Postgraduate study

Theology in History MTh, MSc

Awards: MTh, MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Theology in History

This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early church to modern times.

The programme will enable you to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed.

Our approach is interdisciplinary: instructors include historians, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians. Your work will be enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in theology and ethics, and the history of Christianity.

This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.

This programme is run full-time over one year (or part-time over two years). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Creeds, Councils and Controversies I: Patristic and Medieval; Creeds, Councils and Controversies II: Reformation and Modern; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least one must be a theology in history course, such as:

  • Byzantine Theology
  • Calvinist Theology and Piety
  • Church, State and Civil Society
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Muslim-Christian Relations
  • History of Christianity in Africa
  • Reformation in Sixteenth Century Britain and Ireland
  • Religion and the Enlightenment: the Birth of the Modern

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MThTheology in History1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MThTheology in History2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScTheology in History1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScTheology in History2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.

A UK 2:1 honours degree with a mark of at least 65%, or its international equivalent, in theology/religious studies or a relevant field within humanities and social sciences.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MThTheology in History1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MThTheology in History2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScTheology in History1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScTheology in History2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

On average around 50% of Divinity postgraduate students are awarded some level of scholarship funding.

  • Scholarships are awarded on academic merit. Most are open to all, but some are ring-fenced for applicants from certain parts of the world.
  • Awards are made for both masters and PhD programmes.
  • Typically, awards are for full or partial fee costs. Fully funded awards are exceptional and highly competitive.

*(Revised 25 January 2019 to update the scholarship application instructions. Applicants will not be automatically considered for scholarships, and should instead make a separate application for any scholarships or funding opportunities.)

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Divinity
  • New College
  • Mound Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LX
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 31 August 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Divinity
  • New College
  • Mound Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LX