Postgraduate Research

The Department offers the following postgraduate research degrees:


Studies in Religion offers a rich scholarly environment for the critical study of religion at a postgraduate level. Ours is a multidisciplinary field where philosophy, anthropology, sociology, literary criticism, cultural studies, and even science and legal studies interact. Our academic staff have a wide variety of research interests that include the large religious traditions, media, popular culture, minority religions, esotericism, spirituality, and new religious movements. They are able to offer supervision for postgraduate students in these and many other fields.

Options for Postgraduate Study

Depending on your previous academic experience and the nature of your interests, the available options include:

Doctor of Philosophy

A PhD in Studies in Religion is the highest research degree you can achieve and, if successful, is a mark of your standing as a learned, skilful, and original contributor to the body of human knowledge. As a PhD candidate you will spend three to four years researching a topic under the supervision of one of our academic staff. At the end of your candidature you will produce a 70,000 to 100,000 word thesis that will be examined by three experts in the field from around the world. A PhD graduate is regarded as among the leaders is their field of research, and we encourage our candidates to be active participants in the research cultures their work contributes to.
These research degrees are obtained by thesis only. Please consult the departmental website for advice on areas where we offer research supervision, and on how to prepare a thesis proposal.

Master of Philosophy

The two-year Master of Philosophy requires candidates complete an original research project of 40,000-60,000 words length under the supervision of one of our academic staff. Like the MA it offers you a chance to demonstrate your research skills, but the extra word length demands a more comprehensive research project, and often serves as a precursor to a PhD.

Master of Arts (Research)

The one year full-time Master of Arts (Research) program gives you the opportunity to undertake a supervised research project of 30,000-35,000 words length. Students who complete Masters degrees are generally interested in developing postgraduate research skills within a small time frame. Such degrees prove your credentials as an independent researcher and demonstrate your skill and fluency with your chosen field.