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MPhil & PhD Programmes

The Department of Religious and Theological Studies has a keen interest in producing Masters and Doctoral graduates of the highest calibre. Whatever your field of research, be it historical, theological, sociological, textual, linguistic etc., we want you to enhance your profession and/or the world of scholarship, and to enjoy the subject in the process.

The Department of Religious and Theological Studies is a leading centre for research and, as demonstrated in the last Research Assessment Exercise, every one of its core staff is undertaking research of international excellence. Such research has led to the production of numerous articles and books, and to projects of value for the wider community. Our teachers also feed the development of Masters and Doctoral students in the Department. At any time there will be a number of major research projects in progress, some in association with researchers country-wide and/or overseas.

Research Areas for MPhil and PhD include:

  • Anthropology of Buddhist Societies
  • Asian health and yogic traditions and their Western adaptations
  • Buddhism and its literature in India and the West
  • Byzantine History, Culture and Religion
  • Chaplaincy
  • Early Christian Literature, History and Culture
  • Contemporary Christian Theology
  • Contemporary Christian Ethics
  • Contemporary Islam in the West
  • Health, Ethics and Religion
  • Hinduism
  • History of Biblical Exegesis
  • Islam in the UK
  • Jainism
  • Mahabharata
  • Pastoral and Pratical Theology
  • Patristics and Late Antiquity
  • Seventeenth Century British Sectarianism
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Syriac Literature and the Christian Orient

Research Groups

The Department also has a number of Research Groups, who draw together the work of scholars in several fields. These include:

Entry Requirements

A 1st or 2.1 class UK Honours Degree or equivalent in an appropriate subject


MPhil 1 year full time, 2 years part time: PhD 3 years full time, 5 years part time

Start Date

Normally 1st October (also possible: 1st January and 1st April)


Research Councils (especially the Arts & Humanities Research Council) for EU and UK students. The Department also has a fund to assist students for research trips, conferences, etc.


Submission of a thesis followed by an oral examination (viva voce) for both PhD and MPhil.

Application Process

A formal submission should be made using the standard university application form. Applicants for PhD are required to submit a 1,500-2,000 word research proposal which includes a plan with a discussion of methodologies and resources to be used, along with an indicative bibliography. Applicants for MPhil are required to submit a 1,000 word version of the same.

Contact Details

General Enquiries

Indian Religions

Islam in the UK

Religion in the Contemporary World

Religion in Late Antiquity