PhD Religions and Theology

Year of entry: 2019

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
Duration
36 months [full-time], 72 months [part-time]
Entry requirements
We require successful completion of a master's course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Find out how to apply for this programme .

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme description

Loading
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'

Our full-time and part-time Religions and Theology PhD programme involves substantial original research in Religions and Theology, leading to the production of a thesis (of up to 80,000 words) that constitutes a significant contribution to knowledge.

Areas available for research include: 

  • Biblical studies, especially the Bible in context (Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, Graeco-Roman), linguistic approaches, Bible and gender;
  • early Christianity, especially Nag Hammadi and magical texts;
  • papyri and other manuscripts in the John Rylands Library;
  • Rabbinic and medieval Judaism;
  • Jewish thought;
  • Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations;
  • Islamic philosophy and medicine;
  • 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.

Find out more about our staff's research interests on the People page.

One of our particular strengths is the ability of our 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, and South Asian Studies and sociology.

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 areas, 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.

Funds are available for students to organise conferences and travel to attend events and undertake research. 

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.

Open days

Discover Manchester, see our facilities and talk to our staff at our open days for postgraduate research students .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,327
    International students (per annum): £18,500
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £2,163

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.

Scholarships/sponsorships

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

Please note that while 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.

You may also be eligible for a postgraduate loan from the government. Find out more about this and other sources of funding on the funding opportunities page.

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
Rachel Corbishley
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 3559
Email
Website
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/religions-and-theology/research/postgraduate-research/
School/Faculty

See: About us

Programmes in related subject areas

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

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require successful completion of a master's course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials.

English language

Students whose first language is not English require one of the following:

  • an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component, or
  • a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test or 100 internet-based test, or
  • a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 overall with 70 in the writing component, or
  • an overall Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III grade of Merit with Merit in the writing component.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Other entry requirements

The University requires you to reside within a commutable distance from Manchester during your time as a registered student, unless you are on approved fieldwork/a formal placement or are on a period of Submission pending. This is to ensure that you are able to meet attendance expectations and participate in wider research activities within your discipline area and/or School. Should you be unable to do this at any point during your programme, a formal case must be made to the Faculty office, together with the full support of your supervisor(s). The University reserves the right to reject such a request where it is considered that your residency could have a detrimental impact on the progression and engagement of your studies.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

We recommend all research applicants attempt to find a suitable supervisor here at Manchester by browsing the subject website and looking at the staff list .

Find out more on the how to apply page.

Please note that we do not teach evening classes or offer distance learning courses.

Interview requirements

The University requires an interview for all applicants to whom we consider making an offer.

Interviews will be conducted by two academics, usually the proposed main supervisor and the subject PGR Director (or an assigned representative).

The interview can be either face-to-face or via Skype, conference call or email.

The interview serves several purposes, allowing us to:

  • get a better picture of your ability to carry out the proposed doctoral project than the research proposal on its own;
  • tell you what the proposed supervisor(s) can bring to the project;
  • discuss with you directly any potential problems with the practical aspects of your studies and explore solutions together.

Deferrals

Applicants may defer entry provided they have discussed it with their supervisor. Deferred applicants are subject to the fees of the year of entry onto the course.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Programme details

Programme description

Loading
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'

Our full-time and part-time Religions and Theology PhD programme involves substantial original research in Religions and Theology, leading to the production of a thesis (of up to 80,000 words) that constitutes a significant contribution to knowledge.

Areas available for research include: 

  • Biblical studies, especially the Bible in context (Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, Graeco-Roman), linguistic approaches, Bible and gender;
  • early Christianity, especially Nag Hammadi and magical texts;
  • papyri and other manuscripts in the John Rylands Library;
  • Rabbinic and medieval Judaism;
  • Jewish thought;
  • Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations;
  • Islamic philosophy and medicine;
  • 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.

Find out more about our staff's research interests on the People page.

One of our particular strengths is the ability of our 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, and South Asian Studies and sociology.

