Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

MA Theology

UCAS code: QVV6

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Divinity

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Theology

Our Master of Arts (MA) in Theology offers a broad and interdisciplinary study of Christianity and other religious traditions.

At Edinburgh studying theology may include:

  • studying different religious traditions, such as:
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • indigenous religions
  • new religious movements

  • using different methods and approaches, such as:

  • studying classical languages, sacred texts, ethics, literature and the arts
  • philosophy of religion
  • systematic theology, anthropology and sociology
  • law and politics
  • race and gender
  • science and religion
  • practical theology

Course selection

We have a large range of courses to choose from. This means you can focus on particular areas or approaches if you would like to.

Topics we cover include:

  • Christian intellectual history and challenges to it
  • ethics, society, and politics
  • philosophy of religion
  • the history of Christian churches and global Christianity
  • scriptural texts and languages
  • non-Christian religions, such as:
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • science and religion
  • literature, the arts, and theology
  • liberation theology and decolonial thought
  • practical theology and ministry

Year 1

Theology courses

You will choose theology courses in Christianity or other religious traditions. These courses will employ various methods and approaches, such as the study of:

  • history
  • philosophy
  • ethics
  • literature
  • languages

You may also take the Theology and Religious Studies Foundation Seminar, which will equip you with the skills you need to succeed at university.

Option courses

You can also choose some courses from other subject areas across the University. For example, you might choose courses:

  • in a subject that complements your programme
  • that help you to learn a language
  • that simply interest you

Year 2

As Year in 1, you will choose theology courses in Christianity or other religious traditions, employing a range of methods. You will also be able to choose courses from other subject areas across the University.

Year 3

In Year 3, you will choose more advanced courses from the wide variety available in Christianity and other religious traditions. You will deepen your skills in areas of your choice, such as:

  • history
  • philosophy
  • ethics
  • literature
  • languages

Year 4

In Year 4 you will continue to choose advanced courses about Christianity and/or other religious traditions, employing skills in areas like:

  • history
  • philosophy
  • ethics
  • literature
  • languages

You will also write a dissertation with academic supervision. This will be on a topic of your choice.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2024/25)

Our facilities

Your teaching will mostly be at New College in the centre of Edinburgh. This city landmark has its own:

  • historic library
  • study space
  • hall
  • garden

Many other study and student support facilities are only a short walk away in George Square, including the University's Main Library.

The city of Edinburgh is also home to many places where you can broaden and deepen your learning:

  • museums
  • galleries
  • cultural sites

New College Library

New College Library holds one of the largest theology and religious studies collections in the UK. Its special collections include:

  • historical archives
  • manuscripts
  • printed books
  • objects

Current collections support the teaching and research activities of the School of Divinity in:

  • biblical studies
  • the history of Christianity
  • religious studies
  • theology and ethics
  • world Christianity

The collections continue to develop in new and evolving areas such as science and religion, Christian-Muslim relations, Buddhist and Jewish studies, and religion and literature.

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the School of Divinity on the University's Virtual Visit site and explore our facilities and campus.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Divinity

Study abroad

You will have a range of opportunities to spend time abroad. For shorter periods, these include summer programmes and working abroad.

During Year 3, you will have the chance to study abroad in exchange for up to a year at a wide selection of leading global universities. These include two institutions the School of Divinity has ongoing relationships with:

  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Dartmouth College

Going abroad expands your horizons and is great fun. It also offers academic and career benefits.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • digital learning

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary between courses, and include:

  • written exams
  • coursework essays
  • seminar presentations and participation
  • blogs
  • contributions to digital discussions
  • an honours dissertation

Our graduates go on to a range of careers. These include:

  • civil servant
  • banker
  • journalist
  • minister
  • police officer
  • social worker
  • management consultant
  • teacher
  • work in the charity sector

The programme also provides grounding for postgraduate study in theology.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 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 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Theology

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Divinity

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences