Religious Studies

In Religious Studies, the category 'religion' corresponds to human activities influencing and being influenced by other human beliefs and practices.

As with other subject areas of the School, research in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh is non-confessional.

In keeping with the ethos of the School of Divinity, students from various religious traditions or no tradition are welcome.

Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh has a strong and increasing emphasis on research. We offer supervised research degrees at Masters and PhD levels.

Study areas

The emphasis is primarily on contemporary and recent historical aspects of religious traditions, such as Indigenous, New Age, Jewish and Indic (Hindu, Buddhist), as well as New Religious Movements.

There is also an emphasis on issues of theory and method in the study of religion, arising from Phenomenology (and post-Phenomenology), Anthropology, Sociology and Cultural and Post-Colonial Studies.

Colleagues in other academic units in the College for the Humanities and Social Sciences, such Asian Studies, Islamic and Middle-Eastern Studies, further broaden the scope of opportunities for postgraduate study, especially as each research student has two supervisors.

Religious Studies also has an active research seminar for postgraduates and staff.

Research degrees

The MSc by Research requires 12 months of full-time or 24 months part-time study.

It is particularly suitable for those with appropriate academic background in the study of religion, who wish to focus their interests and deepen their knowledge of a particular topic.

It can also serve as a preparation for further research at PhD level.

The PhD requires 36 months of full-time or 72 months part-time study.


Potential applicants for MSc by Research or the PhD are advised to browse the staff list (especially those listed below), and make preliminary contact with an appropriate member of staff, indicating research interest and academic preparation to date.

Core staff

Dr Afe Adogame Senior Lecturer in World Christianity
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 8928
Dr Hannah Holtschneider Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 8933
Dr Arkotong Longkumer Lecturer in Religious Studies
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 8781
Prof Mona Siddiqui Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies Assistant Principal for Religion and Society Society Chair of the Board of Examiners
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 7912
Dr Steven Sutcliffe Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religion
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 8947
  • Dr Naomi Appleton
  • Chancellor's Fellow in Religious Studies
  • Tel: : +44 (0)131 6508976
Dr Anthony Allison Teaching Fellow
Tel: +44 131 650 8781

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