School of Divinity

BD/MDiv Divinity

These are programmes focused on Christian Theology, and they entail the study of Christian scriptures, historical development, doctrines and practices. They offer a rigorous formation for students preparing for ordained ministry and are used by the Church of Scotland and other denominations for ministry training.


These programmes will help students develop a broad range of core skills (History, language, critical conceptual thinking, research and presentation) which are also useful to other careers.

Why study these programmes

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

These programmes are 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.

We offer a rich and stimulating formation in Christian Theology, with emphases on Theology and Ethics, Church history, biblical languages, and practical theology for ministry practice.

Our facilities and resources:  a world class theological library, the University of Edinburgh’s Main Library and the National Library of Scotland.

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

Degree structure and courses

Bachelor of Divinity (General)

This is a three-year Ordinary degree. It is directed at a student who is not already a graduate, and who wishes to study for just three years, taking a small proportion of honours courses.

  • Students take 360 credits over three years (120 each year)
  • Students must take a minimum of 80 credits from honours courses

Bachelor of Divinity (Honours)

This is a four-year Honours degree. It is directed at a student who is not already a graduate, and who wishes to study for four years, taking more courses at honours level

  • Students take 480 credits over four years (120 each year)
  • 240 credits from pre-honours courses in years 1 and 2
  • 240 credits from honours courses in years 3 and 4, including a 40-credit dissertation in year 4

Master of Divinity (Honours)

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. 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

  • Students take 420 credits over three years (140 each year)
  • 220 credits from pre-honours courses
  • 200 credits from honours courses including a 40-creditr dissertation in year 4

Aims and outcomes

The BD/MDiv has six main aims:

  • 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

Teaching and assessment

Your courses will mostly be organised as a series of larger group lectures and small tutorial groups. In Honours courses, you will learn through seminars led by specialist staff, and through a variety of other student-led activities such as presentations, field work and guided research projects.

Courses can be assessed by a diverse range of methods such as exams, essays, presentations, short tutorial exercises or in-class participation, providing on-going feedback as well as summative assessment which is submitted for credit.


Our BD/MDiv degrees develop skills suitable for a variety of careers including ordained ministry, NGO work, youth work, journalism/media, teaching (religious education, primary or secondary) or can also serve as the basis for further study at the postgraduate level.


You must apply online (see entry requirements below, and then follow the links)

However, applicants who are in the process of assessment for Church of Scotland training are encouraged to contact us, too.

Contact Dr Alison Jack

Related Links

Bachelor of Divinity degree information and specifications

New College and the Church of Scotland

Entry requirements