Divinity - Graduate Entry (MDiv)

Focus on Christian Theology by studying Christian scriptures, historical developments, doctrines and practices.

Programme Director Professor Alison Jack discusses the undergraduate Divinity (BD) and Divinity – Graduate Entry (MDiv) programmes here at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

This is an accelerated Honours degree, in which students take an extra course per year in order to complete the degree in three years. It is directed at a student who is already a graduate and wants to develop a broad range of core skills (history, language, critical conceptual thinking, research and presentation) which are also useful to other careers.

Why study this programme

  • This programme is most commonly taken by students who are candidates for ministry in the Church of Scotland and in other denominations, although it is also an excellent degree for any graduate who wishes to study Theology.

  • This programme is tailored to graduates looking to move towards ministry - in either the Church of Scotland or other denominations - within the setting of a world-class research university.

  • You will be taught by world-renowned outstanding scholars, some of whom have also served in ordained ministry covering a range of Christian traditions and cultural settings.

  • We offer a rich and stimulating formation in Christian Theology, with emphases on Theology and Ethics, Church history, biblical languages, and Practical Theology.

  • Edinburgh has a fascinating ecclesiastical/theological history and is a cosmopolitan, diverse and exciting setting for theological study.

Degree programme information and specifications

Degree structure and courses

  • Students take 420 credits over three years (140 each year).
  • In year one, students take 140 credits from pre-honours courses.
  • In year two, students take 80 credits from pre-honours courses and 60 credits from honours courses.
  • In year three, students take 140 credits from honours courses, including a 40-credit dissertation.

You will choose courses from a range offered in the subject areas of:

  • Biblical studies: this area considers the history, literary context and interpretation of the Bible and the intellectual context in which particular methods of biblical scholarship arose. Courses in this subject area offer the opportunity to study the original languages of the Bible from introductory to advanced levels.

  • History of Christianity: this area provides the foundations for understanding Christianity's past, present and future as a lived religion. Courses in this subject area reference theological and philosophical debates influencing and arising from historical events and examine historical trajectories and socio-cultural processes that have led to Christianity's current reality as a world religion.

  • Theology and Ethics: this area focuses on the field of Christian Theology. Courses in this subject area include systematic theology, Christian ethics, practical theology, public theology, and interdisciplinary approaches such as through science, literature, food and film. There are also courses in Christianity and Islam.

If you are training for ordained ministry in the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church or other denominations, you may need to take certain courses as part of your training.

Degree programme table

Aims and outcomes

The Divinity MDiv programme has six main goals:

  • To provide breadth of acquaintance with the disciplines that make up the academic study of Christian Theology, and more advanced study of selected subject areas according to your interests, abilities and preferences.
  • To provide understanding of Christianity as a world religion. Our historical approach takes account of Christianity in various cultures.
  • To provide opportunities to reflect on Christianity’s historic and continuing encounter with other major world religions.
  • To develop your experience and abilities in research, comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, and oral and written communication.
  • To equip students for ordained ministry or a variety of other appropriate careers or further academic study.

Related Links

How to apply

Applicants who are in the process of assessment for Church of Scotland training are encouraged to contact Professor Alison Jack