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 areas, 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.

Funds are available for students to organise conferences and travel to attend events and undertake research. 

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.

Special features

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Find out more about the Graduate School

Research environment

Nearly two-thirds of our scholarly publications in Religions and Theology were considered to be internationally excellent or world-leading in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, including research in Christianity and Christian Theology, Judaism and non-European religious traditions, noting particularly the Department's management and support of research students.

In the 2018 QS World University Rankings , Manchester was in the world top ten both for citations per publication and volume of highly cited publications.

Our research centres sponsor weekly seminars that form the backbone of a vigorous research culture in the discipline, which is enhanced by the hosting of international and national conferences.

Find out more about Manchester's research in Religions and Theology .

Graduate School

All of our postgraduate students become members of the Graduate School when you start at Manchester. It has dedicated facilities for students and offers opportunities to collaborate with other postgraduates.

Teaching and learning

The PhD programme is based on supervised independent research. The student-supervisor relationship thus sits at the heart of this programme.

Doctoral supervision is on a one-to-one basis, with meetings usually fortnightly in the first year.

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 your programme, research postgraduates need to develop both broad generic research skills and specialised skills relevant to your specific discipline and field study.

Some of these skills will be acquired as part of our skills training, as well as a range of courses available across the University. Weekly seminars are sponsored by various research centres.

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

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.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is based on the thesis and an oral examination. See what our current PhD students are working on.

Programme unit details

There are no compulsory taught units as part of the PhD programme.

However, where appropriate, you are encouraged to audit undergraduate and master's course units subject to advice and approval by your supervisory panel.

You will also select from a range of research training workshops and short courses as appropriate to your doctoral research project.

The discipline achieved the maximum 5* rating in the two most recent Research Assessment Exercises, thereby receiving a 6* grading. Particular research strengths are in: Biblical Studies, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls; Christian Studies including Practical Theology and Church History; Cultural, Political and Gender Studies; Jewish Studies; South Asian Studies, including ethnic minorities in Britain. Most supervision is on a one-to-one basis at least once a month and often more regularly, especially at the start of the programme. Weekly seminars are sponsored by various research centres. These form the backbone of a vigorous research culture in the discipline which is enhanced by the hosting of international and national conferences.

Facilities

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Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Fly Through

Manchester is home to one of the UK's five National Research Libraries - one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries.

Find out more about libraries and study spaces for postgraduate research students at Manchester.

We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research. There are extensive computing facilities across campus, with access to standard office software as well as specialist programmes, all connected to the campus network and internet.

Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

The Graduate School offers dedicated state of the art facilities to research students, including common rooms and workstations.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Many of our Religions and Theology PhD graduates have gone on to leading academic positions in countries such as the UK, USA, South Korea, Australia, Burundi, South Africa.

Among past PhD graduates are Morna Hooker, Donald Hagner, W Ward Gasque, Robert Gundry, Quek Swee Hwa, Seyoon Kim, Ronald Fung, Moises Silva, Charles Wanamaker, David Wenham, Peter O'Brien and Peter H Davids.

Among the posts held by recent PhD graduates are Head of Department at a UK university, Principal of a Bible College in Burundi, Assistant Professor at a Canadian university, and post-doctoral fellowships at a leading Canadian university, at the John Rylands Research Institute, and with a leading European research project based in France.

Through this PhD, you will develop research skills valuable for careers other than academic teaching. Many professions today require investigative skills, while some in the media spend time researching angles of events that relate to religions. Others in the health service investigate the experiences of various cultural groups in accessing services, and many in museums, libraries and other archives require the textual and historical research skills that our courses teach.

PhD study in Religions and Theology gives you a high level qualification for a wide range of investigative tasks. More broadly, careers in a wide range of fields are available as for all those graduating with PhDs in Humanities subjects.

Whatever employment area you choose, your studies will provide you with transferable skills, as well as enhancing your intellectual and personal development.