Research Centres

The School of

Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History

Maintaining a tradition of teaching & learning dating back over 500 years

Research Centres

The School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History has a number of research centres led by members of staff who are experts in their respective fields. A ‘research centre’ is a group of scholars dedicated to providing support for each others’ work and to opening up opportunities for the development of high-quality publications related to the research focus of their centre. Centres support collaborations between scholars in other disciplines and also outside of Aberdeen, establishing links with other universities. They also run public and internal lectures and seminars and publicise research in a way that would otherwise not have been possible.

Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology

Inaugurated in 2017 on the five-hundredth anniversary of the European Reformation, the Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology (ACPT) is purposed to facilitate, coordinate and promote advanced research in the field of Christian theology. Its intellectual ambition encompasses both critical examination of the historic forms, developments and implications of Protestant thought as well as constructive engagement in its most pressing contemporary tasks in relation to church and world.

Centre website ACPT Conference 2020 
Centre for Celtic Studies

From September 2013, the centre will be offering the opportunity for students to study an MA degree in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies.

Centre for Early Modern Studies

The Centre for Early Modern Studies brings together distinguished early modern scholars in all the major disciplines, and fosters collaborative research in the fields of history, philosophy, religion, literature, and the other arts. It is situated in one of the oldest British universities, whose extensive and unique historic collections go back to the library of the university’s founder, Bishop William Elphinstone (1431-1514). The collection of 7,000 early printed books includes 231 published before 1501, and contains many early books on the history of science and medicine, and the MacBean Collection of Jacobite books and pamphlets (one of the largest Jacobite collections in the country). Manuscript holdings include papers of the philosopher Thomas Reid, who taught at Aberdeen.

Centre for Global Security and Governance

The Centre for Global Security and Governance (recently merged with the Centre for the Study of Global Empires) brings together academic experts, policy makers, and students from across the University of Aberdeen, the United Kingdom, and the globe to define, analyse, and propose remedies to the most pressing security and governance challenges the world faces in the 21st century.

Centre for Knowledge and Society

CEKAS aims to address societal challenges by applying philosophical tools and concepts in collaboration with specialists from other disciplines. We use philosophical resources to improve understanding, and to recommend and develop interventions with societal impact. The Centre is structured around a number of thematically distinct and changing projects, held together by this common approach.


Centre website under construction.

Centre for Ministry Studies

The Centre for Ministry Studies was established in January 2014 under the leadership of Professor John Swinton and is co-ordinated by Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey. The Centre, a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen; Christ’s College and the Church of Scotland, works closely with churches and organisations from all traditions with the shared purpose of facilitating ministry education, research and training across a wide range of contexts for lay and ordained people.

The Centre aims to serve individuals and communities by providing programmes of education and training that will support people in their ministry wherever they are. The Centre’s goal is to make ministry education and training as widely accessible as possible.

'What the centre provides is an answer to prayer for me and I want to spread the news about it wherever I can!'
                                                                                                                                                    Rev Jim Pirie

Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies

The Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies is a newly-established research centre at the University of Aberdeen. Inspired by the legacy of Jerzy Giedroyć, to whose memory the Centre is dedicated, and who sought to reconcile the nations once part of the Polish-Lithuanian union, it aims to restore consideration of Poland-Lithuania and its legacy to the mainstream of European history and culture.

Centre for Scandinavian Studies

The Centre for Scandinavian Studies specialises in the literature, history, language and culture of Viking Age and Medieval Scandinavia (including Iceland and other parts of the ‘Viking world’). Our experts include Hannah Burrows, Ralph O’Connor, David Dumville and Frederik Pedersen. We also have a sizeable and welcoming postgraduate community. Aberdeen is one of very few places in the UK to have a specialist Centre for early Scandinavian Studies.

The purpose of the Centre is to bring together researchers to coordinate research projects, provide PhD supervision and facilitate a stimulating postgraduate research community, teach postgraduate programmes and relevant undergraduate courses and to promote Scandinavian Studies generally, in particular through our public seminar series and outreach events

Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability

The Centre focuses on:

  • Theology and mental health
  • The theology of dementia
  • The theology of disability
  • The relationship between spirituality, health, and healing, and the significance of the spiritual dimension for contemporary health care practices

The centre aims to enable academics, researchers, practitioners, people with disabilities, people with mental health challenges, and people with dementia to work together to develop innovative and creative research projects, new ways of practising, and fresh teaching initiatives.

Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine

The Centre for HPSTM acts as the focus for research and teaching in the history, philosophy and ethics of science, technology and medicine at the University of Aberdeen. Staff are housed within History, Philosophy, English and other departments and units, including Anthropology and the Marischal Museum.

Centre for Autism and Theology

This centre is intended to host research that will help to foster positive Christian understandings of autism, drawing on scripture and theological traditions, and sometimes challenging the misuse of these. In the first instance, this is intended to help churches to respond well to the pastoral reality of autism. Beyond this, however, it is intended to facilitate the sharing of such experiences with other communities of faith, associated with other religions and traditions, and with the medical world itself, as its own engagement with persons of faith develops.

George Washington Wilson Centre for Art and Visual Culture

The George Washington Wilson Centre brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines with an interest in art and visual culture. Its members share a common concern in investigating art and visual culture: what it is; how it functions across different times, places and contexts; how we encounter or understand it. The Centre facilitates a range of activities fostering collaborative research into art and visual culture, including a regular seminar series; an interdisciplinary reading group; international conferences; and public engagement events.

The North

Aberdeen lies at the hub of a region that extends eastwards to the Nordic and Baltic countries and to northern Russia and Siberia, and westwards to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska. This region, known as the 'circumpolar North', is defined by latitude and the tight intersection of climatic, environmental, historical, geopolitical and cultural conditions. These come together to give it a significance for the future of life on earth out of proportion to its relatively sparse human population. Aberdeen offers a base for northern research that uniquely affords a truly circumpolar perspective. The University has already established a leading international research reputation in a number of fields, such as geosciences, environmental biology, archaeology,  anthropology, and Scandinavian studies.