Research course

Theology and Religious Studies

University of Gloucestershire · Faculty of Education, Humanities and Sciences
PhDMPhilMA by research

Entry requirements

  • MA by Research/MRes/MPhil: you will need a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area.
  • PhD: you will need a masters degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic.
  • we normally consider applications from candidates from different backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement.
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (no less than 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other band) or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

Research in Biblical studies, religious studies or theology will enable you to complete a survey of existing knowledge in your selected area. In the case of a PhD you will make an original contribution to knowledge.

Many students follow a research degree out of personal interest. However, for some it is an important step towards lecturing in higher education or for achieving a new career in religious studies or other areas.

Theology and religious studies in the School of Liberal and Performing Arts fosters a vibrant learning community and an established research reputation, being recognised for world-leading and internationally excellent research output in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

The staff have also established an international reputation through their research, publications, research supervisions and presentations at academic conferences. Their expertise covers a wide range of topics in areas such as theology, Old Testament, New Testament, Buddhist philosophy, Islam and contemporary Judaism. We have special interests in social-scientific approaches to Biblical studies; New Testament theology; the Bible and the visual arts; and the Bible and spirituality and we welcome applications in theses areas.

There are currently three professorial chairs in Theology and Religious Studies: Gordon McConville, Professor of Old Testament Theology; Philip Esler, the Portland Professor in New Testament Studies; and Melissa Raphael, Professor of Jewish Theology.

The research areas of theology, biblical and religious studies at the university attract research students from around the world. Recent students have come from the USA , Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Japan, Germany and South Korea, as well as the UK. Our strengths in Biblical studies led to the development of the International Centre for Biblical Interpretation.

Department specialisms

Testament (Old, New); Modern Theology; Hinduism; Islam; Religious Education; Sociology of Religion; New Testament; Feminist Thought; Christian Ethics; 19th-century Religious History; Tribal Religions; Deuteronomy Prophecy; Theology and Marxism.

Qualification and course duration


part time
48-84 months
full time
30-48 months


part time
30-60 months
full time
18-36 months

MA by research

part time
18-36 months
full time
12-24 months

Course contact details

Enquiries Team
+44 (0) 3330 141414