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Research Culture

Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) at Chester is a lively and exciting place to pursue your research. We are known for the excellence of our research. The results of the most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2021 (REF, the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in Higher Education Institutions) recognised TRS Chester as one of the leading Theology and Religious Studies departments in the UK.

By embarking on an MPhil, PhD, or Professional Doctorate in Theology and Religious Studies you will be joining a vibrant and thriving research culture, where academic staff and postgraduate students work together in a supportive, stimulating and thriving environment. As part of our Department seminar series, staff give papers, and we invite scholars at the forefront of their field of study to present their work. Students present work in progress at our annual Summer School and also have opportunities to share their work with colleagues in other disciplines at Faculty and University-wide Symposia.

Our Staff and Research Activity

Our staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research expertise and are able to offer supervision across a range of disciplines, including:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Second Temple Judaism
  • Early Christian History
  • Contemporary Spiritualities
  • Contextual and Practical Theologies
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religious Studies
  • Religion and Society
  • Religion and Gender
  • Systematic Theology

As an academic team, we draw on a wide range of approaches to examine Theology and Religious Studies: cultural studies, ethnography, hermeneutics, history, philosophy, quantitative and qualitative methods, media and material studies, practice-based research, sociology, and textual analysis. This is illustrated in our well regarded and influential publications, our membership of professional and academic research bodies, and our participation and hosting of major conferences which attract internationally renowned scholars.

Postgraduate Training

We are dedicated to providing you with excellent, professional training. We do this through workshops and seminars on undertaking research (watch our previous training sessions and view research seminar papers here). Our students are also involved in teaching, planning and organising research events, present their work at significant international conferences, and have also disseminated their work in peer-reviewed journals and edited publications.

Our Commitment to You

Joining TRS at Chester means studying in a supportive interdisciplinary environment. You will develop skills vital to your academic work and future career and be surrounded by an enthusiastic and dedicated team who will work with you to reach your goals.


The Professional Doctorate in Theology and Religious Studies begins in October each year.

Students on the MPhil and PhD usually commence in October, February or May.

Further information about applying for the MPhil or PhD

Further information about the Professional Doctorate in Theology and Religious Studies



If you are interested in joining us to pursue an MPhil or PhD, please contact Dr Ben Fulford to discuss your application. For inquiries about the Professional Doctorate in Theology and Religious Studies, please contact Associate Professor Dr Dawn Llewellyn. We look forward to hearing from you.