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Research overview

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

Main research areas

We have particular strengths in the following areas:

  • Theology and Philosophy
  • Religion, Culture, and Ethics
  • Science, Technology, and Nature
  • Biblical Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Islamic Studies

Find out more about our key areas of research

Current research projects cover areas such as:

  • Hebrew Bible and New Testament
  • Hermeneutics
  • Islam and Politics
  • Jewish Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Religion and Media
  • Religion and Technology
  • Theology and Continental Philosophy
  • Theology and Literature
  • Theology and Natural Science

Find out more about some of the current research projects

Research staff

Our diverse staff include theologians, sociologists, biblical scholars and philosophers so we can support your research with a range of different approaches and methodologies.

 

This MPhil degree is a companion to our 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.

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.

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 has been developed to introduce you to a range of research techniques and methodologies. It will also help you develop a variety of valuable transferable skills for your future career.

You will achieve:

  • greater confidence in dealing with original research
  • a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.

We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:

  • ensuring you are possessed of a range of practical ways to approach research
  • making you think about the nature of your discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity.

You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:

  • academic publishing
  • digital transformations
  • use of illustrations in dissertations.

You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Mastering the Arts introductory video 

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 2022 entry.

QualificationMPhil
Degree

Masters-level degree (or international equivalent) in theology and/or religious studies or another relevant subject.

If you are unsure if your qualifications are relevant please contact us to discuss.

QualificationMPhil
Degree

Masters-level degree (or international equivalent) in theology and/or religious studies or another relevant subject.

If you are unsure if your qualifications are relevant please contact us to discuss.

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.

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

Possible start dates for this course are:

  • 2022 – October, December
  • 2023 – February, April, July

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.

Supervisors

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

Supervisors and their areas of expertise

Your application can be for either 'Theology MPhil' or 'Religious Studies MPhil'. The choice has no bearing on the support and supervision you receive but 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

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in February 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

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

Research centres

The department is also associated with two research centres that promote collaborative research both inside and outside the University.

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 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • The Department of Theology and Religious Studies is ranked seventh in the UK for ‘research power’, a measure of the quality and scale of research activity
  • 97% of our research is rated of international standard with 30% considered world-leading
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 01 July 2021. 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.