Research course

Theology and Religious Studies

University of Glasgow · College of Arts
PhDDoctorate in Practical Theology MLitt by researchMPhil

Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide a single page outline of the research subject proposed (approximately 1000 words). This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:
  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Your application, including your references and research proposal, will be passed to members of staff whose expertise and research interests most closely match the area of your proposed study.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Research in Theology and Religious Studies encompasses a wide range of traditions, methods and perspectives and has been an ever-present part of the mission of the University since its foundation in 1451.

Researchers in Theology and Religious Studies continue to build on Glasgow's reputation for excellence in traditional fields of theology including Biblical Studies, Hermeneutics, Modern Systematic Theology, Catholic Moral Theology, Practical Theology, Church History and Scottish Religious History. Glasgow also has a strong profile in Islam, Sufism, religion in modern Iran, Judaism, Esoteric Buddhism, Jewish Studies, and religion in China.

Some staff are primarily theologians, whilst others work at the intersection between religion and other disciplines including sociology, anthropology, literature, history. Theology and Religious Studies in Glasgow has strong interdisciplinary research links to other subjects across the College of Arts. Recent collaborations have involved English and Scottish Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Law, Education, Philosophy, Medical Humanities and several Glasgow Museums.

Our main collective research topics are:

  • religion and politics
  • the construction of religion as a modern category
  • religion and technology
  • mysticism and spirituality
  • religion and identity
  • scripts, scriptures, and textual analysis
  • applied theology and theory of religion.

The subject area also runs a Doctorate in Practical Theology. This is an innovative professional research doctorate by portfolio specifically designed to enable those who work in faith based organizations or public/caring professions to reflect upon their value-based practice. Work is undertaken within research cohorts which meet 5 times a year for methods training and supervision. The degree is designed to be taken on a part-time basis.

Theology Through Creative Practice PhD

We also offer a ground-breaking programme in Theology Through Creative Practice which recognises that new knowledge emerges through creative practice [often leading to advanced research on issues of huge theological significance]. They enable creative practitioners, in a wide variety of fields, to develop their own practice and critically reflect upon it in the context of doctoral or masters research. In these degree programmes, practice is embraced as research aim, research method and research outcome.

Please contact Anna Fisk if you are interested in the Theology Through Creative Practice PhD.

Start dates are set by both the supervisor and the department. As such some PHD options will have fixed start dates (likely January/October) and others have a rolling intake. For more details please contact the relevant department.

Information for international students

Please see the English Language requirements if your first language is not English. Please also see the international page.

Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
60 months
full time
36 months

Doctorate in Practical Theology

full time
36 months
part time
60 months

MLitt by research

part time
36 months
full time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details