About the School
Theology has been taught in Edinburgh since the foundation of the University in 1583.
Location and community
In the School of Divinity, you are a member of two communities: New College, historic home to internationally respected scholars of religion - and Edinburgh, a world-class university in one of Europe's most scenic, vibrant cities.
New College is an iconic part of Edinburgh's skyline, located at the top of The Mound, close to Edinburgh Castle, the National Gallery, Princes Street and Waverley Station, and a few minutes' walk from other University buildings and the main University library. Our address: New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX.
The School comprises some 40 academic staff, 300 undergraduate students and about 160 graduate students from all over the world and with a variety of religious affiliations.
We take a personal interest in our students and offer a welcoming and friendly setting in which to pursue the exciting and demanding study of Theology and Religious Studies.
Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students are assigned to staff members who act as Personal Tutors, helping students to plan their studies successfully.
From the first year onward, courses involve small group tutorials and seminar learning as well as lectures. Having our own library and dining hall in New College helps everyone to get to know each other, too.
The city of Edinburgh
With its beautiful architecture, rich history and literary heritage, lovely parks and famous landmarks, music, theatre, and sports facilities, events galore - not least the world's biggest Arts festival - there’s something for everyone in Edinburgh. Beaches, mountains, and lochs are all within easy reach. Scotland (and the world) is readily accessible by road, rail and air so you can explore further afield.
Teaching & research excellence
We have a long and distinguished record in research, teaching and postgraduate supervision.
Our current staff includes scholars with international reputations in various subjects in theology and religious studies.
The School of Divinity is delighted to report that it ranked 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK* for Theology and Religious Studies in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) based on the quality and volume of our research.
And in the most recent assessment of teaching quality, the School was rated highly satisfactory.
Incoming postgraduate research students are offered a training course in research methods and are given conscientious supervision from their first weeks through to submission of the thesis. There are also special orientation events for foreign students.
The undergraduate programmes include the BA/MA in Religious Studies, the BD/BD Honours, and the BA/MA Theology.
We offer taught masters degree programmes in several subjects, and research degree programmes at both masters (MSc by Research, MPhil) and doctoral (PhD) levels.
The School offers courses in four subject areas:
- Biblical Studies
- History of Christianity
- Religious Studies
- Theology and Ethics
E-learning is part of the innovative approach to teaching at New College.
The library holdings available to research students are considerable.
The New College Library is reputed to be the largest separate theological collection in Britain.
Total holdings in the various University libraries exceed 2.25 million volumes.
In addition, the National Library of Scotland (a national deposit library) holds more than five million volumes.