Taught course

Doctor of Theology and Practice

University of Winchester · Department of Theology and Religious Studies
PhD by taught

Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree in Theology or a related discipline, and active engagement in a relevant context of professional practice.

Months of entry


Course content

Doctor of Theology and Practice (DTh) at Winchester provides a structured route for doctoral study based in the student's own context of ministry or professional practice. It is designed both for people in various kinds of Christian ministry or leadership and for those in other professions who wish to undertake doctoral work connecting theology and religion with their own professional fields.

The DTh begins with the module Connecting Theology, Religion and Practice, in which students combine the study of practical theology methods and approaches with two other academic areas in theology or religion, and reflect on their practice in their own context in the light of that academic study.

In later modules, students undertake supervised research and practical projects based in their own context on topics negotiated with the programme team. The outcomes of these projects include publishable academic writing and innovative practice in their field of work. The fourth module is focused on preparing students for their final thesis projects.


Connecting Theology, Religion and Practice
Practical Project and Critical Evaluation
Research Project
Research Proposal


Students design and undertake a major project leading to the presentation of a substantial thesis. This can take one of two forms: either a research project leading to a thesis of 50,000-55,000 words or a practice-based project where students present a piece of innovative practice together with a shorter thesis of 35,000-40,000 words.

Since the DTh is designed to enable students to reflect on and research their own professional or ministerial contexts, it is only available by part-time study. Students are expected to have well-developed skills of independent learning and research, and the role of tutors is to supervise and advise on students' work rather than deliver content.

The programme is delivered by distance learning, with relevant study and research resources made available through the University's Learning Network. Students' individual study and research is supported by face-to-face or online tutorials, events in the Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy (including the annual postgraduate day conference and the research seminar programme) and peer-group interaction through email discussion groups and social media.

For the pre-thesis (modular) stage, students produce various forms of assessed work including academic papers, a project report and a research proposal with accompanying literature review. At the end of the programme students are assessed by means of the thesis and an oral (viva voce) examination. There are no written exams.

Employers in many professional fields recognise a doctoral qualification as an indicator of high-quality performance and the capacity for leadership in the field. It may therefore lead to opportunities for promotion and access to senior positions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent approved test. International students seeking additional information about this programme can email International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

Fees and funding

Home and EU tuition fee for 120 credits (pre-thesis): £3,150
Home and EU tuition fee for thesis stage: £2,700 per annum

International tuition fee for 120 credits (pre-thesis): £6,000
International tuition fee for thesis stage: £6,850 per annum

Please check our website for any changes to fees.

Qualification and course duration

PhD by taught

part time
48-84 months

Course contact details

Professor Neil Messer
+44 (0) 1962 826428