Science and Religion TRS4080

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Science and religion have shaped humankind's understanding of the universe and our place within it. This course will explore their respective roles in humanity's quest for knowledge, truth and meaning; examine the nature of their interlocking history, and reflect on the future of the relationship between science and religion.


1x2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Two x 2,500 word Essays - 40% each

Presentation of 15 minutes accompanied by a poster or powerpoint slides - 20%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the historical development of and contemporary debates concerning the relationship between science and religion, and especially the Christian religion;

■ study in detail the contribution of one or more figures who have contributed to dialogue and debate between science and religion, and especially the Christian religion;

■ explore specialist themes in science (e.g. cosmology; genetics; evolutionary biology; neuroscience) from an inter-disciplinary perspective;

■ consider specialist themes in religion (e.g. creation; role of reason in theology; theodicy; 'natural law'; investigation as reverence/worship; deism; immanentism etc.) from an inter-disciplinary perspective

■ develop appropriate interdisciplinary sensitivities and skills;

■ gain critical awareness of definitions, concepts and models for understanding the discourse and relationship of science and religion.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ trace the main historical developments in the relationship between science and religion;

■ outline the contribution of one or more key figures who have engaged in the field of science and religion;

■ discuss specialist themes at the nexus between religion and science;

■ analyse religious and scientific concepts and models;

■ offer a critical assessment of contemporary debates in science and religion;

■ present complex arguments in written and oral form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.