary Theories of Religion
- Hindu Traditions: Critical Investigations
- From Diatribe to Dialogue in Christian-Muslim Relations
- New Age Spirituality in Contemporary Culture
The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.
This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.
About the School
Theology has been taught in Edinburgh since the foundation of the University in 1583.