Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Theology and Religious Studies

Why choose Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked in the world's top 20 universities for theology, divinity and religious studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

  • You will have study abroad opportunities during the summer and in Year 3.

  • You will become part of a vibrant, tight-knit community of around 500 students and staff based in New College, one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings.

  • You will benefit from small class sizes (average 20) and an inspiring and highly qualified teaching community to ensure you get the most out of your programme.

Study abroad

We have explored anthropology, sociology, history, literature, and art. This has changed and developed my way of approaching the study of religion and wider culture.

Ella Heilman 3rd year MA (Hons) Religious Studies
Ella Heilman 3rd year MA (Hons) Religious Studies

Theology is one of the oldest areas of academic study known to humanity while religious studies has developed in the modern period. Both disciplines continue to be intellectually stimulating and relevant in helping us understand the role of religions, both ancient and modern, in the world around us.

Theology generally refers to the study of the Christian traditions from textual, historical and doctrinal perspectives. Religious studies refers to the comparative study of beliefs and practices in a variety of religious traditions and contexts and explores different theories of religion cross-culturally.

Taken together, our courses cover a wide range of religious traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and new religions, and the rejection of religion by atheists and humanists.

Religion influences, and is influenced by, most human endeavours and we encourage you to explore the dynamics between theology and religious studies and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

On our programmes you can choose to pursue your interests in a wide variety of subjects and you can combine breadth of knowledge with in-depth expertise. You will acquire critical and analytical skills and a broad education in argument and interpretation that will develop you intellectually and make you very attractive to employers.

In Theology & Religious Studies, what you will study varies between programmes.

Find specific year by year study information on your chosen programme page.

Are there additional costs?

None.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place primarily in the School of Divinity, based in New College. You will also have access to all the University's libraries and computer facilities.

Study abroad

There is a varied range of opportunities to spend time abroad. For shorter periods, these include summer programmes and work abroad. 

During Year 3, you will also have the opportunity to study abroad on exchange for up to a year at a wide selection of leading global universities. These include Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands and Dartmouth College, United States, with which the School has ongoing relationships.

Going abroad expands your horizons and is great fun, as well as bringing academic and career benefits.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and online learning.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including examinations, coursework, participation in seminars, presentation of your work and an honours dissertation.

Our graduates pursue a wide range of careers within a variety of settings, including the creative arts, non-governmental organisations, finance, teaching, management, administration, the ministry, the armed forces, government, counselling and the voluntary sector.

Many of our students go on to study for postgraduate qualifications, including masters and doctorates.