School of Divinity

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Postgraduate research degrees involve an extended period of intensive, independent research, resulting in a significant contribution of original knowledge to your field.

During your studies you will have the opportunity to meet eminent researchers and become part of a vibrant research community. You will develop research skills as well as invaluable transferable skills, which you can apply to your academic life, your current employment or a variety of professions outside of academia.

In most cases, research for a PhD will require you to undertake at least three years of full-time study (or six years part-time) in order to write a thesis of up to 100,000 words. 

Research in theology and religious studies will require you to develop your own research idea, which often involves adapting an initial idea through several revisions in consultation with a supervisor. 

Developing your own research idea

For admission to the PhD programme you will need to demonstrate your ability to sustain independent research under supervision.  You will normally have completed (or being in the process of completing) a masters programme that includes a dissertation. You will also need to be competent in academic writing in English.

PhD on campus

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Study a PhD in three years full-time, or six years part-time.

PhD by distance

Postgraduate student Emmanuel Ojeifo using a computer in the study pod
For qualified applicants whose circumstances make regular attendance in Edinburgh impossible.

Research study areas

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Choose your focus from the wide range of options we offer as one of the UK's largest providers of research supervision in Theology and Religion.

Training and support

Dr Linden Bicket sharing a joke with student Consuella Zhao
At the School of Divinity we try our very best to make you feel part of our community from the very start and offer you as many development opportunities as possible alongside your studies.

Professional development opportunities

Divinity tutor and students in the Rainy Hall, New College
Find out about the professional development opportunities available during your studies.