Theology Religion George Sampson MSP_6754 edit

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

Theology research degrees

Postgraduate - Research

MRes PhD

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Check out our current PhD scholarship opportunities now

About our programmes

Part of the School of Education and Social Sciences, our Theology research degrees are broadly themed around culture, religion and society. This emerging area of work draws together studies of contemporary cultural practices, their inter-relationships and their social impacts, including in the media and the digital world.

Our work is supported by the well-established Centre for Spirituality Studies and includes both empirical and theoretical work.

We offer two levels of research degree in Theology; MRes and PhD. Due to the new interdisciplinary work within the field, these programmes bring together social scientists and arts and humanities researchers from across the University and beyond.


The main emphasis of the programme is on the research dissertation of 20,000 words, the topic being chosen by you with the advice of your supervisor. It is designed to develop your research skills and will particularly suit those who wish to progress to an MPhil or PhD.


During this four-year programme (seven years part-time) you will research and write a dissertation of 70,000 to 100,000 words on a theological or religious topic chosen in conjunction with your supervisor.


Open for admission in 2018/19

Full time Part time
MRes 1 year 2 years
PhD 4 years 7 years

Start in January, June or September


We welcome applications to undertake research in all the main branches of Theology. Research by social scientists at Hull aims to have a positive impact of the life conditions and experiences of individuals and communities, at a local, national and global level.

Culture, Religion and Society

Our work is supported by the Centre for Spirituality Studies which exists to:

  • Promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship which develops understanding of spirituality
  • Provide opportunities for advanced study and research training in spirituality
  • Offer a forum for community and inter-faith engagement with the study of spirituality

Research specialisms include;

  • Church as communion
  • Contemporary ethical problems
  • Doctrine of the Trinity
  • Faith and truth
  • History of Christian ethics
  • Interpreting religion practice
  • Natural theology
  • Philosophy and cultures
  • Philosophical theology
  • Social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Symbol and sacrament

Staff: Mr Paul Dearey

  • Theology/religion and popular culture
  • Religion and body
  • Religion and technology
  • Religion and film

Staff: Dr Alexander Ornella

  • Children and families
  • Professional education
  • Professional ethics
  • Religion and spirituality

Staff: Dr. Caroline Humphrey

Other research themes within the school of social sciences include;

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Globalisation, Power and Post-Colonialism
  • Health, Well-being and Social Inclusion

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £4,260 (full-time) 
  • Home/EU: £2,130 (part-time)
  • International: £14,000 (full-time)

Please note, fees for International applicants for 2018/19 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all research degree programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit

For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

The University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of modules (both generic and discipline-specific) to support research students through their programme.

Find out more

The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

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The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain to slavery.

Find out more

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (or Masters degree) or equivalent in theology, religious studies, or a related subject, or appropriate experience in a professional environment.

PhD applicants are expected to have some prior research training at postgraduate level or equivalent, a clear idea of the field in which they wish to work, and to be capable of writing a two or three-page proposal setting out their research questions, the kind of empirical research they visualise, the reasons they wish to undertake the research and a general indication of the theoretical background and approach.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.