Triangle

Research overview

We provide you with the time and support to explore your questions in Theology and Religious Studies.

We have particular strengths in:

  • Theology, Philosophy, and History of Ideas
  • Science, Technology and Nature
  • Religion, Culture and the Arts
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Biblical Studies

Staff and supervision

Our staff include theologians, historians, sociologists and philosophers so we can support your research with a range of different approaches and methodologies. They are experienced supervisors and will support you in engaging, honest and creative ways.

Current research

You will be joining a diverse community whose current research projects include:

  • Constructive Theology
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Hebrew Bible and New Testaments
  • Hermeneutics
  • Historical Theology
  • Islam and Politics
  • Jewish Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Reformation Theology
  • Religion and Environment
  • Religion and Media
  • Religion and Technology
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Theology and Literature
  • Theology and Natural Science

Your department

"We’re not interested in students for the sake of numbers. We aim to offer an environment where people have to opportunity to pursue their research interests and produce a quality thesis." Professor Alison Milbank, Department Director of Postgraduate Research

Find out more about Alison's research and role

Course content

You will complete a written thesis of up to 60,000 words, with expert support and advice from your academic supervisor(s).

You will also take an oral examination called a viva voce where you explain your project in depth to an examination panel.

This MPhil degree is a companion to our Theology and Religious Studies PhD. The main difference is that the final dissertation required is shorter. Many students start the MPhil and then transfer to the PhD as the scope of their research becomes clearer.

Example recent theses

You will be encouraged to take advantage of the faculty-wide Mastering the Arts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research module. This gives you a strong foundation in the skills and techniques necessary for effective research.

This module introduces you to the wide range of interdisciplinary research happening in the Faculty of Arts. We invite you to ‘think outside the box’ in relation to your own research, while learning key research techniques and methods. The module aims to:

  • introduce the ideas, practices, complexities, and opportunities of interdisciplinary research in the arts
  • enable you to practice critical self-reflexivity about the conventions and expectations of your own disciplines in relation to those of others
  • train you in core research skills necessary for graduate-level study
  • develop your confidence in communicating research findings to non-specialist audiences

You will build on your existing research skills gained from your university career to date. Furthermore, you will develop a more nuanced understanding of your own research practice, inspiring you to explore different approaches questions. In addition, you will develop an understanding of professional practice in areas such as:

  • academic publishing
  • knowledge exchange
  • dissertation planning and writing
  • professional communication

This module is worth 20 credits.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

QualificationMPhil
Degree

We usually expect applicants to have:

  • Bachelors degree: 2:1 or above
  • Masters-level degree (or international equivalent): Merit

If you do not meet these requirements please contact us to discuss before applying.

QualificationMPhil
Degree

We usually expect applicants to have:

  • Bachelors degree: 2:1 or above
  • Masters-level degree (or international equivalent): Merit

If you do not meet these requirements please contact us to discuss before applying.

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS7.0 (no less than 6.5 in any element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.

Applying

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of our academic staff before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support in finding funding opportunities.

Most of our academics are experienced supervisors, several with former research students in academic posts.

Supervisors and their areas of expertise

Degree name

When applying you must select either 'Theology MPhil' or 'Religious Studies MPhil'. The support and supervision for both is the same but the choice may help local funding applications.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply

Fees

QualificationMPhil
Home / UKTo be confirmed
InternationalTo be confirmed

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Funding

Thanks to the generosity of former students and staff we sometimes have funding available to support postgraduate students within the department.

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Support

We have a strong, supportive and welcoming research culture.

Research seminars

  • Hear visiting scholars from the UK and overseas
  • Present research in progress in a friendly and constructive environment
  • Broaden your general knowledge of Theology and Religious Studies
  • Gain a better sense of how research develops as part of an interactive process

Find out more about our research seminars

Language learning

You can make full use of the Language Centre facilities for both research-specific learning and personal interest.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

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Where you will learn

University Park Campus

University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.

You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.

Careers

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Many of our research students are already settled in careers before starting the course - their research is for personal development, interest or to deepen their existing career.

The most common non-religious career paths for our postgraduate students include education/teaching, IT, and welfare and housing associations.

The average annual salary for postgraduates from the School of Humanities was £25,563*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Portrait of Tim Hutchings smiling
Religion has always been deeply entangled in ideas about science, technology, and nature. Our department boasts world-leading, multidisciplinary expertise in this fascinating relationship. My own research on contemporary religious media has pioneered new empirical and theoretical approaches to some of the most significant frontiers in religious thought and practice: online worship, digital sacred texts, grief online, digital journalism and more.
Dr Tim Hutchings, Assistant Professor of Religious Ethics

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 7th in the UK for research power (2021), according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • A top 10 department in the UK by grade point average
  • 100% of research outputs recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 15 July 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.