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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Aberdeen

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    MAY-21, JUN-21, JUL-21

  • Duration

    36 months

Course summary

Classical, generous and world-leading, Divinity and Theology at Aberdeen focus on the study of Christian faith, life and doctrine in its historical, institutional and contemporary contexts.

A PhD in Divinity at Aberdeen gives you all the benefits of quality, reputation and 500 years of tradition.

Today we are a dynamic research centre, highly-ranked in the UK with a leading international profile. There are also exciting opportunities to work with leading experts in other world religions.

We attract students of all ages, backgrounds, interests and aspirations from around the world to join our friendly and supportive international community, working closely with world-leading academics.

There are 36 and 48 month full-time options for the PhD programme: the 48 month option allows you to take 12 months of classes before commencing on the 36 months of research that will lead to the production of your dissertation (“thesis”). If you are unable to commit to full-time study on campus there are also part-time and distance-learning opportunities.

Research opportunities encompass all the major sub-disciplines of theology. Research is supported by regular seminars in each discipline and by a vibrant programme of interdisciplinary seminars. There are frequent opportunities to hear prominent visiting speakers, including the annual Gifford Lectures.

Supervision and support are directly provided by faculty, who will work with you to develop your emergent research interests into a critical academic thesis. Applicants are strongly advised to correspond with potential supervisors about their interests and ideas prior to starting an application.

Aberdeen graduates have the benefit of a wide choice of career, taking advantage of the transferable skills and personal growth gained during their student experience at Aberdeen. This may include ministry, teaching, academic research, nursing, social work, the armed forces, journalism, and law.

You may already be embarked on a profession, and are looking for a flexible, top-quality doctorate for professional and personal benefit? We have the answer! Our new PhD in Practical Theology is a part-time practice-based research degree particularly aimed at:

  • Ministers of religion working in parish, congregational or chaplaincy settings
  • Public sector professionals in business and finance, education, social services
  • Health and caring professionals working in nursing, psychotherapy and counselling, social work, chaplaincy and community development
  • People working for charities, non-governmental organisations or in cultural industries or the arts
  • People working in industry or business who wish to deepen their understanding of the ethical and theological dimensions of their professional and/or voluntary practice.

Please note that part-time study is not available for resident international students. The PhD may be conducted, full-time or part-time, by distance learning, which carries no residency requirement.

The PhD at the University of Aberdeen is a research degree. Research degrees are defined by the student’s own research proposal, on which the student will write a thesis. Research students read on their own research topic and work closely with their supervisors to define their research and write a thesis. They also attend regular research seminars, are provided with opportunities to attend conferences and for some postgraduates, there are opportunities to gain undergraduate teaching experience.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 16,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Aberdeen

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Aberdeen, Directorate of External Relations, King's College, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, City Of, AB24 3FX, Scotland

One of the top 30 universities in the UK (Complete University Guide).
Student population includes over 130 nationalities, with strong international global networks.
An International Centre provides support to students from application to graduation.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    14th out of 33 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 197

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    65 65%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.34 87%



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