MSc in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

This programme, housed within the School of Divinity, draws on the strengths of one of the most distinguished centres of religious and theological studies in the country. It offers a deep and broad study of the rich intellectual traditions of Islamic law, theology and philosophy in conversation with Christian thought, ethics and political theology. The dialogical framework of the course allows you to study multiple disciplines in both Islamic and Christian thought and practice, not as mere historical artefacts, but as resources that transform the academic study of religion and engage public debates on the place of Islam, Christianity, and religion in society.

The programme’s core courses will enable you to receive a strong grounding in the major themes and methodologies in Islam and in the academic study of Christian-Muslim relations. You will gain a deep appreciation of the philosophical, theological and ethical debates between Christians and Muslims in different times and places. Optional courses from which you may choose your other modules include a variety of courses in both Islam and Christianity: Islamic literature; Islam, Law and Human Rights; Islam, Gender and Ethics; and African Religious Diversity as well as the various options in Christian theology and history. In addition, students can take courses offered by the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES).

The programme offers opportunities for study and collaboration with world-renowned academics, with a view to tailoring a personalized path to doctoral study or to other relevant careers.

Programme structure

This programme is run over one year full-time (or two years part-time). 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

  • Major Themes in the Study of Islam
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Christian Muslim-Relations
  • Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies
  • Approaches to Research: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

Option Courses

You will choose three options from among the courses specific to the programme, such as:

  • Islam, Law and Human Rights
  • Literary Classics of the Islamic World
  • Reflections on Gender and Ethics in Classical and Contemporary Islam
  • The Qur’an—Islam’s Holy Book
  • Muslims in Europe
  • Islamic Movements in the 20th Century
  • African Religious Diversity

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.

Learning outcomes

After finishing the programme you will have:

  • Expertise in the major themes and debates in the academic study of Islam;
  • Specialised knowledge and expertise in several major aspects of both Islam and Christian-Muslim relations;
  • A facility with select major thinkers in the history of Islamic thought and/or Christian-Muslim relations;
  • An appreciation of how various social, historical, cultural, and political contexts shape and inform the relationship between Christians and Muslims;
  • A clear understanding of how Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim relations relate to and engage other academic disciplines, especially religious studies, theology, philosophy, law, and politics;
  • The ability to analyse the relationship between contemporary and modern Christian-Muslim encounters and the history of Christian-Muslim dialogue, diatribe, and debate.

Career opportunities

Possible fields for employment after completion of this programme include:

  • Academia
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Academic Publishing
  • Think-Tanks
  • Religious Leadership
  • National and International civil services
Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

Theology has been taught in Edinburgh since the foundation of the University in 1583.

Theology has been taught in Edinburgh since the foundation of the University in 1583. Read less