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Course content

This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early church to modern times.

The programme will enable you to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed.

Our approach is interdisciplinary: instructors include historians, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians. Your work will be enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in theology and ethics, and the history of Christianity.

This programme can be taken either as a Master of Theology (MTh) or as a Master of Science (MSc); the difference is only in the name.

Programme structure

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

Creeds, Councils and Controversies I: Patristic and Medieval; Creeds, Councils and Controversies II: Reformation and Modern; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options. At least one must be a theology in history course, such as:

  • Byzantine Theology
  • Calvinist Theology and Piety
  • Church, State and Civil Society
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue in Muslim-Christian Relations
  • History of Christianity in Africa
  • Reformation in Sixteenth Century Britain and Ireland
  • Religion and the Enlightenment: the Birth of the Modern

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.

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the Theology in History - MTh/MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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