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.

Our community

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.

Degree programmes

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

E-learning is part of the innovative approach to teaching at New College.

Research facilities

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.

Programs taught in:
English

This school also offers:

MSc

University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity

This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a PhD. Its emphasis is on adding depth and bread ... [+]

Programme description

This programme is for students who wish to develop expertise in biblical studies, including those who want to prepare for a Ph.D. Its emphasis is on adding depth and breadth to expertise in biblical languages.

Finely-honed language skills are central to the programme’s engagement with the Bible, the world that produced it, and its later readers. It provides an expert in-depth study of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the wider ancient Near East and Mediterranean World, and related extra-biblical literature including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

You will be taught by leading academics with research interests in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, early Judaism, and early Christianity.... [-]

United Kingdom Edinburgh
August 2019
Full-time
Part-time
1 - 2 years
Campus
University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity

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 religio ... [+]

Programme description

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 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.... [-]

United Kingdom Edinburgh
August 2019
Full-time
Part-time
1 - 2 years
Campus
University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity

Our dedicated Master's programme in Science and Religion is highly distinctive in European universities. It aims to inform and engage with the debate in depth, looking at ... [+]

About the programme

The relationship between Science and Religion is one of the foremost intellectual debates of our day. It is impossible not to hold an opinion on it.

Our dedicated Master's programme in Science and Religion is highly distinctive 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.

As such, 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).... [-]

United Kingdom Edinburgh
August 2019
Full-time
Part-time
1 - 2 years
Campus
University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity

This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of ... [+]

Programme description

This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early church to modern times.

The programme will enable you to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed.

Our approach is interdisciplinary: instructors include historians, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians. Your work will be enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in theology and ethics, and the history of Christianity.

This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.... [-]

United Kingdom Edinburgh
August 2019
Full-time
Part-time
1 - 2 years
Campus
University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity

This programme is designed to enable you to understand a wide range of Christian belief, culture and practice throughout the world, in historical, theological, and sociol ... [+]

Programme description

This programme is designed to enable you to understand a wide range of Christian belief, culture and practice throughout the world, in historical, theological, and sociological contexts.

With more than 2.2 billion followers, and as one of the oldest religions, Christianity plays an important role in influencing a wide range of social, political and cultural issues. This programme interprets some of the key themes and trends in Christianity in the non-western world and is designed to provide expert insight, knowledge, skills and understanding, particularly in relation to Africa, Latin America and Asia.

It is taught in a strongly interdisciplinary way and employs historical, sociological, anthropological and theological perspectives. You will enjoy a unique framework to study, research and understand the complexity of Christian communities in the world and their wider significance for culture and society.... [-]

United Kingdom Edinburgh
August 2019
Full-time
Part-time
1 - 2 years
Campus