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. 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 personalised path to doctoral study or to other relevant careers.

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

You will:

  • be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups
  • be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing
  • receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation

Compulsory courses

  • The Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
  • Approaches to Research in Divinity and Religious Studies
  • Approaches to Research: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

Optional Courses

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

  • God of the Oppressed: Liberation Theologies in Christianity and Islam
  • Islamic Law: From Prayer to Politics
  • Islamic Theology: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • Pioneers of Political Islam
  • Christian-Muslim Relations: Diatribe, Discourse and Dialogue
  • Muslim and Christian Perspectives on Jesus

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

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, a minimum US 3.25 GPA, or its international equivalent, in a relevant humanities subject (e.g. theology/religious studies, philosophy, or history). (Revised 15 December 2022 to amend minimum entry requirement.)

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Tuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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

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.

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