Theology (MA)

Study Christianity and other religious traditions interdisciplinarily and with the opportunity to concentrate on various subject areas.

Programme Director Dr Suzanna Millar discusses the undergraduate Theology (MA) programme here at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

At the School of Divinity, studying theology includes biblical studies, Christian theology, ethics and philosophy, the history of Christianity, Islamic studies and religious studies. This programme offers an extensive range of courses to choose from and the opportunity to concentrate on specific subject areas or approaches if you would like to.

Why study this programme

  • You will choose courses that cover a variety of topics such as: biblical texts and languages, Christian intellectual history, ethics and philosophical theology, history of the Christian churches and global Christianity, non-Christian religions, practical theology, science and theology, the arts and theology, and liberation theologies.
  • You would be joining one of the largest and highest ranked departments of Theology and Religious Studies in the UK.
  • You will study with internationally renowned academics who produce world-leading research on their subjects.
  • Students will be able to describe, analyse and critique a wide range of theological disciplines, beliefs and practices in a creative and constructive fashion.
  • 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 480 credits over four years (120 each year).
  • In years one and two, students take 240 credits from pre-honours courses.
  • In years three and four, students take 240 credits from honours courses, including a 40-credit dissertation in the fourth year.

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.
  • Religious Studies: this area studies a wide range of religious traditions in the contemporary world, involving the application of various academic disciplines. Courses in this subject area include Asian traditions, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, Christianity, indigenous religions, Islam, Judaism, New Age, spirituality and new religions.
  • 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.

Aims and outcomes

The Theology MA programme has six main goals:

  • To offer study in all the traditional subjects that comprise the academic study of the Christian tradition, from introductory through advanced levels.
  • To develop advanced expertise in knowledge and abilities in disciplines within the study of the Christian tradition.
  • To acquaint you with the approaches, questions, methods, tools, and results of advanced academic studies in these subjects.
  • To allow the study of additional subjects outside of Theology for the first two years.
  • To help develop your experience and abilities in comprehension, analysis, reflection, critical thinking, oral and written communication.
  • To equip you for a variety of careers, further academic study, and life-long learning.

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How to apply