Postgraduate study

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

This programme, housed within the School of Divinity, draws on the strengths of one of the most distinguished centres of religious and theological studies in the country. It offers a deep and broad study of the rich intellectual traditions of Islamic law, theology and philosophy in conversation with Christian thought, ethics and political theology. The dialogical framework of the course allows you to study multiple disciplines in both Islamic and Christian thought and practice, not as mere historical artefacts, but as resources that transform the academic study of religion and engage public debates on the place of Islam, Christianity, and religion in society.

The programme’s core courses will enable you to receive a strong grounding in the major themes and methodologies in Islam and in the academic study of Christian-Muslim relations. You will gain a deep appreciation of the philosophical, theological and ethical debates between Christians and Muslims in different times and places. Optional courses from which you may choose your other modules, include a variety of courses in both Islam and Christianity: Islamic literature; Islam, Law and Human Rights; Islam, Gender and Ethics; and African Religious Diversity as well as the various options in Christian theology and history. In addition, students can take courses offered by the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES).

The programme offers opportunities for study and collaboration with world renowned academics, with a view to tailoring a personalized path to doctoral study or to other relevant careers.

Please note that this programme is subject to approval

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

  • Major Themes in the Study of Islam
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Christian Muslim-Relations
  • Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies
  • Approaches to Research: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

Option Courses

You will choose three options from among the courses specific to the programme, such as:

  • Islam, Law and Human Rights
  • Literary Classics of the Islamic World
  • Reflections on Gender and Ethics in Classical and Contemporary Islam
  • The Qur’an—Islam’s Holy Book
  • Muslims in Europe
  • Islamic Movements in the 20th Century
  • African Religious Diversity

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.

After finishing the programme you will have:

  • expertise in the major themes and debates in the academic study of Islam
  • specialised knowledge and expertise in several major aspects of both Islam and Christian-Muslim relations
  • a facility with select major thinkers in the history of Islamic thought and/or Christian-Muslim relations
  • an appreciation of how various social, historical, cultural, and political contexts shape and inform the relationship between Christians and Muslims
  • a clear understanding of how Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim relations relate to and engage other academic disciplines, especially religious studies, theology, philosophy, law, and politics
  • the ability to analyse the relationship between contemporary and modern Christian-Muslim encounters and the history of Christian-Muslim dialogue, diatribe, and debate

Possible fields for employment after completion of this programme include:

  • Academia
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Academic Publishing
  • Think-Tanks
  • Religious Leadership
  • National and International civil services

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with a mark of at least 65%, in a relevant humanities subject (e.g. theology/religious studies, philosophy, or history).

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Shadaab Rahemtulla
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8900
  • Contact: divinity.pg@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Divinity
  • New College
  • Mound Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LX
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 31 August 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Shadaab Rahemtulla
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8900
  • Contact: divinity.pg@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Divinity
  • New College
  • Mound Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LX