MSc Philosophy, Science & Religion

In collaboration with the School of Divinity

Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Public discourse, professional life, politics and culture revolve around the philosophical, scientific and religious ideas of our age; yet they and their relationship to each other are not well understood.

This online programme brings together leaders in the fields of philosophy, science and theology, based both in Edinburgh and across the world. The innovative online format of the programme and the flexibility of study it offers make it accessible to those with family or professional commitments, or who live far from Edinburgh.

Video: Philosophy-What questions are we asking-animation
Philosophy-What questions are we asking-animation Open Day 2020

Why study Philosophy, Science & Religion at Edinburgh?

  • Philosophy is rated 4th in the UK by Times Higher Education for the quality and breadth of the research using the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

  • We're ranked 6th in the UK and 19th in the world for philosophy (QS World University Rankings by subject 2022).

Programme structure

Photo of a student browsing the University website on a laptop

This is an online only programme that will be taught through a combination of short video lectures, web discussion boards, video conferencing and online exercises.

You will have regular access both to faculty and dedicated teaching assistants, including one-to-one interactions. You will also interact with other students on the programme as part of a dedicated virtual learning environment.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

Course options

You will take options from a wide range of courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and the School of Divinity both jointly and individually, and will be required to write a dissertation.

All students will be required to take two core courses:

  • Philosophy, Science and Religion 1: The Physical World
  • Philosophy, Science and Religion 2: Life and Mind

Course options include:

  • History of Science and Religion
  • Mind, Matter, and Spirit
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Science and Scripture
  • Islamic Philosophy

In addition, students are able to take option courses from the online MSc in Epistemology, Ethics & Mind.

When to apply

We operate a gathered field approach to applications. You may submit your application at any time.

All complete applications that satisfy our minimum entry requirements will be placed on a shortlist and held until the next batch processing deadline. Applications will then be ranked and offers made to the top candidates.

Applications deadlines:

  • 01 February 2022
  • 01 June 2022

News and reflections from our Philosophy community

Recent news

Philosophy Professor Shannon Vallor leads new centre that bridges gap between tech and morality.

The Centre for Technomoral Futures, which launched in August 2020, aims to bring together technical and moral expertise to help design more sustainable and just models of innovation.

Its initial focus will be on the ethical implications of data-driven innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and other emerging technologies.

"I am thrilled to lead this effort to develop new models of education for the 21st century that meet the needs of our present reality. Amid climate change, a global pandemic, rising social inequality and injustice, diminished trust in scientific experts and eroding public confidence in technological solutions for the complexities of democratic governance, one thing is clear: the human family cannot navigate the road ahead without learning how to re-integrate our technical and moral capabilities." - Professor Shannon Vallor

Read full article

Recent news

The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences is delighted to congratulate Philosophy Professor Michela Massimi on her recent election as President-Elect of the prestigious Philosophy of Science Association (PSA). Starting from 2021, Michela will serve a two-year term as President-Elect of the PSA, and then serve a two-year term presidency from 2023 to 2024, followed by a two-year term as Past President from 2024 to 2025.

"I am deeply humbled by this election result. I will work tirelessly with the PSA Governing Board, the PSA Women’s Caucus, and each and every member to the service of our wonderful world-wide community. We will work hard to foster a more and more diverse, inclusive and welcoming professional community. And we will continue the PSA mission through collaborations with scientists, science policy-makers, and outreach initiatives for the wider public." - Professor Michela Massimi

Read full article

Forward Thinking blog

Second year Philosophy PhD student Liv Coombes explores the grandfather paradox in this Panpsycast podcast episode.

The grandfather paradox is a paradox in time travel which asks: can time travellers change the past?

The name comes from a common description where we go back in time and kill our own grandfather before the conception of our mother or father. Many people say no, it is logically impossible.

Listen to Philosophy PhD student Liv Coombes discuss her research on time travel and free will in this two-part episode by the Panpsycast:

Listen now

Career paths

This course is designed to prepare you for doctoral work in relevant areas of philosophy and/or theology.

However, the skills of analytical but creative thinking, clear writing, and the abilities to manage projects that require significant research and to engage in constructive conversations across disciplinary and cultural boundaries, are all highly sought after by employers in a diverse range of fields.

Connect with us

If you have any programme-specific enquiries please get in touch with the programme director:

Dr Fedor Benevich (Programme director)

Feel free to get in touch with our friendly Postgraduate Office with any questions you might have about academic or English language requirements, course information, enquiries about your application and information on arriving at the University.

Postgraduate Office enquiries:

Email: pplspgoffice@ed.ac.uk

Visit the MSc Philosophy, Science & Religion webpage:

MSc Philosophy, Science & Religion

How to apply and fees & funding information:

Degree Finder for MSc Philosophy, Science & Religion

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