Philosophy, Science and Religion MSc, PgDip, PgCert (Online Learning) The University of Edinburgh
Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Public discourse, professional life, politics and culture revolve around the philosophical, scientific and religious ideas of our age; yet they and their relationship to each other are not well understood.
This programme brings together leaders in the fields of philosophy, science and theology, based both in Edinburgh and across the world.
You will be brought up to date with the relevant scientific developments including:
- quantum mechanics
- evolutionary biology
- human origins
And the relevant theological issues include:
- problem of evil
- theological conceptions of creation
- theological conceptions of providence
And the philosophical tools that are required to understand the relationship between them such as:
- the philosophy of science
- philosophy of language
What will I learn?
This MSc/PGDipl/PGCert in Philosophy, Science and Religion is designed to give you a rigorous grounding in contemporary work at the intersection of philosophy, science and religion.
You will develop logical acumen and analytical skills, and the ability to express yourself clearly in writing and in conversation with diverse groups of students from around the world. As well as being a leading research institution in philosophy, theology and the sciences, Edinburgh has led the way in providing high-quality, bespoke and intensive online learning at the postgraduate level.
Reputation, relevance and employability
Edinburgh has a proud and distinguished place in the history of theology and philosophy and has long been associated with some of the field’s most important thinkers. Our academic departments are home to academics leading research into a wide range of contemporary topics.
Our students’ research projects are often published in academic or professional journals.
Our programme has an excellent reputation among employers and further research opportunities. Many of our graduates have gone on PhD training and we have a high academic job placement record.
Philosophy is rated 4th in the UK by Times Higher Education for the quality and breadth of the research using the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).
This is an online-only programme that will be taught through a combination of:
- short video lectures
- web discussion boards
- video conferencing
- online exercises
You will have regular access both to faculty and dedicated teaching assistants, including one-to-one interactions.
You will also interact with other students on the programme as part of a dedicated virtual learning environment.
The University of Edinburgh is currently ranked 15th in the World in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
- This is an online programme only and you can customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about.
- The innovative online format of the programme and the flexibility of study it offers makes it accessible to those with family or professional commitments, or who live far from Edinburgh.
- It provides excellent preparation for further research and knowledge of philosophy, whether you choose to pursue this further in academic research or in a professional career.
The MSc/PgDip/PgCert in Philosophy, Science and Religion equips you to:
- Demonstrate a good understanding of the key areas in the current science-religion interface including cosmology, evolution, and psychology and will be able to engage with them philosophically.
- Demonstrate strong analytical skills and philosophical acumen in approaching debates between science and theology.
- Engage critically with key textual sources in the field.
- Engage constructively in cross-disciplinary conversations.
- Demonstrate an openness to personal growth through a commitment to dialogue across intellectual and spiritual boundaries.
You will also gain transferable skills in:
- written and verbal communication
- group and teamwork
- time and project management
This programme provides you with a range of knowledge and skills to prepare you for a variety of career paths, including, but not limited to, further postgraduate study in theology or philosophy.
Others are teaching at community colleges and high schools. Our graduates consistently tell us that the skills they have learned through the degree have influenced their thinking both in their careers and more generally through life.
This programme would be an ideal foundation for further graduate work, however, the skills of analytical, clear and creative thinking and writing, and the ability to manage projects that require significant research and to engage in constructive conversations across disciplinary and cultural boundaries are all highly sought after by employers in a diverse range of fields.
Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University, providing:
- tailored advice
- individual guidance and personal assistance
- internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
- access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network
We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree. Studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success, whatever shape that takes.
You will take options from a wide range of courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and the School of Divinity both jointly and individually and will be required to write a dissertation.
- Philosophy, Science and Religion 1: The Physical World
- Philosophy, Science and Religion 2: Life and Mind
- History of Science and Religion
- Mind, Matter, and Spirit
- Philosophy of Religion
- Philosophy of Science
- Science and Scripture
- Islamic Philosophy
In addition, students are able to take option courses from the online MSc in Epistemology, Ethics & Mind:
- Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
- Advanced Epistemology
- Advanced Ethics
- Advanced Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
Possible exit routes
The programme is also available as either a:
- Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
- Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)
In taking the full MSc, you will write a dissertation on a research topic developed in consultation with your supervisor.