Postgraduate study

Science and Religion MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Science and Religion

This dedicated masters programme in science and religion is intended for students who wish to engage in the advanced interdisciplinary study of science and religion, including those who wish to prepare for PhD work.

This is one of the world’s very few science and religion programmes.

Much of the recent debate surrounding ‘new atheism’ has taken place within a poorly informed view of the history and philosophy of science and its relationship with religion. This programme aims to inform and engage with the debate in depth, looking at it from scientific, philosophical, historical, ethical and theological perspectives.

The history of science is studied from ancient times through the modern scientific revolution, together with philosophical trends in our understanding of reality. The main areas of dialogue between science and religion are explored in depth, including cosmology, evolution, divine action and miracles, consciousness and the human person.

This programme is run over one year full-time (or two years part-time). 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

Compulsory courses comprise History of Science and Religion in the Christian Tradition; Cosmos, Cell and Creator: Current Debates in Science and Religion; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options, which can be taken from courses in science and religion, such as:

  • Economy, Ecology, and Ethics
  • Key Thinkers in Science and Religion
  • Philosophy of Time
  • Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Debates
  • Science and Religion in Literature
  • Science and Scripture

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
MScScience and Religion1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScScience and Religion2 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, or its international equivalent, with a mark of at least 65%, in a core natural science subject (e.g. physics, chemistry or biology) or a humanities subject relevant to the science-religion dialogue (e.g. theology/religious studies, philosophy, or history).*

*Revised 11 February 2019 to include alternative degree disciplines.

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
MScScience and Religion1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScScience and Religion2 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