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Samuel Alexander Building, The University of Manchester
PhD Religions and Theology
Contribute to original research in a religious and theological specialism of your choice.

PhD Religions and Theology / Overview

Year of entry: 2018

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
36 months [Full-Time], 72 months [Part-Time]
Entry requirements

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials. 

Full entry requirements

How to apply
 For details of how to apply, go to: Applying for a postgraduate programme

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme description

Raj Bharat Patta, a PhD research student in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester presents his research as an 'elevator pitch'

The full-time and part-time PhD programmes in Religions and Theology involve substantial original research leading to the production of a thesis (of up to 80,000 words) that constitutes a significant contribution to knowledge. Assessment is based on the thesis and an oral examination.

Areas available for research include: Biblical studies, esp. Gospels, Paul, Graeco-Roman context; early Christianity, esp. Nag Hammadi and magical texts; papyri and other manuscripts in the John Rylands Library; Rabbinic and mediaeval Judaism; Jewish thought; Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations; South Asian Studies, including Hindu traditions, Indo-Islamic traditions, Indian philosophy; Christian doctrine; philosophical theology; applied theology; ecotheology; theology and technology; contemporary Christianity; religious archives in the John Rylands Library; Religion and philosophy; existentialism; philosophy of law; ethics; religion and science; Religion and politics; religion and gender; religion and diaspora; religion and conflict. For further information on staff research interests visit

A particular strength of Manchester is the ability of research students to draw on the expertise of specialists in a wide range of disciplines. This offers the possibility of developing interdisciplinary projects with high level expertise in both disciplines. For instance, recent PhD students have had supervision jointly between lecturers in: Biblical studies and Roman social history; theology and music; South Asian Studies and sociology. There is also training available in a wide range of disciplines that can support a Religions and Theology PhD. For instance, Manchester provides one of the UK's widest selections of language teaching.

The PhD programme is based on supervised independent research. The student-supervisor relationship thus sits at the heart of this programme. Each student has a main supervisor, a co-supervisor and an additional panel member who acts as an independent reviewer. The Religions and Theology Postgraduate Research Officer provides more general academic advice and support.

In addition to regular personal supervision our graduate research students each have a research panel which meets a minimum of two times per year (on more occasions if necessary). The research panel increases the breadth of expertise available to the student and widens the informational and networking opportunities accessible to them. In addition the panel reviews the development of the student's research proposal, provides feedback on draft chapters and conference papers, discusses research progress, and provides guidance on the formulation of realistic objectives. During the course of their programme, research postgraduates need to develop both broad generic research skills and specialised skills relevant to their specific discipline and field study. Some of these skills will be acquired as part of the skills training that has been developed within the school was well as a range of courses available within the University.

artsmethods@manchester ( ) is a programme of talks, workshops and events running throughout the academic year which explore approaches to arts research, research methods and the dissemination of arts & languages research at the University of Manchester. 

The School of Arts, Languages and Cultures Graduate School offers dedicated state of the art facilities to research students, including common rooms and workstations. The Graduate School is a thriving inter-disciplinary community where postgraduate students can meet, access resources and organise events. Funds are available for students to organise conferences and travel to attend events and undertake research. Within Religions and Theology our doctoral students also participate in a thriving disciplinary research culture. There are regular research seminars in Religions and Theology, Biblical Studies, and Jewish Studies. Research students are also welcome at a wide range of seminars in other parts of the School, for instance in Linguistics, or in gender, sexuality and culture. Religions and Theology students get the opportunity to meet and discuss with a range of major international scholars who visit to deliver seminars, public lectures (The Manson Memorial Lecture in New Testament, The Sherman Lectures in Jewish Studies, The Ferguson Lecture in Theology). Many of our students undertake some undergraduate teaching, following appropriate training which is offered to all doctoral students. There are opportunities to organise, participate in, and present papers at conferences led by PhD students and joint events such as the Manchester-Durham-Sheffield PhD student conference in Biblical Studies.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,260
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £2,130

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.


The School offers a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that whilst we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below:

Contact details

Academic department
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
Rachel Corbishley
+44 (0)161 275 3559
Academic department overview

See: About us

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

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