Taught course


York St John University · School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy

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Entry requirements

Admission to the programme will be decided by an interview panel, and no candidates will be admitted solely on the basis of previous awards or professional experience. The normal minimum entrance qualifications will be:

  • An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent)
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience

All candidates must also currently be in a professional role that is relevant to this award. The relevance of past and current experience to a particular award will be judged at interview.

Months of entry


Course content

On this doctoral programme we introduce you to issues related to you as a professional in a religion-related discipline embarking on research, and to issues related to your profession as a context in which you will conduct that research. The learning style is informal and collegiate, with a strong emphasis in the first two years on enabling you to develop your writing, critically engage with key ideas, and develop a research project. The collegiality continues into Stage 2 as you produce your doctoral thesis, with extended opportunities to share ideas and issues with fellow students and supervisors.

An unusual feature of this DRel is that the taught modules are shared with professionals from various backgrounds who are studying for the Professional Doctorate in Education and the Professional Doctorate Ministry. This brings out the common features of the issues faced by professionals who are embarking on doctoral-level research without necessarily having much research experience, and where influencing professional practice is the ultimate aim of the research. You will see how broad theoretical ideas can be fruitfully applied to different specific contexts, and how to apply learning and ideas to the particular questions you would like to answer.

We recognise the pressures that professionals are under and how these vary over the course of a year, so delivery in Stage 1 is designed to concentrate the writing of assignments outside the busiest times of the academic years. The four compulsory taught modules are delivered two per year in the first two years over a four-day teaching block, one in February and one in May each year, coinciding with local school half-terms. Outside these blocks there are half days and on-line contacts that enable students to keep in touch and get regular feedback on their draft work.

To be admitted to Stage 2, students must pass all four modules in Stage 1, and must successfully defend their thesis proposal at a transfer panel.

In Stage 2, which can last 2-4 years, students meet together at the May teaching session, and individually with their supervisors at other times. Supervisory meetings may be face to face or online.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • ProfDoc
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Team