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We welcome inquiries from students wishing to pursue an MPhil or PhD project within the range of disciplines represented in the department.

Theology and Religious Studies Postgraduate ‘Find Out More’ Events

A Theology and Religious Studies ‘Find Out More’ event gives you the chance to meet members of the Department, both staff and students, in an informal and friendly atmosphere. You will find out more about us, our MAs and Doctoral courses and the nature of postgraduate studies with us. There will also be plenty of opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.

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What’s involved?

In the UK, the MPhil and PhD courses are focused on the production of an extended piece of original, independent research, which makes a significant, and in the case of the PhD, original contribution to knowledge in the field. It is usually awarded on the basis of a written thesis of up to 60 000 (MPhil) or up to 100 000 (PhD) words and an oral viva examination. You can study full-time or part-time.

The MPhil degrees normally takes 2 years full-time and the full-time PhD normally takes 3 years.

Our students work with a supervisory team with appropriate expertise through the different stages of the research process, from initial scoping and design through research, analysis and interpretation, to the production of the full written argument and preparation for submission. They also join a dynamic research culture of staff and other postgraduate students by participating in departmental research seminars, postgraduate training events and symposia [link to research seminar/pg events page], and in events at Faculty and University levels, as well as conferences and workshops in the UK and abroad.

What areas do we supervise in?

To find out a bit more about the academic teams, our research specialisms and the kinds of areas we are able to supervise, follow the links below:

Entry requirements

To be eligible for admission you should have, or expect to obtain, an upper second or first-class honours degree, or lower second-class degree with a Master’s degree, with at least one qualification in a discipline congruent with their intended area of research. You can find more information about these criteria here .

For inquiries that progress to application, those applications are considered on the basis of a completed online application including, references, a detailed research proposal and, where there is the possibility of admission, an interview is involved. You can find out more about the process below.

Fees and funding

More information about fees and funding for the MPhil and PhD is available online.

How to apply for an MPhil or PhD in TRS

You can apply for entry in October, February or May. We would advise contacting us at least 6 months before the time you hope to begin your studies.

If you are interested in pursuing the possibility of an MPhil or PhD with us, the process to application follows these steps.

  1. Identify a topic and make an inquiry

    Contact us to see if we may be able to supervise a topic in the area of research that interests you. You could get in touch with a member of staff in whose area of expertise your topic falls, or contact Dr. Ben Fulford, the Deputy Head for Postgraduate studies (, or email

  2. Submit your research proposal

    Before you apply, we would like to see a research proposal of about 1000 words. It should identify your main research question(s) with reference to appropriate literature, identifying a potential intervention in scholarship; outline a proposed methodology (where appropriate); include an extended bibliography of relevant primary and secondary sources as appropriate. We may ask you to develop or revise your proposal, in conversation with a potential supervisor.

  3. Apply online

    If your topic is one we can supervise, and your research proposal looks reasonably realistic, focused and viable as a potential doctoral project, we may advise you to apply. Please submit your application at least 2 months before the point of admission you are aiming for. You can apply here.

  4. Interview

    We normally interview eligible applicants with a viable research proposal which we are able to supervise, as part of the admissions process. After interview, we make a recommendation to the University’s PGR Admissions Office, who will notify you of whether the University is able to make you an offer. If we make you an offer, you can accept via our online admissions system.

  5. Successful international applicants

    Those who accept their offers will need to pay a deposit , fulfil any outstanding conditions of their offer and then, if they need to apply for a visa to study in the UK, begin the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) process (further details here).

  6. Enrol

    If you’ve confirmed acceptance of your place and met any conditions of your offer, information on how to enrol will be sent to you 1-2 months prior to the beginning of your course. You should then enrol online.

  7. Registration and induction

    You will be sent details of how to register, and about the University induction process. TRS holds a postgraduate induction in early October, and induction will be arranged for those joining us in February or May, in addition to University events.